I draw from multiple social science disciplines to study how various factors, such as values, worldviews, attitudes, beliefs, norms, personal experiences, wellbeing, and emotions, influence our behaviors and decision-making. If you really want to get me riled up, describe the solution to your conservation problem of interest by saying, "if only they knew ______, then they’d _____."
Trust and distrust in marine protected area management
For my Ph. D., I will be examining the relationship between trust and distrust in the context of marine protected areas. I will also examine how feelings about, impacts from, and support or opposition to marine area management interact with trust and distrust in other stakeholders. Currently, my studies examines Oregon marine reserves and aims to interview commercial fishermen, anglers (people who fish recreationally), scientists, environmental NGO staff and members, and/or managing agency staff. As COVID-related restrictions let up, I also plan to carry out similar work along the border of Kenya and Tanzania in partnership with the SMART Seas Africa Network .
Ocean acidification is an area of active scientific research that receives limited public discourse or media coverage. For my master's thesis (Marine Resource Management), I created a four-lesson high school curriculum module that built upon existing, freely available educational resources. The curriculum was used in an experiment that tested the effects of teaching students about solutions to ocean acidification. The curriculum is freely available for teachers to use.
Brian's work was features on Oregon State's Marine Studies Initiative website and the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences' "Graduate Student Voices" spotlight.