For more information about graduate involvement opportunities in CHE, see our Graduate Involvement Opportunities worksheet. To apply for Grad Associate status, see the instructions on our Become an Associate page.

Photo of Danya Al-Saleh

Danya Al-Saleh
Danya Al-Saleh is a PhD Student in Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her research interests include higher education, knowledge production, the oil and gas industry, and feminist ethnographic methodologies. Her doctoral research focuses on the internationalization of U.S. higher education through branch campuses in the Arabian Peninsula, specifically in Qatar. Through this research, she is examining the shifting relationship between universities and the oil and gas industry in the realm of engineering education and research. She also has conducted research on the role of the American University in Cairo in Cairo's uneven urban development through a historical geographic study of the university's 2008 move to its New Cairo campus.

Photo of Kathleen Alfin

Kathleen Alfin
Kathleen Alfin is a graduate student in the History Department focusing on African History. Her primary research interests revolve around Liberian-U.S. military relations during the early 20th century, in particularly during the First and Second World War. In addition to African History, she is also interested in Environmental History, especially the influence that militaries and warfare have had on the environment. She has a Bachelor of the Arts in History from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Masters of Science in International Relations with a Concentration in Regional Studies of Africa and the Middle East from Troy State University.

Photo of Christine Anhalt-Depies

Christine Anhalt-Depies
Christine Anhalt-Depies is a PhD candidate in the Dept. of Forest & Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She studies the social dynamics of public participation in scientific research and integrates both social and ecological data to better understand how citizen science operates within complex social-ecological systems. Her dissertation is focused on how different models for citizen science influence public understanding of and engagement with natural resources. She is part of an interdisciplinary research team examining Snapshot Wisconsin, a newly initiated effort to engage citizens in wildlife monitoring through the use of camera traps.
Contact | Website

Photo of Mohammed Rafi Arefin

Mohammed Rafi Arefin
I am PhD student in the Geography Department working with Dr. Sarah Moore. My research interests sit at the intersection of urban geography, postcolonial theory, critical development studies, and psychoanalytic theory. In relation to waste, the production of sanitized space, hygienic subjects, and difference enforced through cleanliness/filth, my work seeks to understand the intimate relationship between garbage and its management, culture, power and politics. While this relationship is often foreclosed in technomanagerial rhetoric, I seek to understand the place of garbage in social theory and everyday life. I am exploring these interests in the work coming out of my Masters on Cairo, a collaborative project on hoarding, and in my research assistantship on the hazardous waste trade.

Photo of Lauren Ayers

Lauren Ayers
I am a graduate student in the Department of History concentrating on American Environmental History. As an undergraduate at the University of Texas, I traveled to South Asia, interned for the federal government and wrote a senior thesis on a southern plains town. After graduating, I volunteered in West Africa. The places I live, the people I meet, and the work I come across along the way all inspire me. As such, I'm curious about energy systems, the development of waterways and the connection to urban growth and rural development, the relationship between oil and cattle, and the history of place. I'd also love to do a transnational environmental history on the green revolution.

Photo of Adriana Barrios

Adriana Barrios
Adriana Barrios was born and raised in San Diego, California. In 2009 she graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with an emphasis in printmaking. In 2015 Adriana attended an international artist residency in Florence, Italy at Santa Reparata International School of Art. Currently, she is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts Degree at The University of Wisconsin-Madison where she is a recipient of the Education Graduate Research Fellow Scholarship. Her work has been exhibited regionally in Texas, New Mexico and Wisconsin and internationally in Italy and Mexico. Her most recent work involves her revisiting the coastal landscapes of her upbringing. She is interested in exploring the ways we observe, interact and respond to land in which we live in. She uses printmaking, photography and video to explore these ideas.

Photo of Adam Behrman

Adam Behrman
Adam Behrman is a Ph.D. student in the History department. Before coming to UW-Madison he earned a B.S. in Atmospheric Sciences from Ohio State, and an M.A. in History from Boise State University. He is interested in environmental history, particularly in Latin America. His master's paper analyzed the varying impacts of waste on human bodies at different stages of petroleum production in modern Mexico. Currently he is interested in the avenues by which toxic and biological exposures gave rise to political change in twentieth-century Mexico City.

Photo of Nicole Bennett

Nicole Bennett
Nicole Bennett is currently a Literary Studies PhD student in the English department. She has long benefitted from public higher education, attending a California community college before receiving her BA from UC Berkeley and her MA from CSU Long Beach. Her master's thesis examined depictions of waste in three postmodern and contemporary American novels set in Los Angeles, and her research interests remain focused on post-WWII urban American fiction and narratives concerning pollution, contamination, toxicity, trash, and disposability.

Photo of Claire Bjork

Claire Bjork
Claire Bjork is interested in cultural perspectives on ecological restoration and how communities define and put into practice their shared stewardship values. She works at Earth Partnership, an outreach organization in the Department of Planning and Landscape Architecture that engages schools and communities in education through restoration. Her particular research focus is on spirituality and land care and involves partnering with Holy Wisdom Monastery in Middleton, WI to develop a restoration training program for faith groups.

