ESPP Students

Elise Breshears
Department: Economics
breshea2@msu.edu

Biosketch: Elise is focusing on environmental economics and econometrics. Her primary area of interest is the economics of energy efficiency and forestry management. She has masters and bachelors degrees in economics from Portland State University.

Elise Breshears

Jessica Brunacini
Department: Community Sustainability
brunaci1@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a doctoral student in the Department of Community Sustainability and the Environmental Science and Policy Program. I am also a scholar with the Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project. My research interests are focused on climate change adaptation policy and practice, with an emphasis on approaches taken in Tribal and Indigenous communities. I am studying how governance structures can impede or improve adaptive capacity, and am particularly interested in adaptation pathways that are culturally-grounded, participatory, and just. I received my M.A. in Environmental Conservation Education from New York University, and a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of New Mexico.

Jessica Brunacini

Alaina Bur
Department: Sociology
buralain@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a PhD student in the sociology department. My research focuses on how individuals, communities, and governments access and manage natural resources. I am particularly interested in how an individual’s positionality, such as their gender, class, and ethnicity, affects their ability to access and control water resources in sub-Saharan Africa. Before coming to MSU, I evaluated the effect of borehole-drilling initiatives on women’s water insecurity in semi-arid western Kenya. Since arriving at MSU, I have continued to conduct research in the same region, expanding the scope of my work by interviewing a variety of stakeholders involved in regional water management, as well as those who manage the forests that serve as water catchment areas. I have also assisted in conducting research on the Flint Water Crisis, water access in Native American nations, and the mitigation of phosphorus runoff from farms into Lake Erie.

Alaina Bur

Laura Castro-Diaz
Department: Community Sustainability
castrodi@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a doctoral student in the Department of Community Sustainability (CSUS). I received my MSc degree from the department of Community Sustainability at MSU and a B.S in Ecology from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. I am interested in studying the coupled human-environment interactions of fishing communities in Latin America. Particularly, I focus on how these coupled systems are impacted by hydroelectric dams in the Amazon basin. I have experience exploring the impacts of dams on the lives and livelihoods of fishers in riverine communities. I have been involved in interdisciplinary research projects using qualitative and quantitative methods with diverse ethnic rural communities in Colombia, Peru and Brazil.

Laura Castro-Diaz

Kara Dean
Department: Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
deankara@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering and the Environmental Science and Policy Program and my primary research interests include risk assessment, water quality, and pathogen persistence. Risk assessment is interdisciplinary in nature and throughout the course of my studies, I hope to be able to incorporate microbiology, engineering, and policy into an end product that furthers the understanding of how to provide safe and clean drinking water. My previous research focused on dose response modeling and opportunistic pathogen exposures in premise plumbing systems. I plan to build on this work with a focus on the fate and transport of these pathogens before exposures occur.

Kara Dean

Andrew Earle
Department: Economics
earleand@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a doctoral student in the Economics Department. I received a dual major in Mathematics and Economics at the University of Pittsburgh. My research focuses on the relationship between diffrent levels of government and energy production. Previously, I have studied how Pennsylvania law impacts the number of abandoned and inactive wells in the state. During a field study, I researchered how coal and oil production affects the unemployment rate and population in Wyoming counties.

Andrew Earle
Rabia Faizan
Department: Planning, Design, and Construction
faizanra@msu.edu

Biosketch: Rabia is an international student from Pakistan working on her Ph.D. She is pursuing a dual major in Planning, Design, and Construction (SPDC) and Environmental Science and Policy (ESPP). Her research lies in the area of multiculturalism on campus. She is exploring the effects of building design elements on students' multicultural competencies. Multicultural competencies allow students from diverse backgrounds to step out of their cultural biases and understand each other. She is also a part of various student organizations on campus, including UACOR (University Apartment Council Of Residents) and PSA (Pakistani Students Association).

