I am a PhD Candidate in the Department of Sociology at UC Berkeley where I study environmental politics. My research interests span cultural sociology, social and political theory, science and technology studies, environmental sociology, political sociology, economic sociology, and law and society. My research has been published or is forthcoming in Theory and Society, Theory Culture and Society, Science as Culture, Citizenship Studies, Ethics Policy and Environment, The Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and The New Handbook of Political Sociology (Cambridge University Press).
I am interested in how “nature” is configured as a moral and political object, particularly in times of crisis. My primary empirical focus is endangered species conservation and water management in California. My dissertation draws on archival sources, observations, interviews, and a large scale analysis of news articles to understand the entanglements of science, law, infrastructure, politics, and culture in the context of one of the most contentious and consequential endangered species conflicts in American history: the case of the delta smelt, a small species of fish caught in the center of California’s “water wars.” The first major article from this project, “Hydraulic Society and a ‘Stupid Little Fish’: Toward a Historical Ontology of Endangerment” (in Theory and Society) was awarded the 2017 American Sociological Association Animals and Society Section’s Jane Goodall Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Scholarship, the 2017 Herbert Blumer Prize for the best paper written by a UC Berkeley sociology graduate student, and UC Berkeley’s 2018 Leo Lowenthal Prize.
My research on the politics of endangerment and extinction has informed an interest in bringing environmental law into empirical legal studies. To this end, I was a 2017-18 Berkeley Empirical Legal Studies Fellow at the Center for the Study of Law & Society. My background in political theory and ongoing collaborations with philosophers ground an enduring interest in foundational concepts, and in particular “freedom” and “nature,” which are typically avoided in the discipline of sociology, yet frequently looming in the background of sociological analysis and social theorizing nonetheless.
Learn more about my research here.