I am a PhD student in Geography at UCSB curious to understand human-environment dynamics in the developing world. Through the lens of improving development policy, my research leverages a combination of remote sensed imagery analysis, structured and semi-structured interviews, government datasets, and statistical modeling. My dissertation measures and maps the environmental and socioeconomic determinants of inter-urban food security within Accra, Ghana. This research couples remote-sensing with household surveys and qualitative research methods. By investigating urbanization, poverty, and food security, I seek to advance our scientific understanding of these links to ultimately build policies that ensure food security across West Africa, and around the world.
I recently completed an applied remote sensing study of land use-cover change in Roatán, Honduras, between 1985 and 2015. Specially, I compare the effects of recent hyper urbanization and tourism development to Hurricane Mitch on mangrove deforestation. This study is a part of broader, integrated public health, epidemiological, medical and environmental research, led by UCSF, in Roatán. My preliminary results were featured on Nasa's Earth Observatory website (see link below).
I grew up in Missoula, Montana, and attended The George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs. My prior work experience is global in perspective, ranging from Montana to Washington, D.C. to Ghana to Eastern Europe, a mix of volunteer and paid positions with international NGOs, on Capitol Hill and for political campaigns. In 2011, I received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach and conduct research in Sliven, Bulgaria.
Grants, Awards and Distinctions:
UCSB President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship. $24,500.
UCSB Faculty Senate Graduate Travel Fellowship. $1,350.
Jack & Laura Dangermond Geography Travel Scholarship. $1,000.
UCSB Dept. of Geography Graduate Summer Research Funding. $2,400.
Earth Research Institute Graduate Fellowship - 2017. $1,500.00
U.S. Borlaug Fellow in Global Food Security - 2016. $23,835.00
Broom Center Graduate Research and Travel Grant - 2015, 2016, 2017
Fulbright Scholar - Sliven, Bulgaria 2011-2012.