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Research projects targeting human aspects of conservation are extremely diverse. At USU, such projects may involve understanding human perceptions and motivations, environmental education, identifying alternative livelihoods, gender-oriented analysis, or policy- research.


Note to Potential Sponsors or Collaborators:

This online catalog of researchers was produced to help you target specific researchers for a project or task. If the subject area that interests you is not represented here, please contact me using the contact information below. I can either assist you directly or I can produce a catalog that would fit your particular needs.

Holly Strand Proposal Development Specialist WILD/Biology/Ecology Center 5230 Old Main Hill, NR 226 Utah State University Logan, UT 84322-5230 office: (435) 797-9246 email: holly.strand@usu.edu http://www.cnr.usu.edu/htm/propdev


Mark Brunson, Environment & Society Mark studies the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems, especially in deserts and rangelands. He is interested in the causes and consequences of human behaviors in natural environments, and how those behaviors may be influenced by people's perceptions of the ecological conditions that result from human impacts. His current research focuses on relationships between human activities and invasive species in the Great Basin and Hawaii, effects of recreation use and recreation management on Colorado Plateau ecosystems, and management decision processes after rangeland wildfires. Area expertise: Colorado Plateau, Great Basin Foreign Languages: Research Tools: Some Recent Publications Brunson, M.W., and J.A. Tanaka. 2011. Economic and social impacts of wildfires and invasive plants in American deserts: Lessons from the Great Basin. Rangeland Ecology & Management 64:463-470. Shindler, B., R. Gordon, M.W. Brunson and C. Olsen. 2011. Public perceptions of sagebrush ecosystem management in the Great Basin. Rangeland Ecology & Management 64:335-343 Brunson, M.W., and E.A. Burritt. 2009. Behavioral factors in rotational grazing systems. Rangelands 31(5):2025. Brunson, M.W., and E.A. Price. 2009. Information use and delivery preferences among small-acreage owners in areas of rapid exurban population growth. Journal of Extension 47(5). Article 5FEA4. Brunson, M.W., and L. Huntsinger. 2008. Ranching as a conservation strategy: Can old ranchers save the New West? Rangeland Ecology and Management 61:137-147.


Layne Coppock, Environment & Society Layne investigates ways to promote sustainable livelihoods via risk management and poverty reduction among people inhabiting rangelands and smallholder farming systems around the world. Our main research locations have been in eastern Africa (Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania) as well as throughout rural Utah. We look for cost-effective interventions often involving livelihood diversification, education, and improved management of natural resources. Examples of recent projects include: (1) Collective action among pastoral women in southern Ethiopia and northern Kenya; (2) drought coping strategies among Utah ranchers; (3) adoption of soil and water conservation practices among farmers in a Rift Valley watershed of central Kenya; (4) the role of education in promoting wealth creation and wildlife conservation among farmers in the Kigoma Region of western Tanzania; and (5) prospects for enhancing carbon sequestration on Utah rangelands. Area expertise: Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Utah

Foreign Languages: Research Tools: Some Recent Publications Coppock D.L., S. Desta, S. Tezera, G. Gebru. 2011. Capacity Building Helps Pastoral Women Transform Impoverished Communities in Ethiopia Science 334 (6061):1394-1398. Full Text Coppock, D.L. 2011. Ranching and multi-year droughts in Utah: Production impacts, risk perceptions, and changes in preparedness. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 64:607-618. Coppock, D.L., D. Snyder, L. Sainsbury, M. Amin, and T. McNiven. 2009. Intensifying beef production on Utah private land: Productivity, profitability, and risk. Rangeland Ecology and Management 62:253-267. Coppock, D.L., S. Desta, S. Tezera, and G. Gebru. 2009. An innovation system in the rangelands: Using collective action to diversify livelihoods among settled pastoralists in Ethiopia. Pages 104-119 (Chapter 7) in Innovation Africa: Enriching Farmer’s Livelihoods. Waters-Bayer, A., C. Wettasinha, J. Njuki, P. Sanginga, and S. Kaaria (eds.). EarthScan Publications, London.