Rabia Faisan

Brockton Feltman
Department: Community Sustainability
feltmanb@msu.edu

Biosketch: My name is Brockton Feltman. I am a PhD student dual majoring in Community Sustainability and Environmental Science & Public Policy. The intersection of politics with environmental governance and natural resource management seems to me particularly crucial for sustainability. I'm especially interested in navigating the complexities involved with promoting local sovereignty over resource decision making, while integrating localities into state, national and international institutions. Awareness of human systems as embedded in natural process – or rather, of human systems as natural processes – is both a global and community-level phenomenon. On the one hand, climate change, biodiversity loss, and other higher order problems seem to require cooperation at a global level and demand innovation in national and international environmental governance. On the other, the context-specific challenges local communities face seems to require 'ground up' solutions rather than, or at least complementary to, technobureaucratic prescriptions. How is this to be accomplished? I hope my work contributes to answering this question, and in doing so, fosters ecological integrity, socioeconomic prosperity and human wellbeing.

Brockton Feltman

Shivan GC
Department: Forestry
shivangc@gmail.com

Biosketch: I come from the Himalayan country, Nepal, whose economic wellbeing is closely tied to its natural resources. The motivation to work for environmental conservation while addressing the need for forest products guided me to join undergraduate program in forestry in my home country. I came to the US to garner wider knowledge in forestry and completed my master’s degree from the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The research focus during master’s program was to understand the role of nonindustrial private forest landowners in wood-based bioenergy production in the United States. Since then, I have worked on several different projects related to wood-based bioenergy in Michigan. I am further interested to explore the potential economic and environmental impacts of emerging bioenergy industries at the local, regional and state level. I am positive that the coursework I take during PhD enrollment in forest resource economics will enrich my understanding in a policy-oriented perspective and help me address the interdependence between human economies and natural ecosystems. My research interests range from exploring economically feasible sites for energy plantation in Michigan through application of GIS technology to assessing the availability of woody biomass from Michigan’s non-corporate private forests through contingent valuation as well as building input output models for bioenergy industries in the State.

Shivan GC

Ernesto Granados
Department: Anthropology
granad14@msu.edu


Biosketch: Ernesto Granados will be joining MSU as a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology under the supervision of Dr. Radonic and Dr. Medina. He has experience working with peasant communities and indigenous peoples, studying natural resource-related conflicts and analyzing environmental discourses. He is interested in the role played by major environmental policies in the daily life of local communities, specifically how these impact the perception and environmental values ​​within the communities. Some broad topics of his interest are environmental justice, water in-security, community-based natural resource management and hydro-social territories.

Ernesto Granados

Clara Graucob
Department: Fisheries & Wildlife
graucobc@msu.edu

Biosketch: My name is Clara Graucob and I am a second-year PhD student in Dr. Kramer’s lab. I am working in a NASA-funded project on socio-ecological impacts of climate change and dam construction in the Lower Mekong River Basin. My research interest lies mostly in climate change adaptation and resilience of social-ecological systems. Born and raised in Germany, my academic studies have allowed me to live in several other countries. I completed a Bachelor's degree in Environmental and Resource Management and dove into Coastal and Marine Engineering and Management for my Master's. These very different types of degrees (one broad, one engineering-based) showed me that I prefer working in a multidisciplinary setting. Having a holistic overview and incorporating all kinds of thematic aspects, opinions and stakeholders is my way of working towards true sustainability. This can only be achieved when addressing economic, social and environmental issues. Having some experience in international climate politics, I have learnt that achieving sustainability and creating resilience, especially in the face of climate change, cannot be accomplished by one organisation alone, but it is a task for governments, the public and the private sector alike. This interplay is one of the things I look forward to exploring more during my remaining time at MSU. In my free time, I love being outdoors, going for hikes, trekking and surfing. I also do lots of yoga and am one of the people cycling throughout the year.

