Demian Hommel

Senior Instructor II

Office: 541-737-5070

Wilkinson Hall

Wilkinson Hall 222

2601 SW Orchard Avenue

2601 SW Orchard Avenue
Corvallis, Oregon 97331

Profile Field Tabs

Brief Research Interests: 

Human dimensions of global change; environmental security and resource conflicts; political ecology; risk; people-reef interactions; climate justice; pedagogy and technology



Ph.D., Geography, (2009), University of Oregon
M.A., Geography, (2004), University of Oregon
B.S., Environmental Studies, (1999), University of Oregon


Geog100 Climate Justice
Geog103: The Human Planet
Geog106: Emerging Challenges in the Global North

Geog203: Human-Environment Geography
Geog295: Geographic Field Research Methods
Geog300: Sustainability for the Common Good
Geog331: Population, Consumption, and Environment
Geog350: Risk, Vulnerability, and Resilience


Human dimensions of global change; environmental security and resource conflicts; hazards, disasters, and risk; political ecology; development; Southeast Asia and the Pacific; people-reef interfaces; tropical fisheries and aquaculture; social and cultural theory; pedagogy and technology; experiential education.

At the center of my research and teaching interests is a longstanding engagement with theories of political ecology and post-colonialism to examine the impact of environmental change on security, vulnerability, and resilience in Southeast Asia and the Pacific.

My training at the University of Oregon leveraged social theory, ecology, and mixed-methods to better understand the vulnerability of coastal communities in Southeast Asia to the dynamics of environmental and political change. My research was based on long-term field-work in Southwestern Thailand and generated a lifelong concern with questions of development, security, spatial differentiation and the subsistence of under-represented communities. My dissertation examined recovery and redevelopment after the 2004 Asian tsunami with a specific focus on the role of the news media in creating a spatial sense of risk. 

While at Oregon State University I have tried to deepen my understanding of the intersections between political ecology, vulnerability, adaptability, and equity to climate and other environmental changes.*

Meanwhile, as an Instructor, I am essentially a professional college teacher. I offer courses ranging from introductory human and cultural geography to upper-division regional and thematic courses. I encourage a sensitivity to rigorous, theoretically-oriented and systematic research approaches in my classes and I have been privileged to work with some brilliant students at Oregon State University. I am committed to excellence in teaching and am an advocate for place-based and experiential education, service learning, and evidence-based instruction.

I was awarded Top Hat’s Most Innovative Educator in March, 2020, and immediately after had to switch to remote delivery…

*Potential graduate students please read: my position does not allow me to serve as the primary advisor for PhD students in a research track. I am able to serve as a committee member and I can and have chaired masters committees. I can serve as the primary advisor for MNR students.

Recent Publications

Hommel, D. and Bradley Cohen (January, 2023) "Course Design as a Gateway to Student Well-being." Faculty Focus.

Hommel, D. and Bradley Cohen (October, 2023) "Reducing AI Anxiety Starts by Talking with Students.” Faculty Focus.

Hommel, D. and Joe Rohrlich (June, 2022) “ Why Student Success Depends On Continuous Feedback” Harvard Business Review.

Hommel, D. (May, 2022) “Aspiring to Create Learning Experiences Students Remember.” Faculty Focus.