Meet the 2018 Spencer Grant Recipients
Cydney Siegerman is a first-year PhD student in Anthropology/Integrative Conservation and is advised by Dr. Don Nelson. This summer, she will be conducting predissertation fieldwork to increase her contextual understanding of knowledge production and use in the context the management of scarce water resources in northeast Brazil. Her research questions focus on the creation of risk assessments and climate scenarios by experts and how this technical knowledge impacts decision-making processes at the river-basin level related to bulk water allocation in the Jaguaribe Valley, Ceará, Brazil. Cydney’s Spencer Grant award will be used for travel to Brazil, where through direct observation and semi-structured interviews, she will learn about how risk assessments and other forms of technical knowledge are created and shared to inform water-allocation decisions, which stakeholder groups are represented in the river-basin committee, and how allocation decisions are made.
Carol Yang is a Master’s student in the Conservation Ecology and Sustainable Development program. Prior to coming to UGA, she worked in Costa Rica for several years as the Environmental Education coordinator at a K-11 school. When she brought students to do stream sampling and other hands-on activities in the field, they would encounter crabs and wonder about their ecological roles in these headwater streams. Since arriving at UGA, Carol has further explored her interest in tropical streams, where loss of freshwater biodiversity is occurring at unprecedented rates. The potential consequences of declining species on ecosystem functions are difficult to predict, however, especially in tropical streams where the basic natural history and functional roles of many species are undescribed. For example, freshwater crabs are also found in many tropical streams, but few studies have examined their abundance, distribution, or ecological roles, the questions that her students had wondered about on many occasions. Carol’s Spencer Grant award will be used for supplies and travel to Costa Rica, where she plans to investigate the abundance and distribution of freshwater crabs in tropical montane streams, as well as examine their roles in leaf litter breakdown.
Uploaded: 5/2/2018 | Text: Cyra Malec