PhD Student, Integrative Conservation (ICON) & Anthropology
Research Partner, Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), Thimphu, Bhutan


Center for Integrative Conservation (CICR)
Homes-Hunter Academic Building, Room 325

BA Anthropology, Luther College 2011

BS Biology, Luther College 2011

Research Areas:
Research Interests:

Community-based conservation; Applied anthropology; Ethno-ecology; Ornithology, Bhutan

About My Research

In my research, I draw on the anthropology of place and landscape to explore the spatial dimensions of community-based Black-necked crane and White-bellied heron conservation in Bhutan.  I focus on the entanglements between lived religion, place-based local deities, species of conservation concern, and adaptive beliefs/traditions embedded in landscapes and along trans-national flyways, in the context of NGO conservation practice and protected area management. In partnership with the Royal Society for Protection of Nature (RSPN), this project prioritizes participatory mapping methodologies to foreground the cultural complexities of conservation spatiality in local communities where these birds are found, and in the process aims to create opportunities for community-owned storymapping and knowledge co-production informed by an integrative approach to collaborative scholarship and conservation applications.

White-bellied Heron Collaborative Mapping Interview


Of note:

Board Member, North Americas Regional Representative, International Society of Ethnobiology (ISE)


2016, National Geographic Society Young Explorers Grant

2016, Interdisciplinary and Innovative Research for Doctoral Students Grant

2014, International Crane Foundation (ICF) Grant

Selected Publications:

Hecht, David M. 2011. Acknowledging spiritual realities-ecological knowledge, cultural connections, and spiritual agency in Dai Theravada Buddhism -- Lambda Alpha Anthropology Honor Society Journal, v.41, p.15-22