Danielle's research focuses on the science-policy interfacemost notably, whether and how science is incorporated in environmental policy. Her work details formal and informal factors which influence the extent to and ways in which science is used to shape policy decision processes. To address this research topic, Danielle has spent the last year conducting ethnographic research in the state of Georgiadetailing the development of three water policy case studies in the state. With her dissertation, Danielle hopes to uncover best practices that can bridge science and policy in the future.
Katie Gibson is a Ph.D. student in Integrative Conservation (ICON) and Anthropology. She is broadly interested in institutional processes that marginalize or empower communities, drawing from the literature on environmental and social justice movements, land grabs and indigenous rights. Specifically, she is interested in how power is leveraged at varying scales within the climate policy arena to control resources in Latin America.
Kristen is a Ph.D. student in Integrative Conservation and Forestry and Natural Resources with regular involvement in lab activities. Her research focuses on the conservation of endangered pollinating bats that migrate between the U.S. and Mexico. Specifically, she is working on the conservation of the Mexican long-nosed bat, a species that feeds on and pollinates agaves, which people use to produce tequila and mezcal. Her work seeks to understand how to develop effective conservation strategies that are tailored to the unique social, political, and economic contexts of each area through which the bats migrate. She will assess the potential for different governance paradigms (e.g. market-based instruments, self-organization, regulatory) to aid in the conservation of this migratory species, as well explore the critiques and potential pitfalls of each of these governance paradigms. More information about her current and previous research can be found at kristenlear.wixsite.com/batconservation.
Dr. German is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology. Her scholarship has spanned the spectrum of theoretical to applied work, including the analysis of customary land rights and how they are shaped by processes of land rights formalization and neoliberal conservation; the impacts and governance of biofuels, land-based investments and large-scale land acquisitions; China's growing influence in the agricultural, forestry and mining sectors in southern Africa; community-based institutional innovations to foster more equitable and sustainable use of natural resources at landscape scale; the application of participatory action research to climate change adaptation; institutional learning and change within agricultural research and extension organizations; and the integration of social theory with participatory action research to catalyze governance innovations. Her work also spans critical and constructive paradigms, with much of her recent work focused on querying discursive claims of more powerful actors through a detailed look at evidence, and early work focused on methodological innovations to address social and environmental problems. She is attempting to bridge these traditions at present through a collaborative initiative at UGA that aims to foster synergy between critical social theory and community engagement.