I am a PhD student in the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill Geography Department studying the political economy behind unconventional upstream petroleum production in Texas. Broadly, my interests lie in the realm of political ecology and economic geography, however I would more associate myself with the emerging cohort of energy geographers. As an energy geographer, I have deployed GIS and semi-structured interviews to answer questions relating to the economic development of the Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas—one of the most productive unconventional hydrocarbon production regions on the planet. As boomtowns develop in response to nearby intensive resource extraction, the community dynamics start to change. My research has examined this shift in monetary and quality of life terms, oftentimes demonstrating that the greatest benefits go to Texas metropolitan regions and not to the locations where oil extraction is taking place.
I have also examined municipal policymaking initiatives aimed at regulating unconventional hydrocarbon extraction on the Barnett Shale in North Texas. As part of this research, I again deployed a combination of GIS and qualitative research to examine how policies move on the landscape and how regulations were tailored to site-specific characteristics. On both the Barnett and Eagle Ford shales, my work was cross-institutional, involving scientists from Texas A&M University, the University of North Texas, and Qatar University.
As an early research scientist, I examined the coastal geomorphology of Pensacola Beach, Florida, and participated in a NSF sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) on the White Mountain Apache Reservation in Arizona where I applied GIS experience to qualitative-participatory community research. As part of my education and travels, I speak Spanish with advanced proficiency. As my investigations demonstrate, I am always happy to entertain proposed collaborations with other social and physical scientists.