I use survey data, field work (focus groups, observation and interviews), remotely sensed data and other types of geophysical data to investigate the ways that people interact with their environment.  In particular, I focus on food insecurity, children's health and women's health in a context of climate change.  I also focus on how women manage their nutritional needs while pregnant and breastfeeding. As part of this research, I investigate the decisions that women and men make regarding childbearing and contraceptive use while coping with food insecurity.  My research is primarily focused in some of the poorest countries in the world in West Africa, East Africa and Central America.

Grain storage in a village in Burkina Faso.  The structures are made using locally available products and are lifted off the ground to keep out rodents and to help make sure the grain does not spoil while it's stored.  Some families are able to store enough to last them from one harvest to the next, while other families are only able to store grain to last for a few months.  Without adequate grain families can face many hungry days.

Grain storage in a village in Burkina Faso.  The structures are made using locally available products and are lifted off the ground to keep out rodents and to help make sure the grain does not spoil while it's stored.  Some families are able to store enough to last them from one harvest to the next, while other families are only able to store grain to last for a few months.  Without adequate grain families can face many hungry days.

With help from a smart graduate student who acted as a translator (thank you Bif!) I spoke with this man in the Lowlands of the Amhara region of Ethiopia.  His favorite food is Injera (made with millet!) and his favorite cow is the red one (in the back, you can barely see it).  You can see the Eucalyptus trees in the background which are starting to show up throughout this area of Ethiopia - Eucalyptus is a cash crop that requires very little labor to manage and grows quickly (around 5 years until harvest).  The long- and short-term social, economic, and environmental impacts of Eucalyptus production instead of food crop production are not well known (to the scholarly community, anyway) at this point.

With help from a smart graduate student who acted as a translator (thank you Bif!) I spoke with this man in the Lowlands of the Amhara region of Ethiopia.  His favorite food is Injera (made with millet!) and his favorite cow is the red one (in the back, you can barely see it).  You can see the Eucalyptus trees in the background which are starting to show up throughout this area of Ethiopia - Eucalyptus is a cash crop that requires very little labor to manage and grows quickly (around 5 years until harvest).  The long- and short-term social, economic, and environmental impacts of Eucalyptus production instead of food crop production are not well known (to the scholarly community, anyway) at this point.

These children from rural Burkina Faso were quite interested in us, especially my 4 year old child, when we arrived in their village to look at their drinking wells and farming plots.  The littlest (crying) child in this photo was both fascinated by and petrified of my 14 year old daughter!  Eventually he found a safe hiding place and observed us without so much distress!  Poor little one!

These children from rural Burkina Faso were quite interested in us, especially my 4 year old child, when we arrived in their village to look at their drinking wells and farming plots.  The littlest (crying) child in this photo was both fascinated by and petrified of my 14 year old daughter!  Eventually he found a safe hiding place and observed us without so much distress!  Poor little one!

In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, menstrual pads are delivered to small stores using classy scooters like this one!  However, the cost of pads is relatively high and these types of "conveniences" are only available to a small group of girls and women.

In Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, menstrual pads are delivered to small stores using classy scooters like this one!  However, the cost of pads is relatively high and these types of "conveniences" are only available to a small group of girls and women.