Photo of Rachel Boothby

Rachel Boothby
Rachel Boothby is a PhD student in the Geography department studying the relationships between people, place, and food. She is particularly interested in the complicated ways that agricultural products become food, and the effects of our ideas about food on landscapes and non-human nature. Her master's thesis explored the contemporary U.S. local food movement, focusing on relationships between farm-to-table restaurants and farmers.
Contact | Website

Photo of Helen Bullard

Helen J. Bullard
I am a research-based storyteller, working towards a Special Committee PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts, with a minor in the History of Science. My research is focused around the horseshoe crab; their evolution and natural history, their representation in cultural stories, ecology and conservation, the fisheries, and their use in medicine. My practice ranges in media from performance, sound and video, to installation, sculpture, photography and written form. I work interdepartmentally, anchored through the 4D Arts Department. I also work with the Centre for Limnology (Freshwater & Marine Science), collaborating on a project with Chelsey Blanke, to consider cultural and ecological changes to Lake Michigan and its communities.
Contact | Website

Photo of Charlie Carlin

Charlie Carlin
Charles Carlin is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a wilderness guide. He is interested in how ethics and the philosophy of subjectivity intersect with the messy realities of life. These interests come together in Charles' dissertation entitled, "The Therapeutics of Subjectivity: Nature, Ethics, and Ceremony in the American Wilderness." Wild places in America have been sites of vicious dispossession and exclusion, but they are also places where scholars, activists, and wanderers have developed radical ecological ethics and politics through stunning experiences with the more-than-human world.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Ian Carrillo

Ian R. Carrillo
I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Sociology and the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, and I research issues related to development, environment and technology, particularly in Latin America. In 2015, a Fulbright fellowship supported my dissertation fieldwork in Brazil, where I examined changes in labor and environmental practices in the sugar-ethanol industry. My research has appeared in the Handbook of Rural Development and the journal Latin American Perspectives. I have taught undergraduate-level courses related to environment and society (CES 248), demography (SOC 170), contemporary problems in the US (SOC 125) and race and society (SOC 134).

Photo of Melissa Charenko

Melissa Charenko
Melissa Charenko is a PhD candidate in the history of science, completing a dissertation entitled "Science as Prophecy: A History of Paleo Perspectives on Environmental Change." She explores the development of ecological ideas and techniques used to understand the changing dynamics of human-environment interactions over the last 12,000 years. She is particularly interested in the meanings and lessons that ecologists drew from this work, especially their proposals to use the deep past to address the present and future threat of anthropogenic environmental change. Yet this desire to create a "science of prophecy" did not always match the capabilities of methods in paleoecology. She also examines how these methodological limitations were used to challenge ecologists and their policy suggestions.

Photo of Oindrila Chattopadhyay

Oindrila Chattopadhyay
Oindrila Chattopadhyay is a graduate student at the Department of History, studying U.S. History (19th-20th centuries) and specializing in the History of Environment, Science and Medicine. She plans to explore the environmental consequences of human actions and, in turn, their effects on human health on a transnational scale.
Contact | Website

Photo of Gioconda Coello

Gioconda Coello
I am a M.A. student at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies working on Buddhist environmental education. I am interested in how people uses popular and religious beliefs to make sense of environmental change and as sources of transformative power. In general, my main areas of interest are religion and ecology, political ecology, comparative studies of education systems, multicultural and environmental education.

Photo of Marcos Colón

Marcos Colón
Marcos Colón is a dissertator in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research focuses on the representations of the Amazon in 20th century Brazilian literature from an environmental studies perspective. In particular, he is interested in examining a variety of viewpoints of the post-rubber era Amazon through written texts, oral reports, and film, observing changes in the region, its nature and people. Considering the binomial culture / nature, Colon’s scholarship uses the post-rubber era as a springboard for re-envisioning the region in a "relational” way. His investigation argues that the invention, literature, and politics of the region require an ecological understanding of new relationships between human and non-humans, which redefine the role of the environment in regional, national, and global discourse. This approach fosters a wider, more nuanced understanding of the Amazon by resituating this unique bio-zone within the cultural, social, economic, and environmental networks of a hybridized Amazonian society.

Photo of Kara Cromwell

Kara Cromwell
I study host-parasite interactions as a PhD student in the Zoology program at UW-Madison. My work investigates both causes and consequences of parasitism, asking how environmental change and animal behavior interact to influence where epidemics occur, and how parasites affect food web interactions. In addition to parasite ecology, I am interested in how people perceive the creepy, crawly or "gross" elements of biodiversity and I try to find creative ways to communicate about nature's unseemly side.

Photo of Andy Davey

Andy Davey
Andy Davey is currently a PhD candidate in Geography and a UW-Center for Humanities Fellow at Madison Community Foundation. He spends much of his time talking with people, thinking and writing about how communities and organizations enact their values and fund their operations. His dissertation explores how environmental studies emerged in American colleges and universities not only out of the environmental movement of the 60s and 70s, but the economics of higher education and outdoor recreation. This project also examines how environmental education operates as a form of moral education on campuses with different political and religious cultures. His research for Madison Community Foundation into the local nonprofit field contributes to informing philanthropic donors and building the capacity of nonprofit organizations.
Contact | Website

Photo of Cathy Day

Cathy Day
I am a PhD candidate in Geography. My interests center around climate change impacts on agricultural systems and how humans perceive and deal with climatic shifts within a complex social-economic context. My previous work was in small-scale farming systems in the West African Sahel. My dissertation project focuses on farmers' networks of information and resources in the southwestern U.S. and how their networks influence their decisions and cropping outcomes. The core of my interest is farm livelihoods and whether and how farmers can survive into the future on lands that have long been marginal for agriculture. I am interested in how agricultural policy may be re-oriented to better support effective decision-making in marginal but still viable environments.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Barbara Decre

Barbara Decre
Barbara Decre is a PhD student in the Nelson Institute. Her research focuses on agroforestry practices and the non-economic motivations behind their adoption on farms. Looking into cultural and historical perceptions of agriculture, values, and goals, she uses a sociological approach to identify aspects of the relationship between humans and trees that can be used to better incentivize agroforestry practices. Her interdisciplinary research allows her to explore many fields including sociology, agronomy, soil sciences, literature, history, philosophy, and plant physiology.

