Through my Ph.D., I have gained strong technical expertise in the field of climate change, sustainable development, and resilience planning. My experience has sharpened my understanding of prominent theoretical and conceptual frameworks in the field with a soild grasp of current climate policy environment. Over the course, I have also strengthened my research skills through conducting rigorous literature reviews, surveys, semi-structured interviews, geospatial, statistical and policy analysis. Employing a mixed-methods approach with a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods has also made me proficient in several data analysis tools such as SPSS, ArcGIS, NVivo, Otter.ai, among others.
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My dissertation assesses climate impacts and adaptation for the tourism sector of a Small Island Developing State (SIDS) – The Bahamas. This nation relies heavily on tourism and faces climate vulnerabilities similar to several other SIDS. With tourism being key to the Bahamas’ sustainable development through its support to economic growth and employment, the dissertation is significant in identifying risks and adaptation planning for this tourism-based economy faced with unprecedented climate change. In addition to conducting original research, completing my dissertation required developing research proposals, attaining IRB approval, securing travel grants for fieldwork and coordinating with multiple stakeholders. The project, while honing my data collection, analysis, and visualization skills, also strenghtened my writing, communication and collaboration skills.
RESEARCH PROJECTS AS PART OF DOCTORAL COURSEWORK
Impacts of Sea Level Rise on Critical Infrastructure in Florida
Course: GIS 6100 Geographic Information Systems, Spring 2018
Method: Geospatial analysis
In this project, I created flood risk maps for critical coastal infrastructure such as hospitals, airports, fire departments and other governmental buildings vulnerable to a lower end (0.2 m) and higher end (1.2 m) sea level rise estimates.
Evaluating Ecological Resilience in the US Virgin Islands Coastline
Course: GEO 7606 Seminar in Urban and Natural Environments, Fall 2017
Method: Habitat Explorer Tool, The Nature Conservancy
Using the Coastal Resilience Toolkit by the Nature Conservancy and ESRI ArcGIS, I identified the natural ecosystems at the US Virgin Islands coastline. I also considered the associated risks to these ecosystems, and provided recommendations to harness their potential as coastal defenses.
Alafia River Management
Course: EVR 6216 Water Quality Policy and Management, Spring 2017
Method: Literature review
I worked with two other graduate-level students to design a comprehensive management plan for the Alafia river in the Hillsborough watershed, Tampa Bay threatened by land-use practices. This six-step plan was based on building partnerships, gathering and analyzing data, identifying best management practices, developing implementation programs, implementing the plan, and monitoring.
Six Sigma as a Management Strategy at Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission
Course: EVR 6320 Environmental Management
Method: Six Sigma tools
Within a team of three graduate students, we designed a study to enhance the eco-efficiency of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission’s artificial reef program and improve the overall organizational set-up at Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission by incorporating a management-driven tool known as six sigma.
Social Vulnerability and Policy: A Glimpse of Florida
Course: GEO 6347 Natural Hazards
Method: Geospatial and policy analysis
In this project, a fellow graduate student and I identified the socially vulnerable population based on their age, race, gender and income levels in the state of Florida. I conducted policy analysis to examine the state’s hazard mitigation plan, comprehensive emergency management plan, etc. to understand how these plans target the socially vulnerable groups.
Fieldwork to conduct surveys with Florida residents as part of “Hurricane Research Survey Team”
September 2019, Orlando, FL, USA
This project, led by the Weather Lab, University of South Florida, is pivotal in understanding the evacuation related responses and decision-making during a major hurricane event.
Fieldwork to collect hurricane-related core sediments
July 2019, Big Pine Key, FL, USA
The goal of this project is to understand storm activities from the past to strengthen future hurricane projections.
- Climate adaptation
- Adaptive capacity
- Sustainable development
- Climate policy
- Vulnerability profiles
- Coastal communities
- Descriptive and inferential statistics
- Content analysis, policy analysis