Natalie Forssman

(She, Her, Hers)

Assistant Professor of Teaching

Office: ART 249
Office Hours: Please reach out to me via email for this term’s office hours.

Research Summary

Feminist science and technology studies; environmental humanities; multispecies anthropology; science communication; epistemic cultures; ethnography; embodiment and materiality; participatory methods; educational leadership

Courses & Teaching

Cultural anthropology; environmental humanities; science and technology studies; communication, writing, and research methods.


I hold a PhD in Communication and Science Studies from the University of California, San Diego, where I researched histories and practices of knowledge production, particularly the roles of objects, mediational technologies, landscapes, and human and nonhuman bodies in constructing environmental knowledges.

I conducted collaborative research as part of Aarhus University Research on the Anthropocene, a transdisciplinary research project which brought anthropology, environmental history, biodiversity and conservation, and arts practice methods into contact to understand human-altered landscapes. A central object of study was an abandoned and “re-wilded” former lignite mine in Western Denmark.

Before joining CCGS, I taught communication at UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering, with a focus on equity, justice, participatory methods, and interdisciplinarity in engineering research, design, and professional practice. I helped to design and manage the MURPH program to enhance undergraduate research experiences at UBC Okanagan, was involved in the integration and development of indigenization curriculum, and was a key member in launching a review of communication teaching in the School of Engineering.

I encourage students from programs and disciplines both within and beyond Anthropology to reach out to me and take my classes. I am interested in collaborations across departments and the university that explore the politics and practices of interdisciplinarity in research and pedagogy.


PhD, Communication and Science Studies, University of California, San Diego
MA, Communication, University of California, San Diego
BA, Philosophy, University of British Columbia

Research Interests & Projects

My academic background is in the environmental humanities and social sciences, communication studies, and the critical and cultural analysis of technoscience through science and technology studies (STS). Stemming from this background, I strongly believe that complex social and environmental problems are best tackled through research and teaching at the edges and intersections of perspectives and disciplines, and thus scaffold the development of reflective, collaborative, and critical-thinking skills in my classes. I endeavour to create learning opportunities with a multidisciplinary and multi-stakeholder focus, catalyzing students to work through open-ended problems that require self-learning and don’t necessarily lead to a final solution. In this kind of learning, there is no expectation that the instructor knows all the answers, but rather is positioned to help learners develop insights and transferable knowledges and skills. I teach courses in cultural anthropology, environmental humanities, science and technology studies, communication, writing, and research methods, and community-service learning.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Root-Bernstein, M., Bertoni, F., Forssman, N., & Overstreet, K. (2022). Becoming disturbed in disturbing landscapes: Methodology and epistemology in Anthropocene wastelands. In N. Bubandt, A.O. Andersen, & R. Cypher (Eds.), Rubber boots methods for the Anthropocene: Curiosity, collaboration, and critical description in the study of co-species worlds. University of Minnesota Press.

Eikenaar, J., Eisenstein, A., Forssman, N., Webb, G., & Patterson, L. (2022). Indigenous reconciliation in the engineering curriculum: The Indigenous Community Consultation Project (ICCP). International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning Conference: At the Intersections of SoTL: Transfer and Transfomation, Diversity and Inclusivity, Kelowna, BC.

Eikenaar, J., Forssman, N., Webb, G., Patterson, L., & Eisenstein, A. (2022). Preparing engineering students for their professional obligations for meaningful engagement with Indigenous communities in Canada. Canadian Engineering Education Association Conference: Transforming Learners to Transform Our World, Toronto, On.

Forssman, N., & Eikenaar, J. (2019). Reflecting on an initiative to Indigenize the engineering curriculum. UBC Okanagan Experience Learning Conference, Kelowna, B.C

Forssman, N., & Root-Bernstein, M. (2018). Landscapes of anticipation of the other: Ethno-ethology in a deer hunting landscape. Journal of Ethnobiology 38(1), 71-87.

Selected Grants & Awards

Aspire-2040 (ALT-2040) Learning Transformations Fund. Project team member for “Cultivating Environmental Attention: Course Development for Accessible Environmental Humanities Field Methodologies,” 2022-2023.

UBC Research and Innovation’s Program for Undergraduate Research Experience (PURE). Management team member for a 2-year funded project, “Multidisciplinary Undergraduate Research Projects in Health (MURPH),” 2019-2021.


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