Inger  Birkeland Author of Evaluating Organization Development

Inger Birkeland

Professor, PhD
University College of Southeast Norway

Inger Birkeland is a human geographer (PhD from University of Oslo). She is currently professor in human geography at University College of Southeast Norway. She has taught at several universities and colleges in Norway covering topics from tourism, culture studies and cultural theory, to human geography, at University of Oslo, University of Bergen, and University College of Telemark/University College of Southeast Norway.


My general research interest is nature‐society relations, and the role of culture for a transition to a sustainable future have been a major focus of research for many years. Place is a core concept in this research as the concept affords context‐sensitive analyses and acts as a bridge between nature and culture, the global and the local, and between agency (human and/or natural) and structural factors. Earlier on, I was much inspired by feminist and other critical approaches to modern knowledge‐production and instrumental reason, as the environmental and climate crises the world faces, are just as much a crisis in reason. Post‐humanism and post‐nature approaches have grown important over time, as these ways of thinking do not pose the relationship between nature and society in dualist terms. Such approaches are very relevant for analyzing many contemporary processes, like the regeneration of post-industrial regions. I have spent some years researching the cultural sustainability of former industrial towns Rjukan and Notodden in Norway, which gained UNESCO World Heritage Status in 2015. From doing research with schools and kindergartens and other cultural institutions in these towns since 2005 and with place pedagogy as an approach to education for sustainable development, I have come to understand learning as a key process in community sustainability. In 2014 I published a book (Kulturelle hjørnesteiner, published in Norwegian by Cappelen Damm Akademisk) from this research.

Areas of Research / Professional Expertise

    My research experience is nature-society relations, people and place, cultural sustainability, heritage studies, and place pedagogies as an approach to education for sustainable development. Recent research interests are uses of industrial heritage and the overall greening of cultural theory with a particular interest in cross-disciplinary landscape studies.


Featured Title
 Featured Title - Cultural Sustainability and the Nature-Culture:Birkeland - 1st Edition book cover