Students

Melissa Damico is a sophomore in Ohio University’s Honors Tutorial College, where she is majoring in Environmental Studies; receiving a minor in Sociology; and pursuing certificates in both Law, Justice, and Culture; and Global Health. Melissa is currently doing research with the Grey Green Alliance and hopes to continue working to mitigate the vulnerability of those who will be most negatively impacted by climate change. Over the summer she worked at Age-Friendly Columbus as a research apprentice to Dr. Geoffrey Dabelko to determine best practices in involving older adults in the discussion of climate change adaptation, to ensure that these measures are more appropriate for the Franklin County’s aging population. Melissa and colleagues are working to apply this research to the older adult population of Athens County.

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Paola Sofía Muñoz Gamboa is a Costa Rican biologist from the University of Costa Rica with a special training in Environmental Project Management from Fondo Verde in collaboration with Organization of American States (OAS) 2017-2018. Currently she is a student in the Masters of Science in Environmental Studies Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs at Ohio University. She is also part of the Ohio University Office of Sustainability as a resident of the Ohio EcoHouse, an experimental house promoting sustainable living and hands-on learning experiences. Muñoz had worked in Environmental Education with the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) through 2014-2017. After preliminary studies in Indio Maiz Biological Reserve on the possible route of the Interoceanic Canal in Nicaragua, her current research focus is governance in the preservation of protected areas in Nicaragua. From 2012 to 2019, she collaborated on two ecology research projects in Mexico. She has worked as a biology teacher and teaching assistant for a scientific high school and as a teaching assistant for the Organization of Tropical Studies (OTS). From 2007 to 2010 she worked as an assistant at the herbarium SJO, at the University of Costa Rica and worked as a project developer for CO2.cr on “Carbono Oportunidad” (Carbon Opportunity) and “Proyecto Cancún” (Cancun Project).

Sharif A. Wahab earned Masters degrees in Environmental Studies and International Development Studies at Ohio University as a Fulbright Scholar. Originally from Bangladesh, Sharif focuses on the complex dynamics between development and environmental risks in his home country. Within the Dabelko Research Group, Sharif conducted research on climate change and security with a particular focus on adaptation and “backdraft” dynamics.  Sharif is pursuing his Ph.D. in geography at Indiana University, Bloomington where his focus is on migration and human security in South Asia.

Linsey Edmunds

Hailing from Wooster, Ohio, Linsey Edmunds is a Program Coordinator with Keene State College Upward Bound Programs in Keene, New Hampshire. She is a 2018 graduate of the Master of Science in Environmental Studies and the Master of Public Administration programs at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. During her time at OU, Linsey focused her studies on collaborative resource management and transboundary conservation. Linsey also served as the graduate student leader for the 2017 Balkans Environmental Peacebuilding and Sustainability Expedition in Kosovo, Albania, and Montenegro. She conducted her thesis field research in Albania and Montenegro on a Global Environment Facility supported project on transboundary water management around Lake Shkoder/Lake Skadar. Additionally, Linsey and teammates competed in the Scripps Innovation Challenge and Ohio University’s Idea Pitch Contest where their Green Mappers Team placed 2nd and 1st, earning them a trip to NYC to pitch the Natural Resources Defense Council. Learn more and connect with Linsey here.

Bethany N. Bella is a researcher and storyteller from Columbus, Ohio, who is passionate about connecting people and places. She graduated from Ohio University in 2018 with a Bachelor of Specialized Studies degree in Feminist Political Ecology, and she will continue her education at The Ohio State University as a Master in City and Regional Planning candidate in the fall of 2020.  As a two-year Voinovich Scholar and member of the Dabelko Research Group, Bethany published nine articles on the award-winning blog New Security Beat, part of the ongoing DRG collaboration with the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program. More of her work can be accessed here.

Katie Gardner is a graduate student in Ohio University’s Communication and Development Studies program. During her time as a Voinovich Scholar, she coordinated applied work with the Nancy Stevens Lab and Russ College engineering student teams focused on finding sustainable, environmentally friendly ways to transform plastic waste into building materials in ways that support livelihoods and economic diversification. As a graduate student, Katie focuses on communication for development and social change, specifically through photography and film. She is also currently using her Spanish and interest in storytelling in her work with the Infectious and Tropical Diseases Institute, where she creates social media content for ITDI initiatives working to fight Chagas disease in Ecuador. 