Photo of Travis DeWolfe

Travis DeWolfe
Travis DeWolfe is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Food Science. His research focuses on how probiotics affect the microbial composition of the gastrointestinal tract in the face of the hospital-acquired infection caused by Clostridium difficile. He uses a variety of in vivo and in vitro methods to address questions about probiotic mechanisms in the face of a growing dependence on wide-scale use of antibiotics in humans and animals.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Nate Ela

Nate Ela
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Sociology. I'm interested in how people try to make cities more equitable and livable through legal reform projects. In my dissertation research I'm using ethnographic and archival methods to study how, during various moments between the 1890s and today, Chicagoans have sought access to vacant land where they might grow food.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Michael Feinberg

Michael H. Feinberg
As a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College, Michael is a Ph.D student in the art history department. Michael’s research has engaged with a multifarious range of topics including Euro-American depictions of Native Americans as well as of the American frontier, Paul Gauguin’s visit to Tahiti, and Chicago’s Columbian Exposition. His current interests pertain to the intersection of French and American visual culture during the long nineteenth century. He is especially intrigued by depictions of colonial and metropolitan "spaces” in addition the portrayal of race, gender, and sexuality of Euro-American and "non-Euro-American” subjects.

Photo of Jesse Gant

Jesse Gant
I am a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History--my interests are in 19th century United States politics and culture, with specialities in African American and Western history. My dissertation looks at the role western black activists had in the making of the Republican Party during the 1850s and 1860s. In 2013, I published Wheel Fever: How Wisconsin Became a Great Bicycling State, which examined the early origins of bicycling in the Badger State during the last half of the nineteenth century. An exhibit based on the book can be found on permanent display at Old World Wisconsin. An additional exhbit inspired by the book called "Shifting Gears: A Cyclical History of Bicycling in the Badger State" opened in Madison and Appleton in 2015.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Nathan Germain

Nathan Germain
I am a dissertator in the Department of French and Italian. My research interests include 19th and 20th century French literature, ecocriticism, geocriticism, geography, and environmental history. I am interested in the history of ideas about nature and the environment and the expression of those ideas in literary forms. My research focuses on representations of non-human nature and humanity's relationship to it. My dissertation will examine reinterpretations of geographical space in response to fears about environmental degradation in 19th century French literature and thought. I am interested in understanding how authors and scientists may have contributed to a transformed relationship to space and place, using geography to expand the notion of human identity in a way that includes the earth and its species.

Photo of Marisa Gomez

Marisa Gomez
Marisa Gomez is currently a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History's Buildings-Landscapes-Cultures program. Her research engages cultural histories of building materials and technologies. Research topics include the incorporation of synthetic and imitative materials in domestic spaces, and the design, production, distribution, and marketing of mass-produced prefabricated homes in postwar America. Ultimately, her work considers the intersection of technology, modernism, and cultural constructions of domesticity in American housing.
Contact | Website

Photo of Daniel Grant

Daniel Grant
Daniel Grant is a PhD candidate in Geography at UW-Madison. His dissertation, a social and environmental history of American reclamation in the California borderlands from 1878-1944, explores how the seemingly democratic project of watering the desert was also a project of social engineering that met resistance along lines of race, class, and nation.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of W. Nathan Green

W. Nathan Green
W. Nathan Green is a doctoral student in UW-Madison's Department of Geography. His research interests include hydropower development, the history of antimalarial drug resistance, and agrarian change in Cambodia and Southeast Asia more broadly. For his dissertation, he plans to study how microfinance and new financial technologies (e.g. mobile banking) are changing rural land relations in southern Cambodia, where he lived and worked as a Peace Corps volunteer (2009-2011).

Photo of Spring Greeney

Spring Greeney
As a doctoral student in the History Department, I am interested in the conditions under which past people have noticed non-human nature in ostensibly domesticated spaces. My dissertation focuses on how nature has shaped 150 years of debates in the US over who does housework, why they do it, and what sorts of bodily burdens or bodily pleasures they incur in the process. In addition to my scholarly work, I teach art with the Oakhill Prison Humanities Project and talk literature as an Academic Director with the Great Books Summer Program.

Photo of Carly Griffith

Carly Griffith
Carly Griffith is a doctoral student in the Geography department whose research focuses on North American rural vernacular landscapes and the transition from agricultural to industrial land use in the early 20th century. She incorporates ethnographic methods, public history, and cartography in her work to investigate this transition through demographic change, new labor patterns, and the introduction of industrial infrastructure and its environmental impacts. She holds an M.A. in Public Humanities from Brown University. Before she started her PhD program she worked at the Center for Cultural Landscapes at the University of Virginia.

