I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth & Environment at Franklin & Marshall College. I am the former Chair of the Planning Commission for the City of Lancaster, PA (2018-2021). As a political ecologist, I draw upon geography, anthropology, and history to explore how national and international sustainable development plans meet practice in people’s lives. I ground my research in local and regional histories in order to explore how power disparities affect land management and infrastructure developments, and I am especially interested in how differences across race, class, gender, and political power inform resource access and control, whether it be in the Brazilian Amazon or closer to home, in local development decisions.
My book is Governing the Rainforest: Sustainable Development Politics in the Brazilian Amazon. It won the Lynton Keith Caldwell Prize of the American Political Science Association’s Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) Section in 2020. The book is based on ten years of research concerning the links between development policies, infrastructure, conservation, and human rights in Brazil. My publications can be found in Development and Change, Antipode, Conservation and Society, People and Nature, Journal of Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies and Sciences, Human Ecology, International Environmental Agreements, and Third World Quarterly, as well as several book chapters and other popular outlets.
In addition to my research on sustainable development politics, my interests also include food systems, bicycling and inequality, and beekeeping. My interests tend to play out in my academic writing and sometimes also closer to home, which once included a houseboat in Washington, DC. Now I live on land, in Pennsylvania.
I was the “Green Teacher of the Year” at American University in 2016, and the Pennsylvania Environmental Resource Consortium named me a 2021 Sustainability Champion. I previously taught at American University’s School of International Service (SIS), where I was awarded recognition as Outstanding Teaching as a Term Faculty Member in 2015. I was a Fulbright Scholar in Brazil in 2007. My Ph.D. is in International Relations from American University’s School of International Service (’09). I also have a Certificate in Human Rights from the Washington College of Law and am a proud alumna of Oberlin College.
Please feel free to contact me .