Scholarly and Creative Interests

As an environmental anthropologist and human ecologist, my work is highly collaborative and transdisciplinary, contributing to theory within the fields of anthropology, sociology, human ecology, and political science. My scholarship explores human-environment interactions within food systems, focusing particularly on the ways in which social, economic, and political conditions influence on-farm practices. 

 

My dissertation examined the factors that affect farmers’ adoption of pollinator conservation practices in the lowbush blueberry industries of Maine and Prince Edward Island (PEI). My research explored how farmers are adapting their pollination management practices in the face of declining bee populations. Maine and PEI have similar climates and economies but dissimilar agricultural policies, leading to distinct differences in pollination management between the two locations. My research compared the two regions to help improve our understanding of the complex contexts within which agricultural conservation takes place. The work demonstrated that, contrary to popular rhetoric, conservation decisions are rarely the result of farmers’ individual choices; rather, farmers’ practices are constrained by the economic conditions, policies, and social norms within their communities. 

Community Engagement and Advocacy

  • Steering Committee Member, Maine Food Strategy. 2016-present
  • Technical Committee Member, Northeast SARE. 2016–present
  • Guide Coordinator & Naturalist Volunteer, Orono Bog Boardwalk, Orono, Maine. 2012—present
  • Volunteer, Master Gardener Program, Maine. 2011—present
  • Member, Portland Pollinator Project, Portland, Maine. 2014—2015

Honors and Awards

  • 2016 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Outstanding Graduate Student Award, University of Maine
  • 2015 The Sarah Jane White Spruce Memorial Scholarship
  • 2015 College of Liberal Arts & Sciences Graduate Student Excellence in Research and Creative Activity Award, University of Maine
  • 2013 Maine Studies Graduate Student Research and Creativity Award, University of Maine
  • 2012 School of Forest Resources Distinguished Service Award, University of Maine
  • 2009 Presidential Scholar Award, Department of Anthropology, Western Michigan University
  • 2007 AmeriCorps Education Award