Photo of Brian Hamilton

Brian Hamilton
I'm a doctoral candidate in the History Department working on a dissertation entitled "Cotton's Keepers: Black Agricultural Expertise in Slavery and Freedom," in which I examine how enslaved people in the Lower Mississippi Valley acquired agricultural knowledge and how and to what effect they deployed that knowledge after slavery. I also serve as the lead author of the website "Gaylord Nelson and Earth Day: The Making of the Modern Environmental Movement."
Contact | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Addie Hopes

Addie Hopes
Addie Hopes is a Literary Studies Ph.D. student in the English Department at University of Wisconsin–Madison. Her current research focuses on narratives of toxicity and extinction, exploring how contemporary literature helps us to re-imagine ethical ways of living within multispecies communities.

Photo of Emily  Hutcheson

Emily S. Hutcheson
I am a MA/Phd student in the History of Science Department and am interested in probing human-animal-environment relationships with a historical approach. My dissertation project focuses on orangutans. I ask how ideas of wildlife conservation, human evolution, and changing environments in Southeast Asia converge around these endangered primates. My research focuses on the transnational exchanges between Indonesians and Western scientists from the 1830's to present. I hold an MA in History and Philosophy of Science from Florida State University and a BA in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Yale University.

Photo of June Jeon

June Jeon
I am a PhD student of the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, and pursuing a PhD minor in the Holtz center of science and technology studies (STS). I am broadly interested in environmental policy, STS, environmental history, and their intersections. Through my graduate studies, I hope to focus on the history of institutionalization of environmental policy and regulatory science to shed light on how political, economical, and cultural context shape the scientific knowledge about the mutual influence between human and environment. I am from South Korea, and studied chemistry and science&technology policy at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).

Photo of Sheamus Johnson

Sheamus Johnson
Sheamus Johnson is a Master’s student in the Nelson Institute working with Dr. Larry Nesper in the Department of Anthropology. His main research interests are Native American treaty rights in the Great Lakes region, environmental anthropology, political ecology, agricultural cooperatives, and development. He currently works at the Farley Center for Peace, Justice and Sustainability at their Farm Incubator serving primarily minority and immigrant farmers. He also works with the Intertribal Maple Syrup Producers Cooperative, a group of Native American maple producers interested in providing technical assistance to beginning, small, and large producers, while addressing barriers to land access, sustainable harvesting methods, etc.

Photo of Alex Kazer

Alex Kazer
Alex Kazer is a graduate student broadly interested in the connections between working lands, conservation, and public policy. His research focuses on the social and ecological outcomes of private land conservation strategies and the ways in property rights and land tenure affect conservation. He is pursuing an M.S. in Agroecology and holds a B.A. in International Affairs and Arabic from the University of Georgia.

Photo of Christopher Kelly

Christopher Kelly
A PhD student in Literary Studies in the Department of English, Christopher Kelly's research has primarily taken on two different forms, despite being similarly organized around the environment. In the first case, his work has heavily involved "traveler kids" in the United States, or homeless young people who travel around the country by hitchhiking and train hopping. In the second case, he’s been very interested in psychoanalytic theories of anxiety as explanatory frameworks for understanding the development of the United States, during which land becomes seems to become synonymous with a kind of anxiety. It is his hope to continue working in both directions at once, perhaps to forge a more direct connection between the two.

Photo of Sarah Keogh

Sarah Keogh
Sarah Keogh is a PhD candidate and adjunct instructor in the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. Her research works to link existing frameworks of architectural place theory toξsociologicalξidentity theory and to examine the role that architecture can play in the formation of shifting individual and cultural identities. She examines architecture as an actor in cultural shifts and looks at how daily patterns of behavior help to inform cultural expectations and norms: these patterns are produced and expressed through daily rhythms that are reflected and affected by built landscapes. She is interested in examining narratives surrounding environmental relationships in order to expand the architectural practice of scenario planning; and to use this framework to investigate imagined patterns of behavior and everyday settings. This inquiry has the potential to offer insights that can help to address designing for urban futures in the face of contemporary environmental issues.

Photo of Erin Kitchell

Erin Kitchell
I am a graduate student in the Geography department studying environment and development in West Africa. My current research focuses on histories of environmental change, the multiple vulnerabilities of small-scale producers, and the ways in which social networks shape knowledge formation about climatic variability. I will work closely with faculty in the Nelson Institute, Agroecology, and Community and Environmental Sociology. I have a B.A. in History and a background in community-based programming for non-profits. My past experience includes working to integrate environmental education in public school programming, managing public health and land use planning campaigns in peri-urban Mali, and creating training curricula on gender and development issues.

Photo of Shannyn Kitchen

Shannyn Kitchen
Shannyn is a graduate student in the Anthropology Department whose research deals with rainforest conservation in Bornean national parks. She is interested in political ecology, resource management, community and indigenous rights, forest conservation, and (eco)-tourism.

Photo of John Koban

John Koban
John Koban's research explores the rhetorical relationships among people and their environments, considering the ways environmental activists and organizations, especially ones motivated by religious and spiritual conviction, communicate and interact with each other about the environment, in both local and abstract ways. Specifically, he is interested in developing and describing ecological rhetorical models that better allow practitioners, stakeholders, and skeptics to attune themselves to environments so that they may enjoy the risks and rewards of activism, sustainability, and a sense of interconnectedness with the earth. He is a PhD student in the Composition and Rhetoric division of English department, and when he teaches introductory writing courses he does his best to infuse those courses with readings and writings attuned to environmental rhetoric and writing.

