Hirokazu Koreeda, one of my favorite directors, considers himself as a "collector" - collecting emotions and thoughts that are embedded in the world, and then simply displaying them to the world. The world itself is beautiful, but it never speaks out loud. Conducting science allows be to be a collector myself.
In rangeland ecosystems, social and ecological actors and processes jointly influence each other in profound ways. I am particularly interested in the mobility of wildlife and humans that is affected by social-ecological processes. I work in arid and semi-arid rangelands, particularly the ones in developing areas. My previous work includes studying Tibetan antelopes migration and snow leopard habitat selection and potial predator-livestock conflits on the Tibetan plateau.
To address these systematic complexities, I utilize geospatial analysis and ecological modeling to integrate multi-scalar, multi-dimensional information from satellite and unmanned aerial images, GPS tracking data, and in situ survey. By understanding the synthesized human-landscape-wildlife system, I hope to eventually promote interdisciplinary conservation practices for the benefits of human-wildlife coexistence in the context of rapidly changing natural and social environments.
When I am working in distant places like Tibet, I consistently think about science narratives. We spent considerable amount of resources trying to convince a broad audience, including policy makers (who are often not from the local area) and mainstream society, that nature matters, something the local pastoralists already appreciate but the policymakers who regulate them may not understand. We have found that pastoralists have tremendous amount of knowledge about plants, animals, and landscapes and their values, which they learned from local folklores. Stories are powerful.
These reflections lead to an additional interest of mine as a PhD student: to practice and promote the use of storytelling to articulate the importance of science to an audience with various interests. Specifically, I want to explore a kind of scientific storytelling that can create emotional engagement and reader/viewer participation without compromising the rigid logical structure and truthfulness of science. I am particularly into documentary filmmaking, which I would credit to bring me inside of the wonder of nature.
Mailing addressDepartment of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management
130 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, CA 94720