Students

Current students

Rebecca Minardi, PhD. Student

minardir@msu.edu

Rebecca is a doctoral student in the Department of Community Sustainability and is specializing in Environmental Science and Policy. She received her BA in International Affairs and History from Marshall University in West Virginia and her Master of Public Health from Des Moines University in Iowa.  She is interested in pursuing research in agroecology and agroforestry and in studying diversified farming systems and land sharing practices where communities collaborate to manage commonly held resources.

Andrew Gerard, PhD. Student

gerarda1@msu.edu

Andrew is a doctoral student and studies institutional and economic issues related to sustainable international agricultural production. He is interested in influences on farmer decision-making, the agricultural and environmental policy development process, and economic transactions in the absence of enforceable contracts. Andrew works with MSU's African Great Lakes Coffee Support Program on coffee policy research in Rwanda and Burundi. He also serves as a Global Partnership Specialist in MSU's Center for Global Connections. Prior to coming to MSU, Andrew was a Senior Program Officer at the Global Knowledge Initiative, a non-profit international development organization based in Washington, DC. There he built collaborative networks and supported policy and strategy efforts in East and Southern Africa. 

Pardeep Toor, PhD. Student

toorpard@msu.edu

Pardeep is a doctoral student in the Department of Community Sustainability. He's interested in researching physical and social infrastructure in industrial urban areas. He completed his master's in Urban and Regional Planning at Michigan State University in 2014. He currently works and lives in Flint, Michigan.

Kyle Metta, PhD. Student

mettakyl@msu.edu

Kyle is a doctoral student in the Department of Community Sustainability and the Global Urban Studies Program. Kyle is interested in understanding how social norms, rules, and conventions operate in the management of social-ecological systems. Specifically, he plans to study the governance and re-emergence of urban commons within shrinking cities. His research, which is place-based and problem oriented, focuses on the role of social networks and prosocial behavior in resource sharing.  As a student of complex systems and institutional and ecological economics he utilizes computational, experimental, and participatory methods in his work. In his free time, he enjoys baking bread, biking, camping, and reflecting on radical forms of deliberative democracy.

Laura Castro-Diaz, MS Student

castrodi@msu.edu

Laura is a second year master's student at the Department of Community Sustainability. Her master’s thesis addresses the impacts generated by the Belo Monte Hydroelectric dam on the lives and livelihoods of fishers in a riverine community in the Amazon basin. Prior to coming to MSU Laura received a B.S in Ecology from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. Laura has experience working with indigenous and Afro-Colombian communities in Colombia, rural mestizo communities in Peru and riverine communities in Brazil. She is interested in studying the coupled human-environment interactions of fishing communities in Latin America.

Aldo Gonzalez, MS Student

aldogc@msu.edu

Aldo is a second year master's student at the Department of Community Sustainability. He has an Engineering degree in agriculture and Animal Science from the Autonomous University of Chapingo, Mexico. Aldo is interested in international sustainable development and how local communities can cooperate and empower themselves to solve their socioeconomic problems while preserving their natural resources. His master's thesis aims to assess the relationship between empowerment and sustainability of commonly owned forest in an indigenous community in Cheran, Mexico. He is doing so through qualitative data and Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 

Natalia Ocampo Diaz, MS Student 

ocampodi@msu.edu

Natalia is a first year master's student at the Department of Community Sustainability. During her master program, she is aiming to explore the way in which communities manage collective territories. Natalia is a human ecologist with a B.S. in Ecology from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Bogota, Colombia. She has experience working in different areas of Colombia, such as the Amazon, Pacific, Orinoquia, and Andean Regions. Her research experience focuses on topics such as community-based management of natural resources, insights from local and traditional knowledge for public policy, the relation between local livelihoods and ecosystems, as well as bird ecology.


Former Students

Sara Torres, 2016

torress9@msu.edu

Master's degree from the Department of Community Sustainability.

"The effects on Values, Beliefs and Norms of Payments for Environmental Services: evidence from a PES program in Colombia".

Sara finished her Master's degree in May 2016. Her interests are focused on the way perceptions affect how people interact with policy. Her Master’s thesis was focused on pro-environmental behavior and applying Values-Beliefs-Norms theory to a payment for environmental services program with cattle ranchers in rural Colombia. Sara received her B.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she studied how perceptions of scarcity of a resource affect how individuals know and follow the rules that protect said resource. She is currently pursuing a PhD in the Geography Department at MSU.

Maneth La, 2015.

maneth.la@gmail.com

Master's degree from the Department of Community Sustainability.

"An Evaluation of the Land Use Planning Process in Cambodia within the Current Climate Change Context."