Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education


Image of Dr. Darren Ranco wearing a suit with glasses

Darren Ranco
Chair of Native American Programs
Professor of Anthropology
University of Maine
5717 Corbett Hall #201
Orono, ME 04469-5724

Committee term end date: April 30, 2026

Darren J. Ranco, PhD, a citizen of the Penobscot Nation, is a Professor of Anthropology, Chair of Native American Programs, and Faculty Fellow at the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions at the University of Maine.  He has a Master of Studies in Environmental Law from Vermont Law School and a PhD in Social Anthropology from Harvard University.  He was an undergraduate Mellon Fellow at Dartmouth College, class of 1993, and Ford Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in 2002-3.  His research focuses on the ways in which Indigenous Nations resist environmental destruction by using Indigenous science and diplomacies to protect their natural and cultural resources. He has published extensively and teaches classes on Indigenous intellectual property rights, research ethics and methodology, environmental and climate justice, and tribal governance.  He is currently a Senior Ford Fellow, working on a project called, “Decolonizing Land Relations in the Dawnland: Landback and Rematriation Across Wabanakik,” where he is researching, engaging, and learning from Indigenous led landback and rematriation movements across North America and applying this research and storywork about landback and rematriation efforts with his Tribal Nation and the other Wabanaki Nations across northern New England and eastern Canada.