Coastal Resources Center & RI Sea Grant
University of Rhode Island
I am an interdisciplinary social scientist interested in developing strategies to support environmental health and human well-being. I study the intersections of social, ecological, and political dimensions of fisheries and coastal management. I believe sustainable and healthy futures for coastal communities require environmentally and socially just management and governance developed through interdisciplinary, place-based, community-informed research and collective action. In my current work, I am supporting the development of an Integrated Ecosystem Assessment regarding interactions between fisheries and offshore wind in the Gulf of Maine. The work is supported through a partnership between the URI Coastal Resources Center, NOAA's Northeast Fisheries Science Center, and the Responsible Offshore Development Alliance (RODA).
Click here for more information about my current research and other projects.
I received my PhD in Marine Science and Conservation from Duke University in 2023. My dissertation research focused on knowledge and power in the governance of salmon and Nuu-chah-nulth rights - based fisheries on the west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. I conducted the research with the permission, partnership, and guidance of Tla-o-qui-aht First Nations and Ha'oom Fishing Society, with intent to support five Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations' path towards self determination through agency in fisheries governance.
I came to the social sciences from an initial background in marine biology and intertidal ecology. I conducted my undergraduate studies at Oregon State University, with research supported by the OSU Novak Lab. My undergraduate thesis led to a collaborative project between multiple stakeholders on the Oregon coast to inform a community supported fishery. I also co-lead the OSU Divest student campaign demanding OSU remove their investments in fossil fuels and redistribute those funds in portfolios supporting environmental and social justice initiatives and renewable energy technology. OSU Divest was ultimately successful in its mission. Through working with stakeholders in my research and learning about intersectional environmental justice in Divest organizing, I became interested in more community and politically focused areas of research, prompting my transition in disciplines. While at Duke University, under the mentorship of Dr. Grant Murray, I developed skills in multiple branches of the environmental and critical social sciences and built applied research with communities in North Carolina and Canada. I aim to develop environmentally sustainable and socially just coastal management through reflexive, relational, community driven research.
Fostering healthy relationships with the natural world is core to my life beyond academia and activism. I grew up privileged to always live nearby to water, mountains, and forests, and to always have family and mentors who valued enjoying and caring for these spaces. I am an avid runner, gardener, hiker, backpacker, and camper and I am lucky to have access to these ways of connecting with the world around me. In my work, I am motivated by a desire to shift our society's relationships to the environment from extractive practices to more sustainable relationships built upon care and reciprocity. I am also driven by the fear, grief, and anger that accompanies watching the effects of climate change destroy places I love, and the lives of millions of people. I maintain hope through a vision of a more environmentally and socially just future for all people, and through the knowledge that this vision is shared by so many who are willing to study, work, and fight to build that future.