My research and teaching focus on environmental sustainability with a focus on the complex politics of sustainability efforts at the international level. Growing up in New Mexico, I became interested in how the borders that divide countries also complicate efforts at living in healthy and clean environments. My research pursues this interest and focuses on three themes related to global biodiversity governance, international sustainable development politics, and the science-policy interface at the global level. My teaching focuses on the core political science classes related to International Relations with particular focus on themes central to my research and case studies.
How will global governance institutions influence the transformation of the world towards environmental sustainability? My research explores the ways that ideas about sustainability fundamentally shape the agenda, the institutions constructed to deal with sustainability, and the impact of those institutions. Focusing on the ideational aspects of sustainability governance draws attention to the politics of idea construction and the limitations which that politics produces.
Biodiversity decline around the world is one of the largest and most important environmental problems in the 21st century. Significant international efforts have been directed at this problem with varying impact. My research explores the institutions and analyzes the historical processes that shaped the institutions and continues to animate their work.
How do experts and scientists influence global politics? Building from both the epistemic community approach and the science & technology studies approach, my research explores the institutional dimensions of these interactions. The approach yields important findings about the construction of science bodies for global governance and for the construction of transmission avenues to connect science to policy makers.
Overview of Courses
Introduction to Political Science
Political Science 101 combines a focus on the classic ideas of political thought and political science with recent empirical studies of the political world. Study of the core ideologies of political development are complemented with focused studies of power, the state, nations and nationalism, race, gender, violence and war, and relevant policy issues to contemporary debates. The course aims to provide students from all backgrounds with the tools to understand the political world and take more advanced courses in political science.
Advanced International Relations Courses
Much of my advanced teaching focuses around in-depth exploration of key topics related to international relations. This includes: American Foreign Policy, International Law, International Organizations, International Conflict Resolution, and Globalization & Governance. Each of these courses will provide students with broad theoretical and conceptual knowledge of the topic, but complement this with independent research and class simulations.
In addition to the advanced courses in International Relations, I teach advanced courses that focus on key issues related to my research that span political science. This includes: Environmental Politics, Latin American Politics, Revolutions & Political Violence, Political Argumentation & Debate, and International Biodiversity Governance. These courses aim to provide students with advanced understanding of the topics through focused case studies of key examples on the topic.