Immersion Program Participants 2015-2016

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For more information about the Socio-Environmental Immersion Program, click here.

Steven Alexander, University of Waterloo

Degrees: PhD (candidate) Social and Ecological Sustainability, University of Waterloo
MS Science Education, Montana State University Bozeman
BS Geology, St. Lawrence University   

Current Research: Applying novel multi-method and interdisciplinary approaches to better understand the relationship between diverse governance arrangements, managed ecosystems, and natural resource management outcomes.   

Meghan Avolio, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University
MS Biology, Fordham University
BA Biology, Barnard College   

Current Research: The effects of global change drivers on plant populations, communities, and ecosystem function in grasslands and plant biodiversity in cities.

Noelle Beckman, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior & Minor Statistics, University of Minnesota Twin Cities
BS Biology, Washington and Lee University   

Current Research: Mechanisms that influence plant spatial patterns and population spread under global change integrating empirical, statistical, and mathematical approaches.

Elizabeth Daut, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Veterinary Pathobiology/Applied Biodiversity Science, Texas A&M
DVM, Cornell University
BS Biology, Virginia Tech   

Current Research: Disease risk facing native U.S. wildlife associated with the importation of exotic animals for the pet industry; evaluation of mitigation strategies.

Jampel Dell’Angelo, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Environmental Sciences and Technology, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona - ICTA
PhD International Cooperation and Sustainable Development, Sapienza Università di Roma – CIRPS
Master in Energy and Environmental Management, Sapienza University of Rome
MS Environment and Development, London School of  Economics and Political Science
BS Environmental Economics, Università degli Studi di Siena   

Current Research: The institutional drivers and socio-environmental dynamics of large-scale land acquisitions; in particular, the transition from small-scale systems of agricultural production to large-scale land exploitation.

Stacia Dreyer, University of Washington   

Degrees: PhD Environmental Psychology and Behavioral Economics, University of Maine
MEd Environmental Education, Western Washington University
BA Psychology, Truman State University   

Current Research: The acceptability of and support for tidal energy in Washington State and the factors that influence acceptability and support; procedural and distributive justice in relation to the development of marine renewable energy.

Katie Fiorella, Cornell University

Degrees: PhD Environmental Science, Policy & Management, University of California, Berkeley
MPH Epidemiology, University of California, Berkeley
AB Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University   

Current Research: Interactions between ecosystem change, livelihoods, food access, and human health; the consequences of declining fish availability around Lake Victoria and gains in smallholder farm production in Western Kenya.

Anya Galli, University of Maryland

Degrees: PhD (candidate) Sociology, University of Maryland
MA Sociology, University of Maryland
BA Psychology, Women's Studies & Studio Art, St. Olaf College   

Current Research: Environmental inequality and industrial pollution in the US; the socio-political determinants of disproportionate emissions in the coal-fired power industry.

David Gill, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Natural Resources Management (Resource Economics), University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
MS Natural Resources Management, Coastal and Marine Resource Management, University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados
BS Marine Biology, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Current Research: Using monitoring data from marine protected areas around the world, my research examines the linkages between how marine protected areas are governed and ecological outcomes.

Vicken Hillis, Arizona State University   

Degrees: PhD Ecology, UC Davis
MS International Agricultural Development, UC Davis
BA Economics, Georgetown University   

Current Research: Farmer adoption of disease management in perennial crops; mechanisms by which socially-transmitted information shapes farmer decision making and broader agroecological outcomes.

Allison Howard, University of Maryland

Degrees: PhD Psychology, University of Georgia
MS Psychology, University of Georgia
BA Biology & BS Spanish, Appalachian State University   

Current Research: How landscape variables influence animal movement choices as well as how these variables shape the content of animal spatial memory.

Michelle Johnson, U.S. Forest Service

Degrees: PhD Ecology and Environmental Sciences, University of Maine
MS Natural Resource Planning, University of Vermont
BS Biology, Eckerd College   

Current Research: Spatial analyses of environmental stewardship organizations' activities, a qualitative case study of interdisciplinary research & management efforts, and participatory social-ecological modeling.

Matthew LaFevor, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Geography, University of Texas at Austin
MA Business Administration (International), Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, Mexico
BA International Studies (Latin America), Rhodes College, Memphis, TN

Current Research: Social and biophysical trends, drivers, and impacts of changes in hillslope cultivation; namely, the abandonment, management, and building of agricultural terraces around the world.

Joe Maher, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland
MS Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Maryland
BS Political Science and Environmental Studies, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Current research: Energy efficiency policy, valuation of ecosystem services, and issues at the intersection of forestry and climate change

Philippe Marchand, SESYNC   

Degrees: PhD Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley
MS, BS Physics, University of Ottawa   

Current Research: Describing the foraging and dispersal behavior of organisms through individual-based simulation models that incorporate various types of evidence.

Paul McCord, Indiana University   

Degrees: PhD (candidate) Geography, Indiana University
Masters Geography, Michigan State University
Bachelors Economics, Michigan State University   

Current Research: Smallholder decision making and water management within semi-arid environments; adaptive practices within communities near Mount Kenya.

Heather Randell, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Sociology, Brown University
Master of Environmental Management (MEM), Duke University
BS Biology, Cornell University   

Current Research: The forced migration of rural farmers due to the construction of the Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian Amazon; socioeconomic and livelihood impacts of displacement; forced migration decision-making process.

Giovanni Rapacciuolo, UC Berkeley   

Degrees: PhD Biodiversity and Global Change, Imperial College London
MS Biology, Imperial College London   

Current Research: The relationship among taxonomic, phylogenetic, and trait diversity of New World terrestrial vertebrates and how it may be impacted by future global change.

Kathryn Sobocinski, NOAA 

Degrees: PhD Fish Ecology, College of William & Mary
MS Nearshore Fish Ecology, University of Washington
BA Environmental Studies, Connecticut College   

Current Research: How environmental variables influence the distribution and abundance of flatfishes on the Oregon coast; transdisciplinary educational models for graduate education in marine resources.

Phillip Staniczenko, University College London

Degrees: DPhil Condensed Matter Physics, University of Oxford
MPhys Physics, University of Oxford

Current Research: The effect of deforestation and urbanization on ecological networks representing interactions between species in a community (e.g., food webs, plant–pollinator, and host–parasitoid networks).

Chris Trisos, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Zoology, University of Oxford
Masters in Integrative Bioscience, University of Oxford
BS Honours Botany, University of Cape Town
BS Ecology and Economics, University of Cape Town   

Current Research: Using phylogenies and citizen science data to estimate rates of colonization and local extinction to understand why some species in the genus Protea are more resilient to environmental change.

Nicola Ulibarri, Stanford University   

Degrees: PhD Environment & Resources (focus on environmental governance), PhD Minor in Civil & Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
MSc Nature, Society & Environmental Policy, University of Oxford
BA Social Anthropology, Harvard University   

Current Research: Testing collaborative water permitting processes to improve efficiency, effectiveness, and sustainability; identifying whether drought planning affected water management practices and impacts in the California drought.

Jenny Zambrano, SESYNC

Degrees: PhD Biology, University of Illinois at Chicago
BS Biology, Universidad de Los Andes, Bogota, Colombia   

Current Research: The effects of functional neighborhood, climate, and geographical location on tree performance, defined as growth and survival, using spatially-explicit models.