Student Profiles

Lauren Abbott

Ph.D. Candidate. Recreation, Park and Tourism Management and HDNRE

Research Interests


Jordan Blair

Ph.D. Candidate. Recreation, Park and Tourism Management and HDNRE

Matthew Branch

Ph.D Candidate. Geography and HDNRE

Research Interests

Cultural ecology, political ecology, South Asia, ethnography, human dimensions of natural resources, direct action activism

About Matt

Matt is a third-year Ph.D. candidate studying under James McCarthy who recently began Fulbright-Hays sponsored fieldwork in Bhutan. He will bethere for nine months, researching Bhutan's concept of Gross National Happiness (GNH) and how it is connected to the country's environment governance. His research involves interviewing government officials, NGO employees, and others working at the intersection of policy and the environment to understand their perceptions of how Bhutan's natural resources are tied to GNH. Additionally, Matt is working with high school environmental clubs throughout the country to collect information on how traditional institutions of environmental governance are interacting with new GNH policies.

More information about Matthew Branch.

Sarah Eissler

Ph.D. Candidate. Rural Sociology and HDNRE

Janet Ellsworth

Ph.D. Forest Resources and HDNRE

Elyzabeth Engle

Ph.D. Candidate. Rural Sociology and HDNRE

Andrea Ferich

M.S. Candidate in Forest Resources and HDNRE

Research Interests

  • Watershed Management,
  • Ecological Restoration,
  • Remote Sensing,
  • Community-based Landscape Management,
  • Multifunctional Riparian Buffers,
  • Agroforestry, Water Quality, Wildlife, Landowner Values and Behaviors

Lacey Goldberg

Ph.D. Candidate, Architecture

Research Interest

Energy resources, both non-renewable and renewable and their visual impacts upon the land.

Jennifer Haney

Ph.D. Candidate. Anthropology and HDNRE

Research Interests

Archaeology, Paleoethnobotany, maintenance of anthropogenic environments associated with subsistence economies, plant domestication, resource choices, and issues of sustainability. Additional research interests include textile and pottery technology.

About Jen

Jen's dissertation work focuses on the use, (potential) management, and sustainability of fuelwood supplies along the South Florida coast. Jen is currently analyzing wood charcoal from the Pineland Site Complex (AD 200-1500) located on Pine Island in Charlotte Harbor near Fort Myers. This site is open to the public. Her research will document changes in fuelwood use through time, highlighting any impacts and changes to the local environment and availability of local wood resources. This research will contribute to larger topical concerns of environmental change and their effects on coastal habitats (i.e., mangrove forests) by establishing a 'deep history' baseline. Worldwide, mangrove forests are disappearing at an alarming rate and avenues to sustainable resource management and conservation are urgently needed. 

More information about Jennifer Haney.

Daniel Kunches

Ph.D. Candidate. Geography and HDNRE

Research Interests

Political Ecology, Land Use, The Western United States, Parks

About Daniel

Daniel's research focuses on the Merced River Plan and the political ecology of conservation.

More information about Daniel Kunches.

Seth Tanner

Ph.D. Candidate. Rural Sociology and HDNRE

Grace Wildermuth

M.S. Rural Sociology and HDNRE

Research Interests

Finding ways as a researcher to uncover the reasoning behind some of these community-based natural resource decisions that are often labeled as environmentally unfriendly or unethical. What must happen in order for a community to make a different decision. What needs must be met? Would they even change their position if those needs had been met, or does their decision rest more soundly in community identity perhaps? What role does power and privilege play in controlling discourse and dialogue around the issue? I think these are all questions that need to be asked when considering "community-based" decision-making about natural resources.