Cleo Woelfle-Erskine’s research focuses on human relations to rivers and their multi-species inhabitants.
Trained in ecology, hydrology, geomorphology, social science, and feminist science and technology studies, he facilitates collaborative research in partnership with tribes, agencies, citizen scientists, and local community members. His PhD work in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley involved a collaborative of scientists and local residents who are experimenting with storing winter rain to increase summer streamflow to benefit salmon that rear in their local creeks. As a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow in Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz, he explored queer, transgender, and decolonial possibilities for ecological science.
His manuscript in progress, Underflow: Transfiguring riverine relations, imagining queer-trans ecologies considers the lingering presences of Manifest Destiny (ecological, socio-scientific, and psychological) and the ways that this injurious “destiny” can be transfigured and overturned to renew human-water-fish relations. He is currently developing research projects on environmental justice dimensions of fishing and shellfishing around Puget Sound and co-teaches the Ecopoetics Along Shorelines field course (CHID / SMEA / Honors) with July Hazard.