Clara Graucob

Charles Hayes
Department: Philosophy
hayesc13@msu.edu

Biosketch: Charles Hayes is pursuing a doctoral degree in philosophy, with a graduate specialization in Environmental Science and Policy. His research centers around environmental ethics, with specific interests in the ethics of collaborative public land management, the project of rewilding, and environmental virtue ethics. He often approaches these topics in conversation with the philosophy of technology, with the hope of illuminating how our technological age has shaped the way we understand and inhabit our environments. Before coming to MSU, Charles earned an MLitt in theology from the University of St. Andrews. There he looked at theological themes in lyric nature writing and environmental aesthetics. After this he earned an MA in Environmental Philosophy from the University of Montana, along with a graduate certificate in Natural Resource Conflict Resolution. In order to steep his research in real-life environmental issues, Charles worked for a local ecological restoration company and with the National Forest Foundation's Conservation Connect initiative. These jobs provided the opportunity to experience the everyday difficulties of working out environmental values in the way we carry out restoration and work collaboratively to manage public land. Aside from study, Charles enjoys walking farther than is reasonable and stopping to identify trees.

Charles Hayes

Jincheng Huang
Department: Fisheries and Wildlife
huang196@msu.edu

Biosketch: Jincheng is a Ph.D. student in the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability at the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife under the advisement of Dr. Jianguo "Jack" Liu. He is pursuing his interest in metacoupled human-natural systems and sustainability. He is familiar with spatial analysis, location modeling, statistics, programming, and visualization. Besides, he has rich experiences in field investigation and interviewing locals in developing rural areas.

Prior to starting at MSU, he received his Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in Land Resources Management from the China University of Geosciences.

Jincheng Huang

Sara Hugentobler
Department: Integrative Biology
hugentob@msu.edu

Biosketch: 

Sara Hugentobler

Apoorva Joshi
Department:  Journalism
iamapoorva@apoorvaj.com

Biosketch: Apoorva has a Bachelor’s degree in environmental science from the University of Pune in India, and a Master’s degree in environmental journalism from the University of Montana. Her Master’s project was a long-form multimedia feature story on whether tiger-centric wildlife tourism in one of India’s most popular tiger reserves is sustainable. She has since covered global environmental news for Mongabay.com as an independent correspondent, has worked at KBZK-TV in Bozeman, Montana, and at the Hindu Business Line newspaper in Mumbai, India. At MSU, Apoorva is a PhD student in Information and Media with a dual major in Environmental Science and Policy. An interdisciplinary environmental social scientist, Apoorva's primary research interests lie at the intersections of environmental communication, persuasion, environmental behavior, risk and decision science, and criminology.  While at MSU, she has built a unique research agenda studying international wildlife crime through a communication and decision science approach. As a research assistant with the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism, Apoorva is currently leading a project funded by the National Geographic Society's Committee for Research and Exploration on investigating the efficacy of wildlife crime prevention image-based ads. She hopes that her unique and interdisciplinary research on wildlife crime will advance knowledge and translate into action by aiding the design and implementation of holistic and practical wildlife crime prevention interventions. 

Apoorva Joshi

Ryan Julien
Department: Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering
julienry@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am currently a PhD student in the Biosystems Engineering Department at MSU, working with Dr. Jade Mitchell's research group. My research work is focused on the unintended consequences of green building practices - specifically on the effects reduced water consumption has on water age and water quality. I received by BS in Civil Engineering from Michigan Tech in 2009. I then joined the Biosystems Engineering Department at MSU and worked with Dr. Steve Safferman to attain my MS. I joined a consulting firm as an enviornmental engineering for nearly five years, where I primarily worked on gas and oil remediation projects. I also worked with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality preparing air permits for another year. I decided to come back to MSU to pursue my PhD in order to have a stronger, more positive impact on the environment. I hope to use my education and experience to help improve human health and quality of life, especially for people whose well-being is often overlooked.

Ryan Julien

Jae Yu Jung
Department:
 Economics
jungja10@msu.edu

Biosketch: Jae Yu Jung is currently a Ph.D. student at Michigan State University. His main research focus is environmental economics including interactions between the legal system and environmental damages.

