207 Bruckner Hall
As a faculty member in resource policy and management, my teaching, outreach, and research focus on the interaction between social and ecological systems. My training is in sociology, and I use the theories and methodologies of this discipline as a lens for examining a broad array of human/environment conflicts. I am particularly interested the challenges that rapid social and ecological changes pose for the sustainability of forested ecosystems, watersheds, and human communities.
My current research activity examines (i) the sustainability of resource-dependent communities, especially as they transition to natural resource-based tourism development; (ii) environmental risk perception and management at the community level; (iii) causes and consequences of land-use change along a gradient from very rural to very urban systems, with an emphasis on the urban-rural fringe; (iv) natural resource-based decision making among private (agricultural and forest) landowners; and (v) socio-ecological factors that underlie attachment to place and foster subsequent environmental behavior.
I am serving the New York Dept. of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Division of Lands and Forests to serve as New York representatives on the Northeastern Area Association of State Foresters Forest Resource Planners Committee, and am also serving on the State Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committee that provides guidance to the NYDEC Division of Lands and Forests.
My teaching, both at the graduate and undergraduate level, operates at the boundary between social and ecological systems. I currently teach an undergraduate course that introduces students to social science perspectives on environmental problems, and trains them for later in-depth. I created and taught a graduate course that links graduate students with training in ecology to those from the social sciences to focus on socio-ecological system health. Finally, I have developed and am in the process of implementing (for 2012) a course on the human dimensions of coupled systems, intended for seniors who have had training in both ecology and social science