Our Team

Katrina Mullan (Principal Investigator) is Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Montana, and a faculty member in the UM Bridges graduate training program on the Food-Energy-Water Nexus. She conducts empirical research on the drivers and impacts of land use change. This includes study of the socio-economic and environmental consequences of agricultural expansion into tropical forests; the relationships between the environment and migration; and the ways that people respond to environmental risks. She has a PhD in Environment and Development Economics from Cambridge University, and previously advised on environmental policy for the UK government and the European Environment Agency.

Andrew Bell (Co-Principal Investigator) is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at New York University.  His current research portfolio focuses on the use of field instruments – such as discrete choice experiments, framed field experiments, randomized control trials – to inform behavior in agent-based models of coupled human-natural systems. Prior to this post, Andrew received his Ph.D. in Natural Resource Management from the University of Michigan, his M.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from Waseda University, and his B.Sc. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Trent W. Biggs (Co-Principal Investigator) is a Professor of Geography at San Diego State University. His research interests include the impacts of land use on hydrology, water quality, and sediment.  Dr. Biggs and his students use satellite imagery, fieldwork, and modeling to diagnose and analyze water-related problems that impact the environment and human welfare. His field locations include the Brazilian Amazon, American Samoa, southern India, and the US-Mexico border region. He has MA and PhD degrees in Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara, and a Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Princeton University.

Jill Caviglia-Harris (Co-Principal Investigator) is Professor of Economics in the Economics & Finance and Environmental Studies Departments at Salisbury University. Her research is focused on understanding the underlying tradeoffs between development and deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon and identifying answers to complex (and often politically energized) questions concerning the degree to which the ecological costs of deforestation are offset by local gains from economic development. Dr. Caviglia-Harris received her B.S. in Mathematical Economics and B.A. in English Literature from Binghamton University, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Tennessee.

Fernando De Sales (Co-Principal Investigator) is an Assistant Professor of Geography at San Diego State University. His research interest lies primarily in developing a better understanding of the processes associated with Earth’s physical environment through climate models. In particular, the interactions between the atmosphere and the biosphere have been the focus of his research. These projects are helping solve important questions, while training graduate students to think beyond disciplinary boundaries. Fernando received his Ph.D. from UCLA and M.A .and B.S. from Universidade de São Paulo.

Rachel Dubbs (Undergraduate Student) is a senior and double major in Environmental Studies and Political Science at Salisbury University. Her interests include agriculture and renewable energy systems. Rachel is a Dean’s List Student and a captain on Salisbury University’s volleyball team. Rachel is one of the field reporters on this project.  She will report on the team roles and responsibilities within the “Water + Rural Production” project and document her experience through field stories. Outside of her studies, Rachel enjoys being outdoors and traveling and hopes to continue to travel and research outside of the United States. Rachel is from Ellicott City, MD.

Elvino Ferreira (Co-Principal Investigator) is professor at the Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Departments at the Federal University of Rondônia. His research focuses on estimation of the environmental impact of animal production and waste and the study of the newly developing scientific and technological process for improving animal production and soil fertility originated from agroecosystems. Dr. Ferreira is a member of the Academic Masters of the Environmental Sciences Program UNIR / EMBRAPA.

Daniel W. Harris (GIS Coordinator) is an Associate Professor of Geography and Chair of Geography and Geosciences Department at Salisbury University. His research has focused on the design and implementation of GIS applications across multiple disciplines including the geosciences, economics, biology and in local government. He received a B.A. in Geography from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a M.A. in Geography from Appalachian State University and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction in Science Teaching  from the University of Maryland-College Park.

Craig McIver (Undergraduate Student) is a junior pursuing a major in Economics and a minor in Conflict Analysis Dispute Resolution at Salisbury University. He is a Dean’s list student and a member of Omicron Delta Epsilon, the International Economics Honor Society. He is hoping to accumulate a greater understanding of the dynamics of growth in a developing nation like Brazil and the intrinsic relationships between economic development and accompanying consequences.  Craig will be working on the data collection and analysis for the research team. He is excited to see what opportunities will materialize from being a part of such a project and hopes his experiences will assist him in narrowing down potential options for graduate degrees. Craig is a South African born, naturalized US citizen.

