I am an environmental anthropologist who uses interdisciplinary and collaborative approaches to study conservation in working landscapes. Through my research, I seek to systematically describe how people view, act towards, and are affected by environmental policy in order to suggest new directions for conservation that are grounded in people's lived experiences. In doing so, I aim to promote more just, sustainable, and livable landscapes for all.
My current research activities are divided between two projects. First, my dissertation research, which I conducted in collaboration with Adivasi (indigenous) activists in central India, explored how people’s encounters with wildlife related to their perceptions of the legitimacy of conservation. This research outlined a stepwise process by which past and present human-wildlife encounters influence local political economies in uneven ways that, in turn, affect both the implementation of conservation and people’s experiences of it. This work highlighted how the Adivasi activists' efforts to create more equitable political economies gave rise to new perspectives on how to legitimize conservation.
Second, in my postdoctoral research at UMCES, I am investigating how technical assistance providers engage with farmers about soil and water conservation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, USA. This project involves collaborative research with technical assistance providers to understand variation in the effectiveness of different engagement strategies across the watershed. This research is part of a larger interdisciplinary project that is working with stakeholders to create a 25-year vision for sustainable and thriving agriculture in the Chesapeake watershed. Our results will be integrated with nutrient movement and economic models to inform policy-makers on how best to achieve that vision.
- PhD (2019), Anthropology, The University of Georgia
- BA (2012), Sociology and Anthropology, Carleton College
- Biological Conservation2021