Jae Yu Jung

Abhinav Kapoor
Department: Planning, Design and Construction

Biosketch: My name is Abhinav Kapoor. I am a first year PhD student at the School of Planning, Design and Construction with concentration in Urban and Regional Planning. Amongst the other human-driven impacts on the globe, urbanization has emerged as one of the most significant drivers of change shaping our future. Peri-urban areas lie just outside the administrative boundaries of the city, and connect the city to the village. It is this interface which has been crying out for attention over the past several years, as the environment and natural resources in these spaces are under a lot of pressure due to urbanization. The cities are highly dependent on resources extracted from their immediate hinterland and beyond, leading to their excessive degradation. For my PhD, I plan to study the socio-economic and demographic impact of urbanization in the rural-urban interface. I will also explore how the urbanization process within these peri-urban zones affects the environment and how can we, as a society deal with this tense relationship through public policy and private action. I have received my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Economics. I have also done an MPhil in Development Studies from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India. Prior to coming to MSU I was working as a Senior Economist at the Foundation for Agrarian Studies located in Bengaluru, India. Here my work was centered around collecting and analyzing village data to understand the contemporary rural economy.

Abhinav Kapoor

Yingjie Li
Department: Fisheries and Wildlife
liyj@msu.edu

Biosketch: Yingjie is interested in innovative research on the interface of remote sensing, spatial analysis, ecosystem services, geographic information systems and telecoupled human and natural system. He has degrees in geography and land resource management.

Yingjie Li

Yingyue (Juno) Liu
Department: Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences
liuyin22@msu.edu

Biosketch:

My broad interests and desire to be a scholar brought me to ESPP. Urbanization, migrant workers, and agriculture were topics I spent most of my time on in the past ten years as an economics student. For my dissertation research in Geography, I would focus on “spatially-explicit agent-based models” and explore how science and policy can achieve the well-being of small stakeholders, efficient land management, and rural community sustainability.I want to die as a “Renaissance woman”. But I also keep Max Weber’s words in mind: ”Mind you, the devil is old; grow old to understand him.” So I will live as a environmental science and policy explorer first.

Conference Presentations: “Contemporary Tools and Models of Farmer Decision-Making and Food System Assessments”, Global Land Programme 3rd Open Science Meeting, 26 October, 2016, Beijing, China http://www.glp-osm2016.com

Training Programs: International Winter School “How to model human decision-making in social-ecological agent-based models” for PhD students and early Postdocs, 2-7 January, 2017, Center for Behavior, Institutions and the Environment, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona, USA https://complexity.asu.edu/CBIEWinterSchool2017
Yingyue Liu

Pei Jyun Lu
Department: Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics
lupeijyu@msu.edu

Biosketch:

Pei Jyun Lu is pursuing a dual major Ph.D. degree in Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics (AFRE) and Environmental Science and Policy Program. Her research is focused on environmental economics and energy economics. Prior to joining AFRE, Pei-Jyun spent five years working as an associate researcher with the Taiwan Research Institute, and she had professional experience working in an interdisciplinary research team. Her previous work involved natural disaster risk assessment, climate change adaptation strategy for the energy sector, and cost-benefit analysis of demand response in Taiwan.

Bryant Mills
Department: Sociology
millsbry@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and I come to the MSU Sociology program with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rutgers University – Newark Campus and a master’s degree in Science, Technology and Society studies from Drexel University.  Throughout my professional career, I worked in the public sector, providing human services to various populations within and throughout the New York City metropolitan area. As a graduate student, my research interest initially centered around mental health and biopolitical identity. As I gained more perspectives and insights from scholarship on citizen science and feminist epistemology, my research interested shifted to focus on issues of environmental sustainability and community-based research. During the initial phases of my tenure as a Ph.D. student in Sociology, my research with Dr. Jennifer Carrera will focus on developing technology to assist in community-driven environmental research. In the future, I hope to develop theoretical insights that will help marginalized communities mitigate the environmental and health concerns that stifle growth and prosperity.

