Originally from Madison, Mississippi, Thomas received his BA in International Studies from the University of Mississippi with minors in Spanish and Biology and a thesis titled: Dam Politics: Bolivian Indigeneity, Rhetoric, and Envirosocial Movements in a Developing State. After graduation, he moved to Baltimore, Maryland for the Chesapeake Conservation Corps, where he worked as an Environmental Educator for Patterson Park Audubon Center. After this service year was complete and after an interlude at Sunshine Ranch in South Dakota where he helped tend livestock, he was selected to serve in Peace Corps Zambia’s Linking Income Food and Environment program. After intensive study of Nyanja and agroforestry training, he worked with communities in the Mlolo chiefdom to achieve stated community goals in food security, water management, and income generation. Even though Covid-19 ended his service prematurely and he hopes to one day continue in service with developing countries and underserved communities, it gave him the opportunity to join the Conservation Governance Lab. He will be researching the policy decisions around and management systems of red snapper in the Gulf of Mexico. Specifically, he will be performing a case study to ask how it came to be that NOAA and other federal actors decided to pass management of the red snapper fishery down to the state level. In his free time, you can find him birding at local eBird hotspots, biking very fast, and singing folk and choir songs at most any hour.
Read more about his experiences here.
Amanda hails from San Antonio, Texas. She received her BS in Marine and Freshwater Science and an interdisciplinary certificate in the environment and sustainability from the University of Texas at Austin. Amanda has work experience from the Texas Water Development Board, Mission-Aransas NERR, and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. She is interested in pursuing a career in natural resource management, namely within a federal or state agency. Her MS project is centered around the premise of bipartisanship success for the Restoring Resilient Reefs Act (2019). Given how polarized American politics are in these times, she is interested in why legislators from across the aisles care about this particular result of a changing climate while disregarding others and how similar actions can be mimicked for wider climate policy action.
Learn more about Amanda on her page!
Sabine had a lively childhood growing up in Vietnam, New York, and Washington State. She graduated from McGill University with a major in Biology and minor in Environmental Studies. She has experience in academic and field research in Canada, Australia, and Fiji and has worked in environmental consulting offices in Laos. Sabine developed a robust passion for marine conservation, communication, and coral reefs after her most recent position as a fellow with Coral Restoration Foundation in Key Largo, Florida. Sabine aspires to build a career in effective coastal management and communication across multiple stakeholders and regions. Sabine’s research in the Conservation Governance Lab evaluates how policies allow infrastructure upgrades, specifically to major ports in countries with environmental protection policies, knowing the detrimental damage that incurs on fringing reefs. With this analysis, she hopes to identify these policies, stakeholders, and beneficiaries, as well as propose suggestions to increase the protection of the reefs.
Check out her page to learn more about her experiences!
Kasen Layl Wally
Kasen joins us from Chapel Hill, North Carolina. After graduating from the Environmental Science program at Western Carolina University in 2015, he quickly discovered a passion for scuba diving and marine conservation. Since then, Kasen has worked with non-profits in Madagascar, Florida, and Haiti, all of which focused their efforts on coral reef restoration and community education. His background includes experience as a divemaster, project manager, and science communicator. Self-described as a creative and enthusiastic, Kasen hopes to effect positive changes for coral reef ecosystems by addressing key issues contributing to their decline while encouraging cooperation among coastal communities and local governments.
Head over to Kasen’s website to explore more!
Kampol Pannoi is originally from Thailand. He graduated at Auburn University with a major in natural resource management and minor in watershed sciences. He has interests in conservation planning, restoration ecology and wetland ecology. He wishes to make a positive difference in the world. Kam is headed to Indianapolis as a Teach for America teacher!
Katie holds a DrPH and MPH from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a BA from Kennesaw State University. Her work has focused on systems of care and insurance coverage for children, particularly those with special health care needs. She has conducted research in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Public Health, Medicaid, ALL Kids (Alabama’s Children’s Health Insurance Program), and Children’s Rehabilitation Service. She has also provided technical assistance to other states through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Maternal and Child Health networks. Dr. Corvey is now an assistant professor at UAB School of Public Health. Her ResearchGate page is here. Her CV is listed.
Mina was born in California but grew up in the Birmingham metro area. She joined the Conservation Governance Lab as an undergraduate research assistant in Fall 2020 and is currently working with Dr. Corvey in support of Dr. Dunning’s NSF RAPID study of COVID-19 information communication. Read more about it here.
Jaliyl Collins joins us from Huntsville, AL. He graduated with a BS in Natural Resources Management with a minor in Watershed Sciences from Auburn University. His research with Dr. Dunning involved water governance and water policy. He joined the Conservation Governance Lab as an Undergraduate Research Fellow by way of an Undergraduate Research Fellowship he was awarded in Spring 2021. He is researching the dynamics of water governance in the state of Alabama and Mississippi to address the inequities in water accessibility and water infrastructure in less affluent communities and communities of color.
Paige Parker is from a small town right outside of Huntsville, Alabama known as Athens. She graduated with a degree in environmental sciences from Auburn University’s College of Agriculture. Paige assisted Thomas Moorman with data collection.
Parker Wilson comes to us from Hoover, Alabama and graduated with a degree in Natural Resource Management with a minor in Urban Environmental Science. He assisted Thomas Moorman with data collection.
Tasneem Ahsanullah was born and raised in Austin, Texas. She recently graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Marine Biology and a certificate in Environmental Sustainability. Her research with Dr. Dunning involved coral reef and resource conservation in the Cayman Islands.