Ph.D. Candidate, Political Science, University of Connecticut
Expected defense of dissertation Spring 2019.
M.A., with Distinction, Political Science, California State University
B.A., Political Science, University of California, Berkeley
My research is motivated by the premise that climate change will increasingly and profoundly affect humanity and the planet for generations. I study how displaced persons, people whose lives are disrupted by natural disaster types that are worsening because of climate change (e.g. floods, storms, wildfires, extreme atmospheric temperatures), influence conflict incidence (e.g. insurgency, protest, repression). I leverage event-based data with global coverage, that has been formatted at various units of analysis (e.g. country-year, country-month, or sub-national administrative units), to assess the climate-conflict relationship with considerable temporal and spatial detail. Using statistical and spatial analytic methods, my work has found that country-level incidence of insurgency and protest increases but crests 2-3 months after disaster-induced displacement. High rates of displacement do not however correspond with significantly high conflict incidence when assessed sub-nationally, suggesting out-migration away from disaster epicenters. I am currently converting sections of my dissertation into manuscripts that are fit for publication in academic journals.
A distinction of my research is its interdisciplinary features. I draw on sociology for empirical insights regarding conditions shortly after sudden-onset natural disasters. Political Geography has also helped me to develop hypotheses about the spatiality of conflict and human displacement. Methodologically, I use geocoded data (i.e. each observation has latitudinal and longitudinal coordinates) and Geographic Information System (GIS) software to analyze climate change-related displacement events and social-political conflict. These empirical phenomena are not uniformly distributed within countries, thus violating the independence assumption of conventional statistical analyses and raising undue risk of biased findings. My findings speak to scholarly debates in political science, sociology, and geography, and has policy implications for climate change governance, conflict mitigation, and disaster management.
I am an experienced instructor of record who has developed and taught introductory, advanced, and methods undergraduate courses in political science, as well as one-unit courses for first-year students to facilitate their transition to college life. I can teach courses in three political science subfields – International Relations (IR), Comparative or American politics – because of my threefold specialization while working towards Master’s (IR / American) and doctoral (IR / Comparative) degrees. I also possess extensive methods training that enables me to teach project-driven courses such as research design, quantitative analysis, or spatial analysis.