IMG_0921 Jesse Abrams

Dr. Abrams is an Assistant Professor of Natural Resource Policy and Sustainability at the University of Georgia. He joined the faculty of the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources and Savannah River Ecology Laboratory in 2018. Dr. Abrams received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Forest Resources from Oregon State University and his B.A. in Environmental Studies from New College of Florida. Past positions include two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Whitman College and five years as a Research Associate with the Ecosystem Workforce Program, Institute for a Sustainable Environment at the University of Oregon. His work on natural resource governance and policy spans diverse forest and rangeland environments from the United States to Argentina, focusing on the participation of local communities and local- to regional-scale organizations in environmental governance, policy implementation, and institutional change. Key themes in his scholarship include: adaptive, participatory, and network governance; co-management and co-production; alternatives to traditional state- and market-led approaches to conservation and development; and the dynamics of rural community engagement with natural resource stewardship and conservation.



Chase Cook

Chase is the program coordinator for the Georgia Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI Inc.) Implementation Committee. As the committee’s program coordinator, he oversees the Georgia Master Timber Harvester logger education program and leverages a variety of resources and partnerships to promote sustainable forestry across Georgia. His research interests include forest land ownership, forest certification, and market-based regulation and conservation incentives. Previously, Chase worked as a senior analyst with the US Government Accountability Office, a university researcher, and a forester with Temple Inland Forest Products Corporation. Chase holds a BS in Forest and Environmental Resources from the University of Georgia and a MS in Applied Economics from Montana State University.



Samantha Siragusa

Samantha is a student at the University of Georgia in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources pursuing a Master of Natural Resources. She graduated from the University of Georgia in May 2019 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science where she focused her studies in environmental economics, environmental management, ecology, and sustainability. Her research interests include sustainable development and policy, natural resource conservation with a focus on water, waste reduction, and environmental education and outreach. Previously, Samantha worked with Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division to divert waste from going to landfills at events in the Athens community such as the Athens Twilight Bike Race.


James ChMe in front of river tractor tree burnapin

James is a Masters of Science student at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Florida, where he studied journalism and forestry. Prior to arriving at UGA, he worked in conservation lands management in Hillsborough County, Florida, gaining first-hand experience with prescribed fire, hydrological flow restoration, and other processes. His interests include sustainable development and land use policy, adaptive governance in environmental contexts, restoration ecology, and the social foundations of environmental stewardship. James also brings experience as a writer in various genres, and his work has appeared in local and national outlets.



Behnoosh Abbasnezhad

Behnoosh holds a Master’s Degree in Natural Resources Engineering and a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Resources Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology, Iran.

She is pursuing her Ph.D. in Integrated Conservation (ICON)-Forestry and Natural Resources. She is interested in exploring the social, political, commercial, and ecological factors that should be considered in proposing forest management strategies in developing countries. She is also interested in applying remote sensing methods in forests studies regarding carbon sequestration and including temporal dimensions in remote sensing and cartographic projects to inform forest management strategies.



Amelia L. Russell

Amelia is pursuing a Master of Science at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. She is interested in refining head-starting techniques and habitat management perceptions to better augment gopher tortoise populations in the Southeast. In 2016, she received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of South Carolina Upstate. Her research interests include applied conservation, anthropogenic effects on wildlife health and population dynamics, and sustainable forestry and wildlife land management for conservation efforts.

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