Stephen F. Siebert

Photo of Siebert, Stephen F.

Stephen F. Siebert

Professor of Tropical Forest Conservation & Management

Curriculum Vitae: View/Download CV

Personal Summary

My teaching and research focus on the ecology and management of working landscapes. In recent years I have investigated biophysical effects associated with environmental and socioeconomic change in Bhutan, agricultural intensification in Indonesia and Greece, and the ecology and management of rattan in Indonesia.  I coordinate the International Conservation and Development M.S. degree option in Resource Conservation and collaborate with colleagues from the Ugyen Wangchuck Institute for Conservation and Environment in Bhutan on applied conservation research and institutional development efforts.  My recreational interests include backpacking, kayaking, canoeing, hunting, fishing, skiing, wine, beer and reading.

I recently published a book: “The Nature and Culture of Rattan: Reflections on Vanishing Life in the Forests of Southeast Asia

View more information and links to powerpoint presentations that accompany the book

View a powerpoint presentation on how swidden agriculture (shifting cultivation) can enhance biodiversity by creating and maintaining intermediate ecological disturbances and the need to build upon historic land uses (linked social-ecological systems) in contemporary conservation and development efforts


Ph.D. Cornell University. 1990. Natural Resources (minors: Agronomy, International
Agriculture, Southeast Asian Studies)

M.S. Cornell University. 1982. Natural Resources (minor: City & Regional Planning)

B.S. Colgate University. 1978. Biology

Research Interests

Biological diversity in managed landscapes
Ecology & management of non-timber forest products (rattan)
Tropical forest conservation & management

Selected Publications

Siebert, S.F. and J.M. Belsky. 2015. Keeping ecological disturbance on the land. In: M. Cairns (ed.). Shifting Cultivation and Environmental Change: Vol. II. Earthscan, London (in press).

Siebert, S.F. and J.M. Belsky. 2015. Managed fuelwood harvesting for energy, income and conservation: An opportunity for Bhutan. Biomass and Bioenergy 74:220-223.

Siebert, S., J. Belsky, S. Wangchuk, J. Riddering. 2014. The end of swidden in Bhutan: Implications for forest cover and biodiversity. In: M. Cairns (ed.). Shifting Cultivation and Environmental Change: Indigenous People, Agriculture and Forest Conversion. Earthscan, London. pp. 546-558.

Siebert, S.F. and J.M. Belsky 2014. Historic livelihoods and land uses as ecological disturbances and their role in enhancing biodiversity: An example from Bhutan. Biological Conservation 177:82-89.

Wangchuk, S., S.F. Siebert, J.M. Belsky. 2014. Fuelwood use and availability in Bhutan: Implications for national policy and local forest management. Human Ecology 42:127-135.

Wangchuk, S. and S.F. Siebert. 2013. Agricultural change in Bumthang, Bhutan: Market opportunities, government policies and climate change. Society and Natural Resources 26:1375-1389.

Siebert, S.F. 2012. The Nature and Culture of Rattan: Reflections on Vanishing Life in the Forests of Southeast Asia. Univ. of Hawai’i Press, Honolulu.

Namgyel, U., S. Siebert, S. Wang. 2008. Shifting Cultivation and Biodiversity Conservation in Bhutan. Conservation Biology 22:1349-1351.

Siebert, S.F. and J.M. Belsky. 2007. Reflections on Conservation Education and Practice in Bhutan. Journal of Bhutan Studies 16:83-111.

Siebert, S. F. 2005. The abundance and distribution of rattan over an elevation gradient in Sulawesi, Indonesia. Forest Ecology and Management 21:143-158.

Siebert, S.F. 2005. Traditional agriculture and the conservation of biological diversity in Crete, Greece. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability 2:109-117.

Siebert, S.F. 2004. Demographic effects of rattan cane collecting and implications for sustainable harvesting. Conservation Biology 18:424-431.

Siebert, S.F. 2003. Beyond Malthus and perverse incentives: economic globalization, forest conversion and habitat fragmentation. In: G.A. Bradshaw, P. Marquet; H.A. Mooney (eds). How Landscapes Change: Human Disturbance and Ecosystem Disruptions in the Americas. Spring-Verlag, Berlin.

Belsky, J.M. and S.F. Siebert. 2003. Cultivating cacao: implications of sun-grown cacao on local food security and environmental sustainability. Agriculture and Human Values 20:277-285.

Siebert, S.F. 2002. From shade to sun-grown perennial crops in Sulawesi, Indonesia: implications for biodiversity conservation and soil fertility. Biodiversity and Conservation 11:1889-1902.

Siebert, S.F. and J.M. Belsky. 2002. Livelihood security and protected area management. International Journal of Wilderness 8(3):38-42.

Norton, J., F. Bowannie, P. Peynetsa, W. Quandelacy, S. Siebert. 2002. Native American methods for conservation and restoration of semiarid emphemeral streams. J. Soil and Water Conservation 57(5):250-258.

Stier, S. and S.F. Siebert. 2002. The Kyoto Protocol: an opportunity for biodiversity restoration forestry. Conservation Biology 16:575-76.

Siebert, S.F. 2001. Tree cutting to float rattan to market: a threat to primary forests? Journal of Bamboo and Rattan 1:37-42.

Siebert, S.F. 2001. Nutrient levels in rattan (Calamus zollingeri) foliage and cane and implications for harvesting. Biotropica 33:361-363.

Siebert, S.F. 2001. Sustainable harvesting of wild rattan: viable concept or ecological oxymoron? Unasylva 52:36-45.

Guevara, M. and S.F. Siebert. 2001. The abundance and population structure of some economically important trees of Piedras Blancas National Park, Costa Rica. Brenesia 55-56:69-80.

Siebert, S.F. 2000. Abundance and growth of Desmoncus orthacanthos Mart. (Palmae) in response to light and ramet harvesting in five forest sites in Belize. Forest Ecology and Management 137:83-90.

Siebert, S.F. 2000. Survival and growth of rattan intercropped with coffee and cacao in agroforests of Indonesia. Agroforestry Systems 50:95-102.