As an environmental sociologist, I study and teach about how people make and respond to environmental change and how groups of people do or do not work out concerns about the material world. I am an assistant professor in the Department of Global Development (formerly Development Sociology) at Cornell University.
In China, I have worked with ecologists, geographers, anthropologists, and agricultural scientists to understand how people and landscapes respond to efforts at rural development, reforestation, and biodiversity conservation. In a new project, our team is joining sociology, landscape ecology, and genetics to examine patterns of crop disease unfolding in smallholder, cooperative, and corporate apple orchards.
In New York, I work with Cornell’s Community and Regional Development Institute to learn about community responses to flood risk in New York’s Hudson River estuary. I am also working with a group of conservation biologists to analyze relationships between biodiversity and socioeconomic status in urban areas around the world.
Some recent publications: in World Development, Explaining Heterogeneous Afforestation Outcomes: How Community Officials and Households Mediate Tree Cover Change in China; in the Journal of Peasant Studies, Ecological Civilization in the Mountains: How Walnuts Boomed and Busted in Southwest China; and in The China Quarterly, Stabilizing Forests and Communities: Accommodative Buffering within China’s Collective Forest Tenure Reform.