Hi! I'm Hannah.
I'm a rural sociologist and ethnographer who studies human dimensions of natural resources and the environment and the sociology of food and agriculture.
I use qualitative, mixed methods, and community-based participatory action research to work in tandem with community needs and interests and pursue solutions to resource management, governance, and agricultural institution concerns. Community engagement and knowledge dissemination are at the heart of my research. As such, my Extension and outreach programs emphasize ways of collectively organizing and making power-informed decisions related to agricultural, natural resource, and environmental issues.
Having been raised on a cattle ranch on the banks of the Umpqua River in southwestern Oregon, my upbringing afforded me unique insight into the challenges and opportunities for rural areas. My background as a first-generation college student has enhanced my desire to identify, investigate, and address the issues facing communities like the one in which I grew up.
Today, I am an ABD dual-title PhD Candidate at Pennsylvania State University. My research to date has contextualized collective action, public participation and community resilience strategies related to agriculture, natural resources, and the environment. I founded the Female Farmer Photovoice Project, the Ag in the Basin Photovoice Project, and am a former research assistant for the Water for Agriculture project.
My dissertation research, funded by a NIFA Pre-doctoral Fellowship, uses a variety of qualitative research methods and analysis techniques to explore how critical components of collaborative governance processes, like trust, incentives, legitimacy, and power, are incorporated within water governance processes in the Klamath Basin.
I examine the effects of these factors on stakeholder engagement outcomes in order to make natural resource governance more collaborative, inclusive, and equitable. Moreover, I explore how the presence of a regional secessionist movement and nostalgic group
(the State of Jefferson) affects natural resource engagement processes and outcomes.
The Klamath River Watershed (& the West 2022)
I am presently conducting fieldwork in the Klamath Basin and will be a Visiting Scholar in the School of Public Policy at Oregon State University, and an Affiliate of the Oregon Policy Analysis Laboratory, until December 2022.