Department of Forest Resources
Research Advisor: Jessica Leahy
Research project: Improving Small-Scale Forest Policy & Management through Social Learning and Modeling
A.S. Math & Science, Jefferson CC; B.S. Environmental Science and Policy, Clarkson University. My educational background includes environmental science and policy, statistics, and business administration. As an undergraduate my research focused primarily on two separate issues: the potential watershed degradation of a upstate New York landfill, and the social factors influencing Northern New York dairy farmer knowledge of anaerobic digester technology.
Describe your role on the SSI project:
As a M.S. student on the project, I am primarily responsible for running model simulations and data analysis in addition to knowledge to action and social learning activities. These activities will serve as my thesis research.
Describe your experience collaborating with SSI faculty:
I have found SSI faculty to be a close-knit group of researchers that collaborate willingly and effectively as a team. Throughout my experience with UMaine I have been impressed by the solidarity within the interdisciplinary SSI teams.
Describe your interactions with stakeholders and partners:
Thus far I have been in communication with multiple family forest stakeholders from 10 different organizations. These individuals have participated in several focus groups and surveys throughout our modeling process. We have found this interaction to be beneficial not only to the model development, but also to stakeholder engagement and legitimacy of our research.
How is SSI different from other projects in which you have been involved?
Most projects I have worked on in the past were not very collaborative in nature. SSI is different in that it is able to bring faculty members from multiple areas of expertise together on one project.
What experiences have you had on the SSI project that has changed your approach to how we solve problems?
I’ve found there is no “one size fits all” approach to solving problems in research. Often the best approach is one that combines multiple methodologies, tailoring the research process to match the problem at hand.