My work broadly engages the theme of biocultural diversity and the intersections of landscape, language, and culture. Deeply concerned about parallel crises of extinction facing languages, ecosystems, and vernacular knowledge systems, I want to more directly link priorities of species conservation and language revitalization, seeing a powerful opportunity in a more multilingual and multicultural approach to conservation practice.
As an undergraduate my academic pursuits were divided between the sciences and humanities. Upon graduation I spent a year as a researcher investigating vector-borne diseases in migrating bird populations before joining the U.S. Peace Corps – first teaching in Western China and later working on sustainable development and marine, avian, and forestry conservation projects in the Fiji Islands. Over my years in academia I’ve worked at the University of Oxford and the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, as well as served as a research collaborator at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
The spark that forged this professional trajectory was ignited in a childhood love of a forest and a river in central Wisconsin, increased by the privilege of living and working with local communities around the world and reflected by the myriad ways language and culture hold deep time and deeply meaningful connections to local environments.