Bryant Mills

Emily Milton
Department: Anthropology

miltone2@msu.edu

Biosketch: Emily is a PhD student in Anthropology researching Andean archaeology and paleoclimatology. She is interested in human management of alpine environments and high-altitude adaptation. Presently, Emily is researching prehistoric seasonality of land tenure in Central Peru and how it relates to human residence in the Andes since the Last Ice Age. Her methods include coupling stable isotopes, microscopy, and GIS to analyze patterns of change in modern and archaeological samples. Emily received a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and International Studies from Iowa State University in 2015, as well as a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems. After her BS she worked as a staff archaeologist in Golden, Colorado, before returning to school to pursue a Master of Arts in Anthropology. Her work contributes to an interdisciplinary collaboration, directed by her advisor, Dr. Kurt Rademaker, investigating the settlement systems involved in the initial peopling of the Americas.

 

Emily Milton

Malcolm Moncheur
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
moncheur@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a doctoral student in the Environmental Engineering department, interested in sustainable energy transformations. I hope to work at the nexus of engineering, community, and public policy to improve energy democracy in historically marginalized and developing communities. We are all limited by our unique lived experiences and specializations, which is why I believe interdisciplinary approaches (such as those fostered by ESPP) that combine technical solutions, social-science methods (specifically community-based participatory research), and science-based policies are crucial to creating lasting change. I have a B.S. in Bioprocess Engineering from SUNY College of Environmental Science & Forestry, and prior to MSU worked as a process engineer and project engineer. My personal interests include being outdoors, reading, and bike touring.

Malcolm Moncheur

Michael Ryskamp
Department:  Plant Biology
ryskampm@msu.edu

Biosketch: Before enrolling at MSU as a PhD student in the Plant Biology Program, I spent several years working full-time for a watershed group in Grand Rapids; while working there, I collaborated with civil engineers and urban planners to develop and implement watershed restoration and research. Together, these classes and experiences have given me a solid foundation in a very wide range of scientific fields, with further specialization in several disciplines. Many of my classes combined elements of basic-science with what we might consider societal or political topics, e.g. stakeholder engagement in managing ecosystems, global trade and epidemiology, and food systems and policy. As a program coordinator for a watershed group, it was my job to understand my watershed’s hydrology, biology, and ecology so that I could develop and implement restoration plans that target specific nutrient, sediment, and bacterial load reductions.

Michael Ryskamp

Snehalata Sainjoo
Department: Fisheries & Wildlife
sainjoos@msu.edu

Biosketch: Growing up in a topographically constrained mountain community of Nepal, her enthusiasm on environmental concerns sprouted from her early days. Following a simple lifestyle and living proximity to nature, she is inclined towards the nature’s offerings and carries environmental stewardess in herself. In her early engagement as Environmentalist, Snehalata Sainjoo came across the degrading environmental situation across parts of the country, impacting local livelihood and adding constraint to basic life amenities. It was the same period when worldwide concern on environmental issues was escalated and her fascination towards it grew stronger, later she adopted it as her career pathway. With an academic background of Master’s degree in Environmental Science and six-years working experiences at community and national level in diverse subject matters, particularly related to climate change, food security and livelihood, now she drives herself in PhD programme at Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, MSU. She will be joining Dr Kramer and other team members in the NASA-funded project on socio-ecological impacts of climate change and dam construction in the Lower Mekong River Basin. She has a moto to work for the community valuing the bottom-up approach. Addressing the ground level risk with consideration of the socio-ecological complexity, coupled with the future climate uncertainties has been the biggest challenge for her so far and that she is looking forward to detangle it during her study at MSU. Moreover, Snehalata is a trained professional on geostatistical analysis, environmental assessment; is at ease with handling multitudinal software programmes and has appetite for further learning opportunities. Being a nature lover and sociable, she enjoys to explore cultures across landscape and way of life. She likes hiking, cycling, enjoys forest safaris, and adventures like rafting, paragliding and carries some photography skills too.

