We are two geographers and avid outdoors-women who conduct applied and theoretical research on landscape transformation, resource governance, development and conservation.
Our work spans multiple geographies and is united by a shared emphasis on mountains. For us, Mountain geographies encompass more than just highland peoples and places, they are communities and landscapes facing complex challenges and undergoing social-ecological change.
Jessica is a doctoral student in the Department of Geography at the University of Colorado Boulder, and specializes in development studies, political ecology, cultural geography, and critical geopolitics. Her dissertation explores the relationships between economic development, cultural politics and environmental change through Chinese infrastructure development in Asia. She earned her masters in Development Practice at UC Berkeley, and BAs in Political Science and International Studies from Pepperdine University. Her regional expertise is in China, Tibet and the Indian and Nepali Himalaya, and her master's work was on post-disaster agroecological transition in Nepal. Over the past decade, she has lived in the US, UK, China, Tibet, Nepal, South Africa and India, working with research institutions, NGOs, and in the private sector (interspersed with long journeys by foot, bicycle and motorcycle). She has conducted research on development, disasters, agrarian change, public health and rural livelihoods. Jessica is further enamored by the art of storytelling and aims to share research via activist and visual avenues.
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Katie is a doctoral student in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University with the Resources and Communities Research Group. She earned her masters with the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, and has a BA in Anthropology from Davidson College. Her research interests include environmental conflict, large-landscape conservation, human/wildlife relations, natural resource management and governance. Her previous research projects examined multiple aspects of conservation and development in mountain communities. Her current doctoral research explores how landowners and changing land ownership patterns in the Greater Yellowstone impact local social and ecological systems. Prior to graduate school, Katie worked as an environmental educator and directed an interpretive backcountry ski guiding program in Grand Teton National Park.