I am an Assistant Professor of Environmental Communication in the Department of Communication and Journalism at the University of Maine in Orono. I received a Ph.D. in communication with a concentration in sustainability science from UMaine. I am broadly interested in relationships between humans and ecosystems and how communication shapes and sustains these relationships. I explore this interest in diverse social-ecological systems and contexts, including large-scale sustainability science collaborations; marine resource and shellfish management; and inland freshwater systems associated with lakes, rivers, and wetlands.
My research is engaged and uses mixed methods to study and find ways to link science and critical practice with decision making to promote resilience and sustainability. I received a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship for my Ph.D. research with the Sustainability Solutions Initiative (SSI) and I am now an affiliated faculty member with the Senator George J. Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions, an outgrowth of SSI. I did my postdoctoral research with the New England Sustainability Consortium’s Safe Beaches and Shellfish Project, an NSF project to link science with decision making for beach and shellfish management in Maine and New Hampshire. I am currently a UMaine co-PI on the Future of Dams Project, which takes a systems approach to study and inform decision making about dams in New England.
I teach graduate and undergraduate courses on environmental communication, communication research methods, rhetorical ethnography, and sustainability science. Please see my teaching pages for more details about courses and additional teaching resources.
Prior to pursuing my doctoral work, I was the conservation and education director at Lakes Environmental Association (LEA) from 2001-2010. In that role, I developed place-based environmental education programming for people of all ages and served as a conservation biologist. I continue to work with LEA to support the development of the Maine Lake Science Center as the consulting executive director. I received an M.S. in Environmental Studies-Conservation Biology from Antioch University New England in Keene, NH in 2008 and my graduate research focused on science communication for vernal pool conservation.
Department of Communication and Journalism
438 Dunn Hall
University of Maine, Orono 04469
Phone: (207) 581-1943