I am an Associate Professor of Environmental Politics & Policy at Bucknell University in the Environmental Studies Program, and Director of the Program. Recently I was appointed the David and Patricia Ekedahl Professorship in Environmental Studies at Bucknell (2015-2020).
My research topics are environmental politics, water politics, environmental conflict, protests, extractive industry politics, public attitudes and environmental activism, nationalism and nature narratives. My most recent published work is on public opinion and environmental protests, and hydroenergy disputes in Kyrgyzstan. I am in the process of completing a 6 plus-year research project on environmental discourses, attitudes and disputes in Kyrgyzstan. From this project, my publications in progress include a study of gold mining politics and protests in Kyrgyzstan and work on discourses about the Kumtor Mine – the only open pit mine in the world operating on glaciers. I’ve also begun cross-national comparative research on nationalisms, identity politics, and discourses about nature, with a focus on gold mines, dam construction and waterways, and shale gas drilling (“fracking”). A few years ago my students and I started research on portrayals of Marcellus Shale activism – “fracktivism” – in central Pennsylvania. In the last year, I launched a research project on place-based identity, environmentalism and shale gas drilling attitudes in central Pennsylvania. As I wrap up these projects, I plan to return to an extension of my dissertation work on the Aral Sea.
Previously, I worked for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), as an Environmental and Economics Officer (EEO) in their Osh Field Office, Kyrgyzstan (2006-2007). I was an Assistant Professor of International and Comparative Political Economy and Sustainable Development in the Political Science and Women’s Studies departments at Northeastern Illinois University from 2002-2005, and a Visiting Lecturer in Public Policy & Political Economy at the American University in Central Asia (Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan; 2001), Tbilisi State University and Georgian Technical University (Tbilisi, Georgia; 1999-2000). During my time lecturing in Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, I worked for the Civic Education Project, and served as the Academic Coordinator for the Caucasus (1999-2000).
I received my M.A. in International Studies and Ph.D. in International Relations and Public Policy from Claremont Graduate University’s School of Politics and Economics (SPE) in 2002. My dissertation was entitled, Silent Chernobyls: Ecological Degradation, Macroeconomic Policies & Political Institutions, and included a case study of Aral Sea crisis politics. In 1995, I received my B.A. at Syracuse University‘s Maxwell School in Political Science and Russian Language, Literature, and Culture.