Amber Millison (Undergraduate Student) is a junior at Salisbury University studying Earth and Atmospheric Science as a double major. Her favorite subject in the earth sciences is climatology, which she plans to study in graduate school. Amber is a member of Phi Kappa Phi honor society and Gamma Theta Upsilon geographic honor society. Amber is passionate about the positive impact these fields can make on our planet.  She hopes to encourage people to make changes in their own lives and view the earth as something we are responsible for taking care of. When not busy with schoolwork, she loves being outdoors, hiking, exploring new places, and hanging out with her dog, Boris. Amber is from Frederick, Maryland.

Corrie Monteverde (Doctoral Student) is pursuing her Ph.D. at San Diego State University (SDSU) and the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) where she is advised by Fernando De Sales, Trent Biggs, and Charles Jones. Her primary research interests are in regional modeling, applied climatology, and climate change studies. In particular, she is interested in changes in precipitation and temperature regimes and linking these with processes or conditions that impact farmers, growers, businesses, and communities. She would like to utilize climatology studies to inform both policy and climate product end users. She received her B.S. in Physical Geography from UCSB and her M.S. in Watershed Science from SDSU.

Thaís Santiago (Post-doc) is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Economics at University of Montana. She was also a visiting scholar at Salisbury University. Thaís has been investigating the impacts of environmental policies and drivers of land use changes in the Amazon. She worked with Brazilian policy makers on the implementation of the Rural Environmental Registry System (CAR) and environmental compliance programs in the Amazon. Thaís was also a Professor at the Federal Center of Technological Education of Minas Gerais, Brazil. She holds a B.S. in Biology, a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Forest Sciences from Federal University of Lavras, Brazil.

Wanderson Cleiton Schmidt Cavalheiro

(Research scientist and contractor) is a Forest Engineer and has a Master's in Environmental Sciences from the Federal University of Rondônia. His main activities focus on deforestation, land use and their effects on agroecosystems. Cleiton uses satellite and radar imagery, field activities and modeling to diagnose and analyze water-related problems and their effects. He is part of the Environmental Research Group (GEOMA) of the Federal University of Rondônia. He has professional experience in the area of Forest Production Controls via Forest Management System (SGF), experience in the areas of Native Forest Management, Utilization of Forest Products, Ethnobotany, Agroforestry Systems, Geographic Information Systems, Geoprocessing and Water resources. For leisure, Cleiton enjoys camping, exploring nature, fishing and playing soccer with friends.

Cassie Sevigny (Masters Student) is pursuing her Master’s in Economics at the University of Montana in Missoula with particular interest in environmental economics. She is also a trainee in the UM Bridges Food-Energy-Water program, a National Research Traineeship funded by the National Science Foundation with emphasis on intersecting resource systems and effective science communication. She earned Bachelor’s degrees in both English - Creative Writing and Economics in 2017. Throughout her life she has had an interest in sharing stories and science facts, exploring human relationships with the environment, and understanding which factors affect personal and economic well-being. In her free time she enjoys travel, reading, writing, and outdoor activities.

Erin Sills (Co-Principal Investigator) is the Edwin F. Conger Professor of forest economics and coordinator of international programs in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources at North Carolina State University, where she is also a member of the Center for Environmental and Resource Economic Policy and the Research Leadership Academy. She is a research associate of CIFOR (Center for International Forestry Research), EfD (Environment for Development), and Imazon (Amazon Institute of People and the Environment). Erin has a PhD in natural resource economics from Duke University, and a BA in public policy from Princeton University.

Marin Skidmore (Doctoral Student) is a PhD student in Agricultural and Applied Economics at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, where she is advised by Jeremy Foltz and Holly Gibbs. She is spending 2019 in Rondônia as a Fulbright Scholar. Prior to starting her PhD, Marin received a BS in economics and statistics and a MS in Agricultural and Consumer Economics, both from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign. She is originally from Wisconsin and enjoys camping, hiking, and swimming with her husband and two dogs.

Zackary Werner (Masters Student) is pursuing his Master’s in Geography at San Diego State University. His coursework is focused on remote sensing and geographic information science. His research utilizes a biophysical model to investigate the impacts of wildfire activity on surface properties in the Brazilian savanna. Zack earned his Bachelor’s degree in Geography with an emphasis in physical and environmental studies in 2017. He has always been interested in climate change and marine conservation. He fills his spare time with soccer, the beach, coffee shops and traveling.

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Connections between Water and Rural Production: Sociohydrological Systems on a Tropical Forest Frontier

Project funded by the National Science Foundation: CNH-L #1825046

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