Geography Knows No Boundaries

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Long-distance Migratory Bird Conservation
Jenny Isaacs

As a PhD Candidate in the Rutgers Geography Department, I am a critical human-environment geographer researching and teaching about the challenges of long-distance migratory species conservation. I serve as Co-President and Annual Conference Organizer for Natura, an Interdisciplinary Graduate Student Working Group at Rutgers focused on the History of Science and Epistemology. In 2014, I won the Geography Department’s Graduate Teaching Award as well as an Association of American Geographers award for Best Graduate Paper in Animal Geography.

I earned an MA in Sustainability Studies at Ramapo College of New Jersey (2012) and a BA in English Literature from UMass Amherst (2002). Between these programs I worked as an environmental educator for the NJ Audubon Society, The NJ Meadowlands Commission, Wildlife Conservation Society at The Central Park Zoo, UNESCO (United Nations) Program for a Joint Framework on Biological and Cultural Diversity, The Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, New York City schools, and The National Park Service. In my Political Ecology dissertation, “Tracing the Shorebird Conservation Network”, I combine the perspectives of Science and Technology Studies, Animal Geography, Posthumanism, and Actor Network Theory, to trace the actors, assemblage, linkages, and capacities of the shorebird conservation network, across the Atlantic Flyway. As part of a discourse analysis and “praxiography”, I am analyzing how conservation best practices are configured in the Northeastern United States and exported across the flyway, in the various forms of species experts, mobile technologies and equipment, grant funding, species narratives, metaphors, discourses, and legal frameworks of protection. Within the CCA, I plan to specifically focus on the decolonial/postcolonial aspects of the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, studying it as an emerging conservation “archipelago”, expanding steadily from global north to south since the 1980s.

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