Photo of Patrice Kohl

Patrice Kohl
I am a doctoral student in the Department of Life Sciences Communication at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. My research interests focus on the role of mass media in influencing public perception of scientific and environmental issues, and how people, science and scientists mix online.

Photo of Liz Anna Kozik

Liz Anna Kozik
Liz Anna Kozik is a PhD student in Environment & Resources at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. With a background in the arts (BFA Rhode Island School of Design 2011, MFA UW-Madison 2017), she utilizes comics to tell stories of the Midwestern environment. Her body of work focuses on the history of land alteration in the former tallgrass prairie region. From original native inhabitants, initial Euro-American exploration, to farming, to 20-21st century restoration efforts, the prairie has carried many different meanings for the residents of northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Alexandra Lakind

Alexandra Lakind
Alexandra Lakind is a doctoral student in Curriculum & Instruction and Environment & Resources. She is also an alum of Interlochen Arts Academy, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and New York University, where she studied theater/performance. Before coming to UW, she founded/directed a cooperative preschool and an outdoor summer camp. She is the co-founder of Terra Incognita Art Series, and she is currently thinking a lot about human/environmental futures and educational pedagogy. Through implicit and explicit, academic and performative routes, she hopes to foster supportive communities prepared to process unanswerable dilemmas together.

Photo of Vanessa Lauber

Vanessa Lauber
I am a PhD student in the English Literary Studies department, having received my BA in English and history from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC. My interests include contemporary American literature, narrative theory, queer theory, and environmental criticism.

Photo of Laura Lawler

Laura Lawler
Laura is a PhD student in people-environment Geography, studying political ecology, environmental governance, and agricultural systems. She received her MS in Geography from UW-Madison in 2016 and BA from Sarah Lawrence College in 2008. Her masters thesis was on agricultural entrepreneurial training for refugees resettling in the US, exploring questions about how ‘good’ farming and farmers are enacted in these programs and resistance and diverse economies livelihood strategies among refugee farmers. Her current research is on "climate smart” narratives and agriculture programming in East Africa. What counts as "climate smart,” why, and how do these impact farmers? She is also working on a collaborative interdisciplinary project in Uganda, "Mapping Hotspots: ‘One Health’ and the History of Infectious Disease Research.”

Photo of Zhe Yu Lee

Zhe Yu Lee
Zhe Yu Lee is a second year MS student in the Department of Geography. His Masters research looks at the current politics of implementation around forest and land tenure policies in Indonesian province of North Sumatra, especially as it relates to the (un)changing nature of the forest and environment bureaucracies of the Indonesian state. He has broader longer term interests in historicizing the dominance of technocratic approaches in contemporary global environmental governance. In part, this entails exploring the relationship between the scientization of knowledges with regard to tropical agriculture, tropical forests and "the economy" during the early Cold War and Third World visions of nation-building and international order. His primary theoretical interests include science and technology studies, political ecology, global environmental history, critical policy studies, critical international relations and critical development studies. He received his BA from Macalester College in 2015 with majors in geography and environmental studies.

Photo of Anna Lehner

Anna Lehner
Anna Lehner graduated from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point with a BFA in 3D emphasis and a BA in Art History in May 2016. Currently Anna is attending University of Wisconsin-Madison pursuing an MFA in glass. Anna uses the material of glass to investigate communication and concerns for the environment.
Contact | Website

Photo of Jennifer Lent

Jennifer Lent
Jennifer is a graduate student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies pursuing her M.S. in Environmental Conservation. Her main area of interest is to study the impacts of the human-wildlife conflict and how climate change is playing a role in the increase of these interactions. Her interest in the subject was sparked by her volunteer work as a Wildlife Caretaker at the Four Lakes Wildlife Center at the Dane County Humane Society, where she has been volunteering for almost three years.

Photo of Juniper Lewis

Juniper Lewis
Juniper Lewis is a doctoral student in anthropology. Juniper's research will explore the relationship between humans and the environment by examining ecotheology in action, that is, how modern Christian congregations relate to and interact with the environment in the United States. This research will be influenced not only by early Christian relations to the environment and ideas of wilderness but also by a look at the variation of these relations across Abrahamic religions as well as shifting American values of the environment and wilderness. These influences will allow for a nuanced look into modern ecotheology among Christians and provide a firm background on the subject.
Contact | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Robert Lundberg

Robert Lundberg
Robert Lundberg is pursuing a J.D., and an M.S. through the Nelson Institute, at UW-Madison. Lundberg's academic interests focus on legal issues of water allocation and usage, and the interaction between infrastructure and surrounding environments. His artistic practice utilizes photography, video, and musical performance to investigate these interests. He is also a graduate fellow of the Holtz Center for Science and Technology Studies and an organizer of the Terra Incognita Art Series. Additionally, he is an internationally-performing musician. He holds a BFA from The New School in Jazz Performance.
Contact | Website

Photo of Simone Doing Max Puchalsky

Simone Doing & Max Puchalsky
Simone Doing and Max Puchalsky are a collaborative duo whose work investigates the potential of the public screen as a mobilizing force to build empathy, action, and long-term responsibility. From audiovisual installations to objects and software, their practice leverages a hybridity of forms reflective of the degree to which contemporary life is mediated by screens. Past projects have explored shared interests in nonhuman ethics, civic participation, intersections of privilege, and cultural relationships with the environment. Simone and Max are Graduate Fellows in the Department of Art at UW–Madison.
Contact | Website

