Geography and Environmental Studies Department

Don Hankins

  • Biography

    Don Hankins is a Professor of Geography and Planning at California State University, Chico. He has a B.S. in Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology and a Ph.D. in Geography from the University of California, Davis. His interests and expertise is in the following areas: pyrogeography, ecohydrology, landscape ecology, intervention ecology, conservation, environmental policy and Indigenous stewardship. This expertise is applied to his courses in pyrogeography, water resources policy and planning, and nature and restoration. Don has been involved in various aspects of environmental planning, stewardship, conservation, and regulation for a variety of organizations and agencies including federal and tribal governments. Drawing from his academic and cultural knowledge he is particularly interested in Indigenous traditional knowledge and policy and their application as a keystone process to aid in conservation and stewardship. He has published several articles specific to Indigenous prescribed fire and the social dynamics of colonization on cultural burning. Amongst other projects his current research includes longitudinal studies of fire effects on biodiversity, cultural resources and hydrology and overall environmental resiliency in riparian forests, oak woodlands, and meadows in California and Eucalypt and tea tree woodlands in the Cape York Peninsula, Australia. These projects involve working with local Indigenous communities in the respective areas in order to achieve a broader framework of collaborative stewardship and learning. Don has also been active in policy related to Indigenous stewardship particularly as related to fire and water management.

  • Publications

    Peer Reviewed Publications:

    • Hankins, D.L. in Review. Ecocultural Equality in the Miwkoʔ Waaliʔ. San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science
    • Hankins, D.L., 2015. Restoring Indigenous Prescribed Fires to California Oak Woodlands. In Standiford, Richard B.; Purcell, Kathryn L., tech. cords. 2015. Proceedings of the seventh California oak symposium: managing oak woodlands in a dynamic world. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-251. Berkeley, CA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station. 579 p.
    • Eriksen, C.E. and D.L. Hankins. 2015. Colonisation and Fire: Gendered Dimensions of Indigenous Fire Knowledge Retention and Revival. In A. Coles, L. Gray, and J. Momsen eds. The Routledge Handbook of Gender and Development, Chapter: 14, Publisher: Routledge, pp.129-137
    • Eriksen, C.E. and D.L. Hankins. 2014 . The Retention, Revival and Subjugation of Indigenous Fire Knowledge through Agency Fire Fighting in Eastern Australia and California, USA. Society and Natural Resources. online
    • Eriksen, C.E. and D.L. Hankins. 2014. Indigenous Fire Knowledge Retention: Spatial, Temporal, Gendered. In C.E. Eriksen. Gender and Wildfire at the Wildland-Urban Interface. Routledge. New York, New York
    • Eriksen, C.E. and D.L. Hankins. 2013. Gendered dimensions of Aboriginal Australian and California Indian fire knowledge retention and revival. Current Conservation. 7.1: 22-26
    • Hankins, D.L. 2013. The effects of indigenous prescribed fire on riparian vegetation in central California. Ecological Processes. 2:24.
    • Hankins, D.L. 2009. The Effects of Indigenous Prescribed Fire on Herpetofauna and Small Mammals in Central California Riparian Ecosystems. California Geographer. 2009(49): 31-50.

    Non-peer Reviewed Publications/Reports:

    • Hankins, D.L. 2017. Ecocultural Equality in the Miwkoʔ Waaliʔ .Afternoon Session Packet for Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit for 13 th Annual California Water Law Symposium. San Francisco, California.
    • Hankins, D.L. 2013. Foreword to P. McConchie. Fire and the Story of Burning Country. Cyclops Press. Avalon, New South Wales.
    • Hankins, D.L.2013. Review of Ignition Stories: Indigenous fire ecology in the Indo-Australian monsoon zone. By Cynthia Fowler. Fire Ecology. 9(2): 116
    • Hankins, D.L. 2012. Review of The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia. By Bill Gammage. Environmental History 2012 17(3)
    • Hankins, D.L. 2009. Water as Sacred. Invited essay submitted to the Department of Water Resources Tribal Communication Committee.
    • Hankins, D.L. 2008. Native Californian Use of Fire in Weed Management. In Proceedings from the California Invasive Plant Council's 2008 Conference.
  • Research Summary
    • Fire and Biodiversity in the Kaanju Ngaachi Indigenous Protected Area (IPA), Cape York Peninsula, Queensland, Australia
    • Fire and Biodiversity in California Oak Woodlands
    • Interrelationships of Fire and Water in Meadow Ecosystems
    • Indigenous Fire Knowledge Systems and Experiences (in collaboration with Christine Eriksen)
    • Perceptions of Fire in the Wildland Urban Interface (in collaboration with Christine Eriksen)
  • Service Summary
    Service Summary


    Cultural Burning Network (subgroup of Fire Learning Network), Advisor


    Northern California Prescribed Fire Council, Member, Policy Committee, Training and Education Committee


    California Indian Water Commission, Advisor, Member


    Butte County Fire Safe Council, Secretary


    Forest Ranch Fire Safe Council, Neighborhood Delegate (Currently engaged in regional prescribed fire planning for Forest Ranch area in collaboration with Terra Fuego.)


    U.S. Department of Agriculture/ U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Proper Functioning Condition (Rapid riparian assessment methodology) California cadre member



    Arboretum Committee, Member, Committee Chair


    University ‘M.K. Udall Scholarship’, Faculty Representative



    Field Director for CSU Chico Ecological Reserves


    Leaves Committee, Member


    Scholarship Committee, Member



    Assessment Committee, Member


    Assessment Committee, Chair


    RTP Committee, Member


    RTP Committee, Chair


    Graduate Committee, Member


    Graduate Committee, Chair


    Scholarship Committee, Chair


    Curriculum Committee, Member


Don Hankins

Office: Butte 539
Phone: 530-898-4104

Courses Taught

GEOG 106 - The American West
GEOG 317 - Field Techniques
GEOG 390W - Foundations of Geographical Analysis
GEOG 405S - Nature and Restoration
GEOG 426 - Water Resources Policy and Planning
GEOG 427 - Environmental Impact Analysis
GEOG 444 - Biogeography
GEOG 445 - Pyrogeography