I'm a born and raised Alaskan, and over the years I have worn many hats working and living there: journalist, legislative aide, campaign director, tourist train bartender, and environmental organizer, to name a few.
Before grad school and even before completing my B.A. at the University of Washington in 2005, I spent several years and cashed in more than a few Alaskan oil dividend checks to rack up over 50,000 miles criss-crossing the country on Greyhound buses (I had a mild obsession with Blue Highways). I learned a great deal from my fellow passengers on those buses about socioeconomic inequality, urban-rural politics, and the chronic effects of ontological insecurity and dislocation on resilience and well-being—all lessons that have served me well as I've worked to untangle the various dynamics of my dissertation and related projects.
Thanks to my background in government, campaign work, and the nonprofit world (I also completed two terms as an AmeriCorps volunteer), for me my academic work is deeply connected with community activism and progressive policy advocacy—particularly environmental and climate policy. Over the course of my dissertation research, I have engaged deeply with questions of social inequality, environmental sustainability, and democratic participation, and have over and over again seen just how inextricably linked all three issues are. My dissertation aims to shed light on some of those connections, while also pointing a path forward for progressive policy makers and community activists who seek a more sustainable world in a post-carbon future, especially within those groups considered most vulnerable to the worst impacts of climate instability.
In my spare time, I enjoy being an increasingly preachy, largely wild-foraged vegan (why yes, let's discuss genuinely sustainable food systems), having various misadventures with my dogs, pursuing a lifelong passion for Jungian psychology as it is interpreted in astrology and Tarot, and I require very little if any pretense to embark upon a (CO2-friendly) road trip. I have converted my tiny car into a largely solar-powered teeny-tiny RV, and can be usually be found somewhere between Anchorage, Seattle, and Hudson Bay.
More often than not, I can be found in Santa Rosa, CA, where I am the associate director of research compliance (among other things) at True North Health Center.
(My genius dog, Motown, helping me write my dissertation. He demanded the squeaky toy and the Tom Robbins.)
Motown and Melville prepare for yet another Alaskan road trip in the middle of winter.