Dr. Deborah Naybor

Year Started at Paul Smith’s: 2015
Division: Environment and Society
Program: Environmental Studies


My environmental research has examined the connections between humans and the land they occupy. I have worked in Asia and Africa with small scale farmers on projects which improve their resilience to changes in weather and the extreme economic oppression they face.

Currently I am investigating the Haudensaunee Nations changing relationships with nature and land. I have worked with Paul Smith’s College students to investigate the historic and contemporary changes of the Akwesasne Mohawk connection to the environment.

In addition, I am exploring the ability of poor grassroots entrepreneurs in India to create sustainable and ecologically conscious businesses to help reduce negative environmental impact, increase food yields and create socially responsible, profitable businesses to support themselves and their families.

Academic Background

PhD, Geography, University at Buffalo
MA, Global Gender Studies, University at Buffalo
MPS, Humanitarian Services Administration, University of Connecticut
BS, Literature, Empire State College
AAS, Forestry, Paul Smith’s College

Courses Taught

EST 300 Ecological Change & Society
SOC 115 Adirondack Studies
FYS 101 FYS: Voice, Identity, and Connection


2013 University at Buffalo Graduate Student Excellence in Teaching Award
2012 University at Buffalo Calkins Award for Applied GIS
2010 SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Student Excellence
2010 University at Buffalo Pillar of Leadership Award

Interests and Activities

I have long had an interest in alternative and sustainable living and the design of structures that are affordable and functional. I currently live in a tiny house (300 sq. ft.) and have been teaching students about reduced use of our resources and encouraging them to (in the words of Thoreau) “simplify.’

With over 15 years of volunteer work in poor communities in places such as Kenya, South Africa, Uganda, India, Nepal and other parts of Africa and Asia, I continue to work to reduce extreme poverty in small communities. Focus on creating grassroots, sustainable programs such as training in improved farming techniques or elimination of dangerous chemicals in the production of crafts or increased educational opportunities has brought positive change to thousands of people I have worked with. The opportunity for students to interact with and learn from people who are hungry and thankful for any chance to improve their lives is live changing and will expose students to the invisible strength and spirit of those they come in contact with. I will be teaching the issues faced by these communities and offering students an opportunity to travel to areas of Asia and Africa in order to learn the issues faced and offer ideas and solutions by learning from the poor themselves and applying their own expertise to the problems.`

Academic Background

PhD Geography, University at Buffalo, 2013
MA Global Gender Studies, University at Buffalo, 2010
MPS Humanitarian Services Administration, Univ. of Connecticut, 2007
BS Literature, Empire State College, 2002
AAS Forestry, Paul Smiths College, 1977


Book Chapter
2014 Naybor, D. and Alagan, R., Gender, Development and Geospatial Technology: GIS and GPS in Participatory Poverty Studies. Global Perspectives on Gender and Space: Engaging Feminism and Development, Ann Oberhauser and Ibipo Johnston-Anumonwo, Editors. Routledge Publishing. Pp. 122-137.

Peer Reviewed Journal Articles
2016 Naybor, D., Poon, J, and Cassas, I., Mobility Disadvantage and Livelihood Opportunities of Marginalized Widows in Rural Uganda. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.
2014 Land as Fictitious Commodity: The Evolution of Women’s Land Rights in Uganda, Gender, Place and Culture. DOI: 10.1080/0966369X.2014.917275. pp.1-17.
2012 Poon, J., Thai, D. and Naybor, D., Social Capital and Female Entrepreneurship in Rural Regions: Evidence from Vietnam. Applied Geography. DOI:10.1016/j.apgeog.2012.08.002. pp. 308-315.

Courses Taught

Environmental Change and Society, Contemporary Environmental Writers, Social Research, Project Management, Environmental Studies Senior Capstone, Global Environmental Issues, Surveying III, Adirondack Studies, First Year Seminar.


Roxanne Hough McCarty

Contact »

Professor of Environmental Studies
Freer Science Building 220
(518) 627-3254