Interdisciplinary Research & Teaching
Environmental change is dynamic, yet - coupled with major shifts in socio-political and economic processes - these changes create complex problems that cannot be addressed by scholars in one discipline alone. Such complexity creates opportunity for improved decision-making strategies, including communicating and collaborating across disciplines. The NSF-IGERT Fellowship (Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) enabled me to collaborate with biologists, ecologists, economists, and sociologists from Day 1 of my doctoral program at the University of Idaho. We integrated our disciplinary perspectives to design and implement applied research projects. Read more about my work with The Sagebrush Team and our contributions to scholarship and to public lands management in the Western United States.
My disciplinary research interests involve democratic processes and decision-making for public lands and natural resource management. Collaborative and adaptive natural resource management contexts provide opportunities to analyze conversations among participants representing diverse points of view. Using interview and workshop methods, I import communicative action theory and employ qualitative analytical techniques to explain how these planning and decision-making settings enable or interrupt participants' learning about the issue and about each other (social learning). Litigation is another institutional process in public lands contexts, and I work to describe its positive and negative influence on human well-being at individual and community scales.
Community Service & Engagement
At home, I volunteer with the Miami University Natural Areas as Curator for Silvoor Biological Sanctuary. This 5 acre wildflower preserve comprises a mosaic of university and private land ownership, requiring a unique approach to collaborative management. Active projects include invasive Amur honeysuckle removal and educational programming. A Silvoor Stories blog is coming soon!
Ecosystem Services, Social System Services & Human Well-Being
2011 - 2015
University of Idaho
Ph.D. Environmental Science
Natural Resource Management
Litigation, Deliberation & Collaboration
Testimony & Trust
Epistemic diversity for conservation planning
2009 - 2011
Texas A&M University
M.S. Recreation, Park & Tourism Sciences
2003 - 2007
Texas A&M University