Our Students

Sara Fries

I am a doctoral student in Rural Sociology within Ohio State’s School of Environment and Natural Resources.  My interests lie in education, the reproduction of inequality and stratification, and natural resource communities, typically with the context of rural Appalachia and the U.S. South.  My current projects focus on coal education programs in grade schools in Appalachia and the impact of the presence of community colleges on Appalachian counties.

Divya Gupta

I am an environmental social scientist with an interdisciplinary background. My research focuses on understanding how communities organizes themselves to overcome collective action problems in natural resource management, and the role local institutions, government and non-government agencies play in that process. For my doctoral research, I worked with a traditional forest managing institution in the Central Himalayan region of India, specifically focusing on community participation and external agency involvement in enforcement mechanisms regarding forest use. I use theories, concepts and frameworks established by common pool resource and collaboration scholarship, and employ case studies and ethnographic methods for my research.  I have interests mainly in the following areas:

  • Collaborative Natural Resource Governance (community participation, government and non-government agency collaboration)
  • Common Pool Resource Management (theories, frameworks, institutional analysis)
  • International Environment and Development policies/efforts
  • Comparative Environmental Policy and Politics

Pranay Ranjan

I am a graduate student in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at The Ohio State University, pursuing a PhD in Environment and Natural Resources. My research interest is in Environmental Policy and Governance, especially examining how society and development interface.   I hold a Master’s degree in Environmental Studies from The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) University. My Master’s dissertation aimed at finding the impact of the recent economic crisis on environmental policy dynamics in Germany. I also hold a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Life Sciences from University of Delhi.

Travis Shaul

I am a graduate student in the School of Environment and Natural Resources.  I am currently working with Dr. Tomas Koontz on examining Watershed Action Plans (WAPs) for Wood and Hancock Counties.  Through examination of these plans, and interviews with the parties involved in creating them, I will gain an understanding of how WAPs are collaboratively constructed and implemented.  I will further explore the specific recommendations made by the WAPs, why their plans were accepted or declined, the time frame for the planning process, their best management practices, and the collaboration of the groups developing the WAPs.  My future research interests include applying concepts of collaborative resource management gained from this research to The National Parks System.

Kristina Slagle

I am a PhD student working on wildlife- and fisheries-related policy. I hold a BA in political science with a business minor, and an MS in environmental social science. I focus on decision making under risk, and how this impacts policies related to fisheries and wildlife management. I am particularly interested in carnivore conservation in mixed landscapes.
My recent work includes a psychological model of policy support for wolf restoration that examines the links between emotion, risk, and policy attitudes through an online survey of an issue public (Slagle, Bruskotter, and Wilson, 2012). I’ve also used experimental methods to understand the influence of various communication efforts on tolerance for black bears in Ohio (Slagle, et al, accepted for publication in the Journal of Wildlife Management). Additionally, using traditional mail surveys, I’ve investigated the role of trust in anglers’ support for agency policies, and the influence of information processing behaviors on the risk judgments of individuals living in a degraded, urbanizing watershed.