Dr. David Hoffman

Department / Division

  • Cultural Anthropologist
  • (he/him)


  • Associate Professor


Email: dhoffman@anthro.msstate.edu
Phone: (662) 325-2013


  • P.O. Box AR
  • Mississippi State MS 39762


  • BA, Environmental Studies / Anthropology, St. Lawrence University
  • MA, Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado-Boulder
  • PhD, Cultural Anthropology, University of Colorado-Boulder

Research Interests

Conservation Policy and Practice, Parks and Human Migration, Co-management, Community-based Conservation, Conservation and Development, Central America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Political Ecology, Environmental Anthropology, Marine Protected Areas, Fishing Peoples and Cultures, Maritime Anthropology, Sustainable Development, Livelihoods, Sustainable Tourism.

David M. Hoffman is an Associate Professor of Cultural Anthropology with a specialty in Environmental Anthropology. Dr. Hoffman has served as the Graduate Coordinator for the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures’ MA in Applied Anthropology since 2014. In 2013, Dr. Hoffman was awarded the College of Arts & Sciences’ Faculty Teaching Award in Social & Behavioral Sciences. Dr. Hoffman was also named the Arts and Sciences Dean’s Eminent Scholar in Social and Behavioral Sciences for 2016-17. He also serves as MSU’s Fulbright Program Adviser, Boren Scholarships Advisor, Critical Language Scholarships Advisor (8/2016-present) for the Shackouls Honors College’s Office of Prestigious External Scholarships.

Dr. Hoffman’s research in Environmental Anthropology generally focuses on sustainable development, resource management, biodiversity conservation, and the interaction of parks and protected areas with the development and livelihood needs of adjacent human communities. From 2001-2006 he researched the implementation of co-management of a marine protected area in Quintana Roo, Mexico, which was partially funded by a Fulbright grant. From 2009-2017 he researched the movement of Costa Rican migrants to the edges of Costa Rican national parks partially funded by a three-year NSF grant. Dr. Hoffman is currently the PI on a NOAA Saltonstall-Kennedy grant investigating communications between fisheries agencies and the Vietnamese fishing communities in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

Dr. Hoffman is currently accepting graduate students with interest in conservation and development issues, sustainability, alternative development / anti-capitalist movements, community-based management, co-management, and resource governance. Regional interest is open, but students with a desire to conduct fieldwork in Central America or the U.S. South are preferred.

Recent Publications

Hoffman, David M.
In Press         “A Fractured Mirror: Migration to National Park Buffer Zones as a Reflection of the Ecolaboratory” in Lessons from the Ecolaboratory: Negotiating Environment and Development in Costa Rica. Fletcher, Robert, Dowd-Uribe, Brian and Aistara, Guntra A. Eds.: University of Arizona Press.

2017               “Parks, Proxies and People: Ideology, Epistemology and the Measurement of Human Population Growth on Protected Area Edges”
Environment and Society: Advances in Research 8 (2017): 161-179.

2014              “Cooperatives, Conch and Conflict: Conservation and Resistance in the Banco Chinchorro Biosphere Reserve, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Conservation and Society 12(2): 120-132.

2011                “Do Global Statistics Represent Local Reality and Should They Guide Conservation Policy?: Examples from Costa Rica.” Conservation and Society 9(1): 16-24.

2009                “Institutional Legitimacy and Co-management of a Marine Protected Area: Implementation Lessons from the Case of Xcalak Reefs National Park, Mexico.” Human Organization 68(1): 39-54.

Hoffman, David M.; Fay, Derick; and Joppa, Lucas
2011                “Introduction: Human Migration to Protected Area Edges in Africa and Latin America: Questioning large-scale statistical analysis.” Conservation and Society 9(1): 1-7.