Specializing in cultural and ecological anthropology, I'm drawn to the human dimensions of environmental governance and conservation.
Over the past 14 years, I've held diverse socioenvironmental positions in the academic, non-profit, and governmental sectors in North and South America (Brazil and Paraguay). These experiences have shaped my professional vision: to do collaborative, interdisciplinary, inclusive, and engaged research and outreach that brings together diverse actors to creatively address socioecological challenges at local and global scales.
My current doctoral research explores the socioecological dimensions of small-scale fisheries governance in a marine protected area in Northeastern Brazil. I draw from the social sciences, natural sciences (fish sampling), and visual arts (photography), to understand how environmental governance intersects with considerations of: wellbeing, sustainability, food security, livelihoods, environmental justice, gender, diverse economies, and knowledge systems. Within the context of research and environmental governance discussions, I highly value the recognition of different "ways of knowing" and worldviews (i.e. epistemological and ontological pluralism).
Fieldwork (2016 - 2017) was carried out with support from the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program, local fishing communities, my host university Universidade Estadual do Maranhão, the Brazilian conservation agency ICMBio, and a crowdfunded Kickstarter grant.
Ph.D. Candidate, Anthropology & Integrative Conservation. University of Georgia. Expected graduation: May 2019.
B.S. Environmental Science & Communications. 2004. University of South Alabama. Mobile, Alabama. Designed program tailored for work in Latin America that blended environmental sciences, communications, & Spanish.
Portuguese Language & Cultural Program. Summer semester 2015. Florianópolis, Santa Catarina, Brazil.
Spanish Language & Cultural Program. Summer semester 2002. University of Veracruz, Xalapa, México.
2018. U.S. Borlaug Summer Institute on Global Food Security (summer fellowship). Purdue University, Indiana.
2018. UGA Graduate School Travel Grant. Presented on art-environment-science linkages in dissertation research at Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference. University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.
2017. Kickstarter (crowdfunded) award for carrying out community photography exhibit to disseminate research results in an inclusive and engaging manner.
2015. Fulbright U.S. Scholar Award for future dissertation research in Brazil. Offered via Bureau of Educational Affairs, U.S. Department of State.
2015. Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship for Intensive Portuguese study in Florianópolis. Via UGA’s Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute and U.S. Department of Education.
2014. Tinker Foundation-UGA Graduate Field Research Award for pre-dissertation research in Brazil. Offered via UGA’s Latin American & Caribbean Studies Institute & Tinker Foundation, Inc.
2014. Innovative & Interdisciplinary Research Grant for pre-dissertation work in Brazil. UGA Graduate School.
2002. University of South Alabama’s Caldwell Scholarship for study abroad. University of Veracruz, Xalapa, México.