My research interests fall under the umbrella of the social dimensions of conservation and sustainability.

  • Place Theory and Place-based Conservation
  • Landscape Aesthetics
  • Conservation Discourse and Communication
  • Environmental Education
  • Citizen Science

Dissertation Work

I am a conservation social scientist who focuses on environmental perception and how it influences people’s behaviors, ecotourism, and conservation decision-making. My PhD research asked the question, “What is the role of an iconic species in the formation of a person’s sense of place?” I examined this question with two case species, the live oak and Loggerhead sea turtle, from many angles on the Georgia Coast, including resident and tourist interviews, surveys, and participant photography.

Research Brief

Read about my research in this brief from the Center for Integrative Conservation at the University of Georgia:

Collaborative Art-Research Communication

See our collaborative sea turtle painting process below. With the residents and visitors to Jekyll Island, I created a pair of large scale paintings that include collaged responses to the question “What does the sea turtle/live oak mean to you?” The idea conveyed by both the process and the product of these artworks is that the iconic status of a species emerges from collective meanings, both similar and variant. These collected and collective meanings and values can help form that iconic image.


You can learn more about my research here:

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