Justin Farrell

Professor of Sociology

Photo of Justin Farrell


Faculty Support

Julie Cohen

Room 123
Kroon Hall
195 Prospect Street
New Haven, CT

Room - The Social World


Ph.D. Sociology
University of Notre Dame



Justin Farrell is a professor and author at Yale University. His research tackles questions of environment, politics, human culture, and policy using a mixture of methods, blending ethnographic fieldwork with large-scale computational techniques from network science and machine learning.

His research has been published by Princeton University Press, the Proceedings of the National Academy of SciencesNature Climate Change, the American Sociological ReviewSocial Problems, among others, and funded by the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation (NSF CAREER). His books and articles have won national awards from the American Sociological Association, American Library Association, used on the floor of the U.S. Senate, and covered by major media outlets such as the New York Times, LA Times, The Economist, Washington Post, HBO, WIRED, Bloomberg, and the Financial Times.

National Science Foundation RAPID - COVID-19 grant, $178,698, PI, RAPID award, “Impacts of COVID-19 Pandemic on Rural Attitudes about Federal Aid and Recovery.” NSF Sociology Program

National Science Foundation CAREER award, $417,029, PI, “The Effect of Energy Transition on Rural America: Innovative Methods to Study Cultural, Technological, and Economic Change”, NSF Sociology Program, 2018-2023


  • United Nations, invited talk, “COVID-19 and poverty in rural areas: the experience of the United States”
  • New research article: "Impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on rural America" Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences


“Effects of land dispossession and forced migration on Indigenous peoples in North America”

Science (Research Article, revised and resubmitted)


See website for publications, policy/media engagement, and lab information for prospective students: 


Recent News:

Bill_Wild_cover Billionaire Wilderness
The Ultra-Wealthy and
the Remaking of the American West

"Justin Farrell explores a bold new understanding of nature and people…startling, provocative, and respectful analysis of conservation…will ignite important future scholarship. A must-read."—Thomas E. Lovejoy

"Excellent and inspiring" - The Los Angeles Times

“Such painstaking and commendable thoroughness. . . . carefully researched.” 
- New York Review of Books

"This important and innovative book offers a rarely seen glimpse into the lives of the ultra-wealthy, exploring the ways in which they think about status, social inequality, privilege, and the environment in a context where all of these factors collide on a regular basis."—David Naguib Pellow

“This is the sort of book you didn’t know you needed until after you pick it up.” – Los Angeles Review of Books

"[Farrell] does a good job in exploring the attitudes not only of the poor…but also the rich…Highlights the contradictions between local nods to conservation by the wealthy and the wider negative impact of their businesses, including on climate change." -The Financial Times

"One of the most fascinating and important portraits of modern American life." -Porchlight

"Clearly outlines the roots of the problems: policy, western mythologies, tax breaks, and selfishness." - Outside Magazine

"Farrell has done a massive amount of research in this absorbing study of the ultra-rich and their effect on the community." -Denver Post

Bill_Wild_cover The Battle for Yellowstone
Morality and the Sacred
Roots of Environmental Conflict

"The most original political book of early 2015" 


Course Fall 2021 Spring 2022 Fall 2022 Spring 2023
Sociology of Sacred Values: Modernity, Ecology, and Policy
Th - 8:00-10:50
Western Lands and Communities Field Clinic: Research to Practice
O - based on student schedules