For his Ph.D. research in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at UC Berkeley, Ryan’s focus was in Madagascar and some of the socio-political issues surrounding biodiversity conservation in the tropics. He is particularly interested in how overlapping institutions around conservation areas differentially affect resource access, livelihoods strategies, and forest ecologies. Before joining the ESPM community, He spent several years working on conservation issues with subsistence-based communities in Madagascar. Arriving in Madagascar as a bright-eyed Peace Corps volunteer, he worked with communities to develop more sustainable forest management practices, which led to his M.Sc. degree in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development through the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. With B.S. degrees in Zoology and Anthropology, he is committed to developing and utilizing interdisciplinary approaches to transcend the human/environment divide, drawing on theory from political ecology, conservation biology, and science studies, amongst others. He currently resides in Alaska, spending his summers connecting people to the land by leading natural history explorations in the Denali backcountry, and skiing and reading his way through the dark winters in Fairbanks.