Snehalata Saijoo

Gabriela Shirkey
Department: Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences
shirkeyg@msu.edu

Biosketch: Gabriela Shirkey is a current MSU student who will pursue her doctoral degree with Dr. Jiquan Chen. Her interests are in land management and its effects on the carbon cycle.

Gabriela Shirkey

Mark Suchyta
Department: Sociology
suchytam@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am an environmental sociologist interested in how humans and non-humans can thrive together. My dissertation research revolves around how human well-being is related to environmental quality and experiences with nature and non-humans. I am also working on publications from past research on natural resource management, attitudes toward farm animal welfare, and animal rights activism. Finally, I am passionate about teaching and developing effective ways to share everyday applications of sociology and the environmental sciences with others.

Mark Suchyta

Leigh Anne Tiffany
Department:  Information and Media
tiffanyl@msu.edu

Biosketch: Leigh Anne Tiffany is a doctoral candidate in the Information and Media Program (dual appointment in the Department of Advertising + Public Relations and the School of Journalism) and the Environmental Science and Policy Program (ESPP). She is an ESPP Fellow, a Sustainable Michigan Endowed Project (SMEP) Scholar, and a two-time New York Women in Communications Scholar. She is an internationally-recognized multimedia storyteller whose work has been featured on NBC, PBS NewsHour, NPR's WHYY The Pulse, and International Journalists Network. Most recently, she was the Communications Specialist for the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife in Washington, D.C. She received her Master of Science in Journalism (Concentration: Science, Environment, and Health) with a Certificate in Data Skills from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. A scientist-turned-storyteller, she received her University Honors Bachelor of Science degree in Biology at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, where she lead the university's wildlife conservation and animal behavior research groups. Overall, she has worked in wildlife conservation research and application for over a decade. When not working as a scientist for the non-scientist, she can be found horseback riding, baking, or watching How to Train Your Dragon with her bearded dragon Berk. More information on Leigh Anne can be found at leighannetiffany.com

Leigh Ann Tiffany

Kayleigh Ward
Department: Sociology
wardkay1@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a PhD student in the Department of Sociology, with an additional specialization in International Development. I previously attained a bachelor’s degree at the University of San Diego in Sociology and English. At MSU I am interested in the question of community sustainability in the context of rural redevelopment and disasters. I became interested in the disaster nexus after doing work in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Currently, my research is in Japan following the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, where I work in Miyagi prefecture. The goal of this is to access community sustainability during reconstruction, and evaluate the Reconstruction Agency appointed to lead the effort. This includes efforts from local NGO/NPOs, local associations and governments, businesses, and community groups which has resulted in the development of new community programs. More recently, I am involved with public policy regarding issues of economic, social, and cultural capital in the region and how reconstruction affects Nature and humans. A broader goal, is learning from the redevelopment in Japan and applying it to address social concerns and environmental decisions in future disasters.

Kayleigh Ward

Chelsea Weiskerger
Department: Civil and Environmental Engineering
weiskerg@msu.edu

Biosketch: Chelsea Weiskerger is a PhD student in MSU’s department of Civil and Environmental engineering, studying recreational beach water quality, public health implications, and policy/management for public use. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Wildlife Biology and Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) from Colorado State University in 2010, before working the National Park Service at the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. It was there that she had an opportunity to work with recreational water quality projects, and the rest is history. At MSU, Chelsea works in the lab of Dr. Mantha Phanikumar, bringing together field and laboratory analysis of water and soil samples, statistical modeling, and process-based mechanistic modeling of lake dynamics near beaches, with the goal of understanding how these dynamics influence health impacts associated with a day at the beach. Her focal study area is Lake Michigan, conducting most work in the Chicago area. Additionally, Chelsea has collaborated with students from across campus, to advance One Health ideas and bring attention to the importance of connections between human, animal, and environmental health. When not studying or doing research you can usually find Chelsea outside; hiking, kayaking, paddleboarding, skiing, and running are a few favorite activities.

