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I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Economics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I also hold an M.S. in Community Development and Applied Economics with a concentration in Ecological Economics from the University of Vermont.
My research focuses on the dual objectives of poverty alleviation and sustainable management of natural assets in transition economies. I analyze the degree to which rural livelihoods depend on natural assets and explore how programs that facilitate community management of natural resources can simultaneously serve as a pathway out of poverty and provide global public goods.
My starting point is the recognition that rural communities have a valuable connection to and important knowledge of ecosystems and that economic development need not be synonymous with rural-urban migration or large-scale industrial production or commercialization. I draw on the interdisciplinary fields of sustainable livelihoods, ecosystem services, institutional analysis and behavioral economics approaches to collective action.
My research connects household-level decision-making in response to changing institutional and ecological conditions with pressing global concerns such as climate change and poverty reduction.