Arren Mendezona Alegretti is a postdoctoral research consultant with Professor Nicole Ardoin’s Social Ecology Lab. Arren holds a PhD in Ecology and an MS in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University (CSU). Her research interests include community-based natural resource management, local ecological knowledge, transdisciplinary research communication, and environmental conflict management. As a social-ecological researcher and educator, she is interested in how people interact with their social and biophysical environment, experience environmental change, and collaborate to manage natural resource issues. Arren has taught Environmental Studies, World Geography, and Human Dimensions of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) at Santa Clara University. She is a former fellow of the Center for Collaborative Conservation at CSU, where she worked with fish wardens, educators, and policy makers to shape sustainable fishery policies and integrate field-based MPA education in the Philippines. Prior to becoming a researcher, Arren worked as field ecologist in California, led community development projects for a nature-based volunteer tourism organization in Costa Rica, and collaborated with local governments in the Philippines to learn about and experience firsthand neighboring MPAs.
Diane A. Matar is a Postdoctoral Researcher with Professor Nicole Ardoin’s Social Ecology Lab. Diane helps oversee the social science research aspects of the interdisciplinary Summen/
Diane earned her Ph.D. in 2015 from Central European University, where her research focused on identifying place-based factors determining effective implementation and management of biosphere reserves in North Africa Middle East. During her PhD, the IUCN featured Diane as an inspiring leader for the next generation of conservationists. As a social ecologist, her research focuses on human dimensions of nature conservation, with an emphasis on Parks and Protected Areas. Topics of interest include adaptive and collaborative governance, environmental learning, management effectiveness, and evaluation. A more detailed researcher profile and list of publications are available here.
Kathleen O’Connor is a postdoctoral research fellow at NatureBridge, where she also collaborates with the Ardoin Lab at Stanford. She recently received her PhD in Education from the Stanford University Graduate School of Education, where her dissertation research explored the development of environmental identities in the context of residential environmental education programs. She has also conducted research on academic, mathematical, and racial identities and stereotypes in elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Kathleen holds a BA in Environmental Science from Northwestern University. Prior to graduate school, she worked as an environmental scientist for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes National Program Office and for CH2M Hill.