Chelsea Weiskerger

Yuxian Xiao
Department: Economics
xiaoyuxi@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a first year Ph.D. student in the economics department. I obtained my bachelor’s degree in economics from Huazhong University of Science and Technology. Then I went to Shanghai Jiao Tong University to finish my master’s degree in applied economics. My research interests lie in the intersection of development economics and environmental economics. My previous research work focuses on China's energy-saving policies. With the valuable multi-disciplinary resources that the ESPP program provides, I hope to offer further insights on different environmental issues.

Yuxian Xiao

So-Jung Youn
Department: Fisheries and Wildlife
younsoju@msu.edu

Biosketch: So-Jung Youn is currently a PhD student with Dr. William Taylor at Michigan State University. She is interested in global utilization of inland capture fisheries and the inland fisheries value chain. She is studying ways to assess and value inland fisheries, such as using consumption surveys and household dynamics to estimate inland fisheries harvest. So-Jung is also interested in valuation of the services provided by inland fisheries and characterization of the inland fisheries value chain. Her MS thesis, "The Importance of Inland Fisheries to Global Food Security", focused on the contribution of inland fisheries to food security and livelihoods. So-Jung received a MS in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University and a BS in Biology, with a minor in Management and Organizational Leadership, from the College of William and Mary.

More on So-Jung Youn »

So-Jung Youn

Qiong Zhang
Department: Geography
zhangqio@msu.edu

Biosketch: In the latest report of the World Health Organization (2014), air pollution was described as the single greatest environmental health risk, which annually causes one in eight deaths worldwide. As one of the largest developing countries, China lies in a dilemma between economic blooming, urbanization, and the burst of environmental problems. After received two masters’ degrees from the University of Toledo, Master of Public Administration and Master of Geography & Planning, I shifted my research direction from transportation geography to health/medical geography. My research interests lie in public health, particular maternal and infant health, and medical geography. To address the association between polluted environment and public health, the goal of my doctoral research is to estimate the direct and indirect effects of urban growth and smog levels on maternal and infant health in China.

Qiong Zhang

Qucheng Zhang
Department: Media and Information

Biosketch: Qucheng (Chris) Zhang joins the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism with degrees in Communication and Engineering from the Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China. He is interested in the study of social issues like economic growth and public opinion especially in relation to environmental issues.

Qucheng Zhang

Rui Zhang
Department: Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences
zhangr50@msu.edu

Biosketch: I am a PhD student in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences,working with Dr. Arika Ligmann-Zielinska. I am interested in using spatial explicit modeling approaches, especially Agent-based Modeling (ABM) to simulate land use/cover change and coupled human and natural systems (CHANS). I got my master degree from George Mason University’s MAIS (Master of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies) program with concentration on CSS (Computational Social Science). I worked on an agricultural land use model of the Poyang Lake Region (PLR) in China during master program. The model simulates how geographic and economic factors influence agricultural land use change in PLR, and indicates how government policy can play a role in this process through the design of various modeling scenarios. The research I am doing recently is to build an ABM to simulate the influences of road constructions on land cover types and aquatic ecosystems in a remote area — Regio´n Auto´noma de la Costa Caribe Sur (RACCS) of Nicaragua. At the same time, I am working as a research assistant at Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability (CSIS) of MSU on developing Telecoupling Toolbox, which is a suite of geospatial software tools and apps for socioeconomic and environmental analysis on CHANS from local to global scales.

Rui Zhang

Yuqian Zhang
Department: Fisheries & Wildlife
zhan1364@msu.edu

Biosketch: Yuqian joined Dr. Jianguo Liu’s lab as a PhD student in 2018. He received a Master of Science in Environmental Science and a Master of Public Affairs in Environmental Policy Analysis at Indiana University Bloomington, where he developed his interdisciplinary research interest in ecosystem conservation and community sustainable development. His current research focuses on the interaction between human and nature systems, and multiple system integration, by using GIS, remote sensing and statistical modeling.

Yuqian Zhang