Dr. Kelly Dunning
Kelly holds a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), an MSc from Oxford, a BA from the University of Florida, and is a Fulbright and Teach for America Alum. She is an assistant professor at Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife with over 10 years of experience working on environmental policy problems all over the world. Her lab is the Conservation Governance Lab. The research program focuses on biodiversity conservation policy with an eye to the complicated story behind environmental policy-making and implementation (or “governance”). Her Google Scholar page is here.
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. She will be drawing on her public health expertise as a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Dunning and others on the NSF RAPID study of COVID-19 information communication in the Southeast. Her ResearchGate page is here.
Catherine grew up in upstate New York, which gave her endless opportunities to be outside engaging with countless wildlife species and their habitats, right in her backyard. She graduated from SUNY New Paltz in 2018 with a BS in Cell and Molecular Biology and a minor in studio art. She is a recent graduate from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, where she received a MS in Animals and Public Policy, which solidified her love for public policy. Catherine is particularly interested in human-wildlife conflict and how stakeholders play different roles in developing solutions. She aspires to build a career in policy analyses for federal or state agencies as well as serve as an advocate for effective and sustainable mitigation solutions. Catherine’s PhD research will focus on the different state level policy responses to Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in free ranging white-tailed deer across the United States as well as how agency communications and public perceptions differ depending on how long CWD has been present in the herd.
Read more about her research and prior experience as a Woods Hole Research Assistant studying attitudes towards seals and sharks in Cape Cod, MA here!
Greg holds a BA and MPA from Indiana University. His MPA work focused on public policy analysis with research projects that focused on the opioid epidemic in Southern Indiana and serving as a consultant to a new, community-minded non-profit, also in Southern Indiana. Greg is a 12-year veteran of the Indiana Army National Guard and has been deployed to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in 2013. He is interested in environmental conservation as it relates to the Department of Defense and how the DoD, as the nation’s largest employer, can be a steward of the land it uses. Greg’s PhD research is focused on how climate change has impacted the Gulf of Mexico and how stakeholders in the region balance the need to preserve and protect their ecological landscape and support local economies largely centered around tourism and agriculture. Greg aspires to build a career that allows him to continue public service once completely out of uniform.
Read and learn more about Greg 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!
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.
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!
Isabelle was born and raised in Madison, Alabama. She graduated from The University in Alabama in Huntsville with a BS in Earth System Science, and a concentration in Human Dimensions and Societal Impacts. While at UAH, Isabelle enjoyed being on the volleyball team, and her classes that explored human-environment interactions. Since then, she has spent a summer as an AmeriCorps member in North Carolina on a trail crew, restoring and increasing sustainability on popular hiking trails off the Blue Ridge Parkway. This experience further instilled a passion in her to appreciate and care for the natural world, and figuring out how we as humans can best do this. Most recently she worked as a field technician on a forest dynamics plot through Alabama A&M. She is attending Auburn to pursue her non-thesis Masters in Natural Resources, and is very excited for the knowledge and skills she will obtain to put towards a career possibly in natural resource management, environmental consulting, or community planning.
Learn more about her experience with AmeriCorps here!
Aaron hails from a small town called York, AL. Being a first-generation graduate with a Bachelor’s in Environmental Science, nature played a key part in his upbringing. During his undergraduate studies, he partook in a range of research subjects. These included studying environmental impacts of riffles and pools in aquatic systems and point and non-point source pollution in Alabama. Aaron has also taken an interest botany, where he examined the effects of plant microbiomes and the historical distribution of specific tree species. He’s even co-authored a field guide for Rarotonga in the Cook Islands. Aaron is part of the Alabama National Guard and wants to use his experiences, current and future, to protect public services from overuse and over exploitation. He is eager to learn more about nature, public policy, and what he has left to explore.
Veronica “Ronni” Rudolphi
Ronni was born and raised in Moss Point, a small town on the bayous of Southeast Mississippi. She received a BS in Animal and Dairy Science (pre-vet) from Mississippi State University with the intention of applying to MSU’s vet school. However, after marrying a member of the US Air Force, she began moving around the world as a military spouse. Fifteen years and four children later, she decided to act on her passion for nature and its preservation by enrolling in Auburn’s non-thesis Masters in Natural Resources program. She is simultaneously working on a certificate in Restoration Ecology and is hoping to soon gain technical experience in the field with a federal agency.
Read more about her journey here.
Mina was born in California but grew up in the Birmingham metro area. She is a sophomore at Auburn University majoring in Biomedical Sciences in the College of Sciences and Mathematics. She is planning to pursue a career as a physical therapist with a focus on sports medicine injuries. 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. She is excited to be part of this timely study on information dissemination.
Read more about it here.
Undergraduate Research Fellow
Jaliyl Collins joins us from Huntsville, AL. He is pursuing his BS in Natural Resources Management with a minor in Watershed Sciences from Auburn University. His research with Dr. Dunning involves water governance and water policy. He joins 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. In his spare time, Jaliyl enjoys playing the trumpet and hiking. Upon graduating, he is interested in pursuing a Master’s related to urban policy, environmental planning, or hydrology in order to create more sustainable communities.
Dan was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. He received a BA in Political Science from Auburn University in 2007 before joining the United States Air Force as a Logistics Readiness Officer. During his 10 years in the military, Dan had the opportunity to travel the world and live in many interesting places, including Japan, Korea, and Italy. He is currently a Natural Resources Management student in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. He joins the Conservation Governance Lab as an undergraduate researcher for Sabine Bailey where he will investigate the stakeholders and policies behind the Port of Miami Deep Dredge Project. Dan has a burning fascination with the natural world and enjoys spending his free time outdoors pursuing his other passions fishing, hiking, camping, skiing, golfing, and running.
Read more about his journey here.
Kampol Pannoi is originally from Thailand. He studies at Auburn University majoring in natural resource management and minoring in watershed sciences. He is a student researcher in the Conservation Governance Lab. Our research topic is focusing on recreational fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico. He has interests in conservation planning, restoration ecology and wetland ecology. He wishes to make a positive difference in the world.
Paige Parker is from a small town right outside of Huntsville, Alabama known as Athens. She is a Junior at Auburn University studying environmental sciences in the College of Agriculture. Her interests within her field include sustainability, environmental policy and regulation, and human interaction with the environment. This is her first year working for Dr. Dunning researching red snapper management in the Gulf of Mexico. She is a student researcher and communications specialist for the Conservation Governance Lab.
President of Society for Natural Resources
Parker Wilson comes to us from Hoover, Alabama and is currently a Senior in Natural Resource Management, minoring in Urban Environmental Science. He joins The Conservation Governance Lab as an Undergraduate Researcher for Thomas Moorman. As a part of Thomas’ case study, he researches the recent transition of Red Snapper management from federal to state jurisdiction. His focus within Natural Resources lies with Conservation Planning, Natural Resource Policy, and Ecosystem Restoration. Parker hopes to contribute effective and sustainable management solutions within an increasingly urbanizing world.
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 involves coral reef and resource conservation in the Cayman Islands. She is interested in pursuing a Master’s related to wildlife conservation, marine protected areas or science communication. Most of her free time is spent outdoors and she enjoys doing wildlife photography.