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Nicole is currently a PhD student in the Geographical Sciences department at the University of Maryland as well as a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Her research interests lie at the intersection of rural development, sustainable agriculture, and gendered empowerment. Specifically, she is investigating regional foood hubs as tools for community change with a focus on their relationship to female farmers as a disadvantaged group in agriculture. Alongside her advisor Dr. Julie Silva she has also taught courses in economic geography and evaluated the effects of nature-based tourism on levels of poverty and inequality in communities of southern Africa. At SESYNC, Nicole works with Dr. Jonathan Kramer and helps coordinate and facilitate the Graduate Research Program, including graduate workshops and the growing number of Gradaute Pursuits. Nicole is also a Co-Investigator for a study with Dr. Kramer that explores the various processes and team dynamics that shape experiences and determine outcomes for graduate students involved in socio-environmental synthesis research.