Robert Gardner

PhD, University of Colorado at Boulder
BA, Bowling Green State University, Ohio

Dr. Robert Gardner teaches sociology, anthropology and environmental studies at Linfield College. He conducts research and outreach activities focused on rural homelessness and citizen volunteerism in response to community problems.

“Another face of homelessness,” a 2010 guest editorial in The Oregonian, was published by numerous newspapers across the country. Dr. Gardner contributed to Making Sense of Intractable Environmental Conflicts, a book about growth-related environmental conflicts that received the 2004 Outstanding Book Award from the International Association for Conflict Management.


Jeff Peterson

PhD, University of Texas at Austin
MA, University of Texas at Austin
BS, Washington State University

Sociology Professor Jeff Peterson directs the Linfield Center for the Northwest. His research and teaching focuses on immigration, social movements and citizenship, and race and ethnicity. Special interests include Hispanic housing issues and Habitat for Humanity, and Latino immigrants in small Oregon communities.

Dr. Peterson’s analysis of immigration patterns, poverty and homelessness included a two-year period living in a squatter camp in Mexico to research homelessness and how people work to gain services for their communities. He has led students on homelessness immersion experiences in Portland, Oregon. Peterson has also worked on housing issues with Habitat for Humanity, both in Oregon and Guatemala, assessing the needs of Habitat families and the success of the programs.

(503) 883-5269