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Kimberly Marion Suiseeya and Laura Zanotti

Please join me in congratulating Kimberly Marion Suiseeya, assistant professor of political science, and Laura Zanotti, associate professor of anthropology, who led a research team of five students to the Paris Climate Summit (COP21) late last year, exposing them to international environmental negotiations focused on addressing climate change.

The five students were Sarah Huang, graduate student in anthropology; Fernando Tormos, PhD candidate in political science; Liz Wulbrecht, graduate student in political science; Scott Benzing, an undergraduate in natural resources planning and decision making; and Suraya Williams, an undergraduate in ecology, evolution, and environmental biology.

Team members had specific research interests at the summit, but the team’s overarching goal was to use collaborative event ethnography and digital ethnography methods to analyze how indigenous and other marginalized groups in global environmental politics access, engage, and pursue their agendas at COP21.

Thirty-three students in Kim’s International Environmental Policy course assisted with digital ethnographies, communicating with the research team via Skype and following other key actors in the COP 21 negotiations to examine how these groups used the Web and social media to influence the negotiations.

Members of the research team blogged about their experience at COP21  and also presented a panel in February on their findings, moderated by Jeffrey Dukes, director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center in Discovery Park.

Kim and Laura will continue this research at the 2016 World Conservation Congress in September, when thousands of policy makers, practitioners, and civil society representatives will meet to set the conservation agenda for the International Union for the Conservation of Nature for the next four years. The team for this meeting will include Sarah Huang and Liz Wulbrecht from the COP21 research group, as well as Savannah Schulze, graduate student in anthropology; Kate Yeater, undergraduate student in anthropology; and Kate Haapala, graduate student in political science.

Congratulations to Dr. Marion Suiseeya and Dr. Zanotti for their research on how environmental policy affects underrepresented groups and for their inclusion of students in this important project.

David's Signature

David A. Reingold
Justin S. Morrill Dean
College of Liberal Arts