Photo of Alex McAlvay

Alex McAlvay
I am a doctoral student in the Department of Botany with a BS in Biology and Anthropology from Western Washington University. My research focuses on two questions: 1) When/how do people adopt newly encountered organisms into their culture and 2) What are the evolutionary implications of these adoptions. Specifically, I study how seven highland Mexican cultures use and manage introduced field mustard and the evolutionary impacts of these practices. I am interested in working toward decolonizing ethnobiology and serve as the ethnobotanist for a non-profit called the Herbal Anthropology Project which seeks to protect traditional knowledge and intellectual property rights.
Contact | Website

Photo of Cathleen  McCluskey

Cathleen McCluskey
Cathleen McCluskey is a master’s student in the Agroecology Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is developing tools to advance farmer-centric seed systems that are democratic, economically and environmentally sound, and driven by public plant breeding. Her interests include public policy, intellectual property rights, industry concentration, and public plant breeding systems. Her research focuses on agrobiodiversity and the importance of defining and monitoring on-farm genetic diversity using an applied agroecological framework. She finds her on-campus intellectual community among her fellow multidisciplinary students in the agroecology community.

Photo of Elena McGrath

Elena McGrath
I am a graduate student in Latin American History, working on my dissertation about revolutionary Bolivian miners in the 20th century. Born and raised in the mountain West, I fell in love with the Andes at first sight. I am interested in the ways that landscapes shape political possibilities and the ways that communities articulate belonging in terms of race, class, and gender. My work asks what makes revolutions imaginable, and what makes revolutionary dreams fall apart. I am also a member of the Program in Gender and Women’s History and the Latin American Caribbean, and Iberian Studies Program.
Contact | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Amanda McMillan Lequieu

Amanda McMillan Lequieu
Amanda McMillan Lequieu is a PhD candidate in the University of Wisconsin-Madison's joint departments of Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology, advised by Michael Bell. Her research interrogates the relationship between structural, environmental, and economic changes and the lived experiences of home and community by long-term residents. Specifically, she is interested in how low-income communities adapt to globalizing economies and changing environments over time, through the lens of cultural negotiation, environmental history, and economic development and undevelopment. Her research aims to situate the stories people tell about their places and their people within patterns of macroeconomic transformation. Her mixed-method field work has taken her from homesteads in Swaziland, to kitchen tables in dairyland Wisconsin, to red-dirt roads post-war northern Uganda, and most recently, to urban and rural Rust Belt communities.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

Photo of Elizabeth Nielsen

Elizabeth Nielsen
Elizabeth Nielsen is a MA/PhD student in the History of Science department. Her MA paper focuses on assumptions to a natural state of equilibrium in North Pacific fur seal populations, showing how scientific actors studying these animals become political experts using their scientific knowledge. Her primary research interests follow, asking how our understanding of the natural world has been informed by political concerns, including economic issues and international diplomacy. She is a co-editor for the International Commission for History of Oceanography blog (, and she holds an MA in the History of Science from Oregon State University.

Photo of Eric Nost

Eric Nost
Eric Nost's research explains the social and technical ways landscapes become more and less subject to government control and economic forces. He is currently following how policy-makers and scientists plan coastal restoration in Louisiana in the context of ongoing wetland loss. This work explores important questions about nature's (economic) value and how computer modeling mediates ecological sciences and environmental policy. He makes maps to publicize environmental policy’s hidden costs, and is contributing to a project to visualize the North American hazardous waste trade. He is a PhD candidate in geography at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

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Laura Perry
Laura Perry is a doctoral candidate in Literary Studies, a 2017-2018 Mellon-Morgridge Fellow, and a Public Humanities Exchange (HEX) Fellow in partnership with the Dane County Humane Society. Her research focuses on housing, race, and species in twentieth century American literature. Specifically, she is interested in how writers use animal figures to explain white flight and articulate the class and color lines of suburban development. She also hosts a weekly radio show on WSUM 91.7 FM Madison (Tuesdays at 11 am) that airs interviews with women writers, artists, and activists. Get in touch if you want to be a guest!

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Jules Reynolds
Jules is a second-year Master’s student in the Agroecology Program. Her research interests integrate agroecological and ethnographic methods to explore the narratives, practices, and management strategies surrounding the invasive black wattle tree in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. More broadly, she is interested in alternative approaches to agricultural and livelihood development in southern Africa, and qualitative, ethnographic, and participatory- action based research. Jules is a member of The LAND (Livelihoods, Agroecology, Nutrition, and Development) Project on campus, and looks forward to continued exploration of human-environmental-agricultural relationships in rural communities through doctoral work at the University of Wisconsin- Madison.

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Hugh Roland
Hugh Roland is a PhD student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. He is also a sociology minor and an affiliate of the Center for Demography and Ecology. His research interests include climate change related human migration, health disparities, and issues of power and structural inequality. Before attending UW Madison, he worked in public health policy and economic justice advocacy in the Bay Area and received an MA in international history from the London School of Economics, where he studied anticolonial movements.

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Heather Rosenfeld
I am a PhD student in Geography with a minor in Science and Technology Studies. My dissertation is on the biopolitics of farm animal sanctuaries. Mostly, this means I clean chicken poop, but I also try to understand how we can and do decommodify farm animals -- animals who have been bred, trained, and drugged in attempts to extract profit from them. I am also working on a project mapping and analyzing North America's hazardous waste trade with Dr. Sarah Moore, and have additional commitments to feminism in the academy and comics for conducting and communicating research.