Ann Laudati , Environment & Society Ann’s work aims to develop a better understanding and awareness of \ the social and power relations that govern access, use and control of natural resources. This involves understanding not only the biophysical environment, but the political, economic and institutional contexts which determine the value and use of natural resources. Another strain of research deals with decision-making and the effects of local participation in biodiversity conservation.

Area expertise: Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo Foreign Languages: Research Tools: Some Recent Publications Laudati, A. (2010) “The Encroaching Forest: Struggles over Land and Resources on the Boundary of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda” Society and Natural Resources 23 (8): 776 – 789. Laudati, A. (2010) “Ecotourism: The Modern Predator? Implications of Gorilla Tourism Policies on Local Livelihoods in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda” Environment and Planning D 28 (4): 726 – 743. Paulson, N., A. Laudati, A. Doolittle, M. Welsh-Devine, and P. Pena (forthcoming) “Indigenous Peoples‟ Participation in Global Conservation: Looking beyond headdresses and face paint” Environmental Values Laudati, A. (in review) “Development for whom?: Deconstructing Community, Reconstructing Livelihoods in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda” Development and Change Laudati, A. (in review) “‟The Law of the Gate‟ and Other Policies of Exclusion: Reviving the Politics of Fortress Conservation Policies in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda” Environmental Conservation


Zhao Ma , Environment & Society Zhao’s research focuses on the interactions between policy making and the individual decision making regarding natural resources management and environmental protection. More specifically, she studies how policies are developed, the institutional infrastructures that promote or hinder sustainable decision making, how individual landowners or resource managers make decisions about their lands or resources, and their reactions to and influence on policy development. Ongoing projects include a study of private landowners and their perceptions of forest policies and programs in the northern U.S., an evaluation of the potential for carbon sequestration policies in Massachusetts, and an evaluation of public recreational access on private forestlands in Maine.

Area expertise: Western U.S., China Foreign Languages: Chinese Research Tools: Some Recent Publications Butler, B.J., Ma, Z. In press. Family forest owner trends in the northern United States. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry. Butler, B.J., Ma, Z., Kittredge, D.B., Catanzaro, P. 2010. Social versus biophysical availability of wood in the northern United States. Northern Journal of Applied Forestry 27(4): 151-159. Ma, Z., Becker, D.R., Kilgore, M.A. 2009. Assessing cumulative impacts within state environmental review frameworks. Environmental Impact Assessment Review 29: 390-398. Ma, Z., Becker, D.R., Kilgore, M.A. 2009. Characterizing the landscape of state environmental review policies: a national assessment. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 52(8): 1035-1051.


Claudia Radel , Environment & Society Claudia studies the changing nature of natural resourcebased livelihood strategies for individuals, households, and communities. She is interested particularly in how gender ideologies and practices both shape and are changed by these strategies. Her research also examines the gendered nature of resource access, control, and decision-making. Current projects include (1) research on gender, conservation, and agriculture in communities surrounding Mexico's Calakmul Biosphere Reserve; (2) research on gendered labor out-migration and its relationship to environmental change in southern Mexico; and (3) research with pastoral women's savings and credit cooperatives in southern Ethiopia. Dr. Radel has spent time living and working in various countries in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, including a year attending the University of Zimbabwe as a Rotary scholar in a graduate program in tropical resource ecology. Keywords: International Development, Political Ecology, Migration, Land Use Change Area Expertise: Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa Foreign Languages: Spanish Research Tools: Some Recent Publications Radel, C., B. Schmook, S. McCandless. 2010. Environment, transnational labor migration, and gender: case studies from southern Mexico and Vermont. Population and Environment 32(2): 177-197. Radel, C., B. Schmook, and R. Roy Chowdhury. 2010. Agricultural livelihood transition in the Southern Yucatán region: diverging paths and their accompanying land changes. Regional Environmental Change 10(3): 205-218. Schmook, B. and C. Radel. 2009. Migración internacional desde una frontera agrícola y reserva ecológica: el caso del sur de la peninsula de Yucatán. In Una Aproximación a las Migraciones Internacionales en la Frontera Sur de Mexico (El Colegio de la Frontera Sur), pp. 71-98. Schmook, B. and C. Radel. 2008. International labor migration from a tropical development frontier: globalizing households and an incipient forest transition- the southern Yucatán case. Human Ecology36(6): 891908.

People and Conservation  

People and Conservation

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