Originally from Tilton, New Hamphire, Alex Boyce is a 2017 graduate of the Master of Science in Environmental Studies Program at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. She was the grad student leader on two study abroad Environmental Peacebuilding and Sustainability study abroad programs in the Balkans. She contributed to the Dabelko Research Group’s ongoing research on “backdraft” dynamics of the conflict from climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts. Alex’s leadership practicum focused on environmental peacebuilding in the Balkans with her capstone entitled “Cooperative Management in National Parks: Lessons from Bjeshket e Nemuna.” Alex worked closely with DRG partner Environmentally Responsible Action Group (ERA Group), a Kosovar NGO based in Peja, Kosovo. Alex worked most recently as a project manager at Syracuse University’s Center for Computational and Data Science. Alex plans to return to the field of international environmental relations and is considering Ph.D. programs.

Although Grace Keyes Hendrick is originally from Mansfield, Ohio, she considers Athens home. She graduated in 2017 with a B.S. in Geographic Information Science from Ohio University’s Geography Department. Grace was a Voinovich Undergraduate Research Scholar for three years, working alongside Dr. Geoff Dabelko. Together they researched issues regarding the nexus of climate change, conflict and security. Through her work as a scholar, Grace became involved with the Environmental Peacebuilding and Sustainability study abroad program through OU. She spent the summer of 2015 in Peja, Kosovo working with the Environmentally Responsible Action Group (ERA Group). After graduating in 2017, Grace spent a year with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources mapping Ohio’s underground coal mines. Grace put her GIS and cartography skills to use as a GIS and Land Tech with a private oil and gas company in Denver, Colorado. She now works as a GIS Specialist with CDM Smith, an environmental engineering firm, in Columbus, OH. Grace hopes to one day return to academia to get her masters, but for now she is loving putting her degree to use.

An Athens, Ohio native, Winter Wilson is an undergraduate senior double major in Environmental Studies and Journalism in the Honors Tutorial College (HTC), and is a current Voinovich Scholar with the Dabelko Research Group. During the summer of 2017, Winter interned at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. and at adelphi in Berlin, Germany. In 2018, Winter interned for the World Wildlife Fund, in Washington, D.C., where she helped to organize and create communications for the Global Science team. Winter worked on her HTC dual thesis focused on climate change communication and skepticism around the world, and coupled the report with a documentary series on the human dimensions of climate change. Winter is interested in compounding climate fragility risks and is exploring how social entrepreneurship can provide solutions to some of the most pressing environmental challenges our world faces today. On campus, Winter was also a Cutler Scholar, Ohio Fellow, and University Innovation Fellow. She will be pursuing a Masters of Environmental Management with a Business and Environment track at Yale’s School of the Environment on Fall 2020.

Jeremiah O. Asaka is an Assistant Professor of Security Studies at Sam Houston State University. Previously he was a Lecturer in Global Studies at Middle Tennessee State University. He is a 2014 graduate of Ohio University’s Master of Science in Environmental Studies program. During his time as a student in the program, he contributed to the Dabelko Research Group’s work on climate change and human security. He is an alumnus of Pennsylvania State University’s Sustainable Climate Risk Management (SCRiM) summer school and the University of Massachusetts Boston’s National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) fellowship. He has publications in the Journal of Arid Environments; The Round Table: The Commonwealth Journal of International Affairs; New Security Beat blog of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars’ Environmental Change and Security Program; Adelphi’s Environment, Conflict and Cooperation online platform; the Conversation; Routledge Handbook of the Resources Nexus; and Routledge Handbook of Environmental Conflicts and Peacebuilding among others. His teaching and research interests lie in the following areas: global environmental politics and governance; human security dimensions of climate change; biodiversity-security nexus; environmental conflict and peacebuilding; globalization; critical theory; mixed methods research; field research; and sub-Saharan Africa with a special focus on Kenya. Find more about his work here.

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