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Carl Sack
Carl Sack is a Dissertator in the Geography Department, studying the teaching of web mapping technologies. He is also GIS Faculty and Program Coordinator at Fond du Lac Tribal and Community College.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

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Owen Selles
Owen Selles is a graduate student broadly interested the human dimensions of landscape change, particularly how politics, culture, economics, and scientific ideas inform landscape design and management. He has a B.A. in geography and he is currently pursuing a double M.S. degree in Forestry and Environment & Resources at the Nelson Institute. His thesis projects are on the history, and politics behind the operationalization of ecosystem resilience in the U.S. Rockies; and, the historical geography of American Indian trail networks in Wisconsin.

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Angela Serrano
As a PhD student in sociology Angela Serrano studies the financialization of agriculture. She is particularly interested in how the transformation of landscapes by farmers and financial actors shapes their access to land, and the ecosystems involved. Before coming to UW-Madison she did a Master’s in geography at King’s College London. Her thesis focused on how global avocado trade shapes landscapes and livelihood possibilities for farmers in Santander, Colombia, her home region. Her curiosity for agriculture and its fruits also takes the form of a passion for cooking and exploring produce markets.

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Kassia Shaw
Kassia Shaw is a Ph.D. student in Composition and Rhetoric. Her research interests consider how place-based environmental narratives simultaneously reflect and shape identity, especially within cultural and social justice contexts. How can writing about nature change our perception of ourselves and our world? Who is excluded or erased from these conversations, and to what effect? Can writing environmental narratives heal the body? I am further interested in ways that indigenous spaces shape the literacies of ongoing colonization narratives within medicine, science and technology. She holds a BA and MA in English from DePaul University in Chicago.

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Sarah Stankey
Sarah Stankey is a graduate student in the Department of Art. Her visual work reflects on the different aspects of nature as encountered by humans and considers or coexistence to animals. She is interested in the ways that people manipulate and interfere with the natural world. Sarah’s interdisciplinary research is rooted in the studio arts but has recently been expanding into other departments, particularly Zoology, Limnology and Art History. Her art practice also investigates the history of museums through work with taxidermy, entomology and cabinets of curiosity.

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Rebecca Summer
Rebecca Summer is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography. She is broadly interested in changes to the urban built environment and the implications for city dwellers. Her dissertation is about the history of alleys as public space in Washington, DC and the role they play in urban development, social life, and neighborhood change. Her other research interests include historic preservation, gentrification, and environmental justice.
Contact | Website

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John Suval
As a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of History, John Suval works at the intersections of U.S. environmental and political history, with an emphasis on public lands in the American West. His dissertation, "Dangerous Ground: Squatters, Statesmen, and the Rupture of American Democracy, 1830-1860," explores how white squatters on western lands came to occupy a central and destabilizing position in U.S. political culture in the decades leading up to the Civil War. Prior to graduate school, John worked as a newspaper reporter along the U.S.-Mexico border and an environmental media producer in Washington, D.C.

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Andrew Thomas
Andrew Thomas is a PhD student in the English department. His current research focuses on investigating the ways in which socioeconomic, environmental, and geopolitical pressures affect how citizenship is constructed, understood, and culturally represented in the modern United States, particularly in literature and film of the 20th and 21st century. He is especially interested in how state-sponsored violence, primarily war, registers what it means to be a citizen of the United States, particularly for minority people groups, in a transnational, seemingly neocosmopolitan world. Furthermore, his research asks how and to what extent a global environmental crisis diminishes our nationalist ties to citizenship in favor of a common planetary identity.

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Sara Thomas
Sara Thomas is a Literary Studies PhD student in the English Department. Her research spans twenty and twenty-first century transnational American literature and culture. She is especially interested in the archipelagic and oceanic networks of US empire making and the affective, aesthetic, and ecological effects of these material and metaphorical relations.

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Matthew Trew
As a long-time resident of one of America's most popular tourist destinations — Myrtle Beach, South Carolina — I grew up constantly surrounded by beachwear stores, neon lights, and more than my fair share of tourist traps. It's no surprise, then, that as a Ph.D. student in Anthropology, I focus on themed spaces, tourism, and symbolic economies. More specifically, I take inspiration Disneyland's famous Jungle Cruise attraction, which is partially based on the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, to study how thematic landscapes attract tourists to Southeast Asia, with a primary focus on the province of Battambang in Cambodia. I also am very interested in the relationship between tourism and pilgrimage, and in comparing foreign tourists to how and why local Cambodians visit important sites around the nation. I'm happy to be part of CHE and the overarching humanitarian quest to show's a small world after all. Sorry, couldn't resist.
Contact | Website

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Vaishnavi Tripuraneni
I am a PhD student in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. My interests broadly lie in political ecology, agrarian livelihoods, smallholder vulnerability, environment and development. My dissertation looks at the relationships among small farmer livelihoods, debt, and crop choices in South India.

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Ruth Trumble
I am a PhD student in Geography with interests in political geography, feminist theory, and people-environment relations. My research explores the relationship between environmental disasters and peacebuilding initiatives in post-conflict areas. My previous research examined the agency of artists who create art outside of global art market demands.

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Nicole Tu-Maung
Nicole Tu-Maung is a masters student in the Environment and Resources Program in the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. She completed her B.S. in Environmental Science with a focus in Environmental Biology Applied Ecology at Cornell University in 2017. She is currently a Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellow in the Center for Southeast Asian Studies, where she is studying Thai and Burmese languages. Her primary interest is to explore human-wildlife interactions in Myanmar. Her current research is focused on understanding how human perceptions towards snakes are informed and manifested in urban and rural contexts.

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Emmanuel Urey
I am an accomplished PhD student with wide-range of capabilities ranging from detailed-oriented researcher (both qualitative and quantitative), teaching, administration, program organizer, curriculum developer to project proposal writer and problem solver. Experienced with developing countries particularly West Africa, making presentations, and reports as well as with leadership. My interests focus on rural livelihoods and health, culture, sustainable development, environmental issues, the management of common property, land tenure and dispute resolutions, impacts of large-scale concessions on rural people as we as environmental and social justice. I am computer literate with trainings in MS-Word, MS-Excel, MS-Access, Power Point, SPSS, STATA, Arc-GIS, Nvivo (for qualitative data analysis) and social media.
Contact | Website

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Stepha Velednitsky
Stepha Velednitsky is a Masters Student working with Dr. Sarah Moore in the Department of Geography. Her research draws on science and technology studies, postcolonial theory, and political ecology to situate Israel's computer chip manufacturing industry within the region's landscapes of labor, water, and power. In particular, she is interested in the role that microprocessor fabrication plays in producing not only the materialities of information technology, but also the immaterialities of race and power. She is currently researching the discursive function of "water sovereignty" in the Jordan Basin through a Humanities Without Walls initiative. Additionally, she is pursuing a minor in Science and Technology Studies with the Holtz Center for Science and Technology.
Contact | click to visit my twitter feed

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William Voinot-Baron
I am a doctoral student in Cultural Anthropology. My ethnographic research in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta of southwest Alaska focuses on the effects of state and federal fishing regulations on Alaska Native lives and livelihoods. I am interested in how settler law governs Indigenous attachments to place and in how Alaska Natives unsettle these colonial impositions. My research acknowledges expressions of sovereignty and ways of life that are not encompassed by the state, revealing also how mourning, more than merely the expression of grief, is also productive of political possibility. I am currently grappling with theories of sovereignty, memory, and absence.

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Steel Wagstaff
Steel Wagstaff is an A.B.D. in the English (Literary Studies) Ph.D. program and has earned Master's degrees in English and Library and Information Studies. He currently works full time as an instructional technology consultant in the College of Letters and Science. HIs academic research focuses on 20th Century American poetry, environmental criticism, and the digital humanities, and his dissertation examines the role of place, perception, and presence in Objectivist poetry.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

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Kevin Walters
Kevin is a PhD Candidate studying the intellectual and institutional history of the United States and works as a historian and Strategic Research Coordinator at the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). His dissertation in progress is an intellectual biography of University of Wisconsin biochemistry professor Harry Steenbock, the inventor of a vitamin D fortification process and founder of WARF in 1925. Before coming to UW-Madison, Kevin grew up in Temple, Texas, attended the University of Texas at Austin as an undergraduate, completed masters programs in Humanities and History at the University of Texas at Dallas, and worked eight years as a Staffing Planne for the consumer finance division of GE Capital.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

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Kiersten Warning
Addressing interpersonal violence for 18 years in the United States led me to my current research interest in Northwest Yunnan Province, China (naturally!). I hope to learn about the root causes of IPV and alternate conflict resolution mechanisms by working with a matrilineal society in the foothills of the Himalayas. Anthropology graciously welcomed me into their PhD program. Pressing for Shangri-La are China's current economic development initiatives that are changing its physical and cultural landscape. History, law, politics, gender, culture formation, ethnic identity, neuroscience, biodiversity, agricultural production, trade, religion, education, and health are in the research mix so far.

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Kate Wersan
I am a graduate student in the History Department where I study early American environmental history. My dissertation focuses on the interrelationship between early American perceptions of nature and ideas about order in natural phenomena, and timekeeping technologies and practices. Since most histories of timekeeping in the US and elsewhere focus on the history of the clock, my research deliberately looks beyond the clock to try to understand how Americans in the long 18th century attempted to know time in more supple and subtle ways than the regular ticking of the clock allowed.
Contact | Website | click to visit my twitter feed

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Pearly Wong
Pearly Wong is a Fulbright grantee and a Joint PhD student with the Department of Anthropology and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Prior to coming to Madison, she has worked with grass-root organizations and UN agencies in projects of non-formal education, sustainable housing and climate change adaptation with communities in Nepal, Cameroon, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. With a background in international development, her current interest is on what constitute environmental justice for communities in different ecological and political economy contexts. She is also an avid traveler with experiences in 40 countries.
Contact | Website

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Max Woods
I am a doctoral graduate student in the Department of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies at the University of Wisconsin - Madison. I work with the historical avant-gardes, specifically the non-French avant-gardes including those of Chile and Russia amongst others, looking at their relationship to ecocriticism. I argue that despite the avant-garde’s reputation for destroying the bond uniting the human and non-human, its various experiments in alternative spatial configurations provide imaginative solutions to contemporary issues of urban studies’ attempts to construct a green city. I work with the Departments of Comparative Literature and Folklore Studies, Spanish and Portuguese, and Art History as well as the Center for Russia, East Europe, and Central Asia.