Her research focuses on the political economy of sustainable development, natural resources, and environmental governance. Her primary approach is a community-based perspective of the cross-scalar and multi-level opportunities and barriers to sustainable governance of the environment and natural resources. She has on-going projects in North Carolina, Louisiana, and South Dakota.
Her research in North Carolina focuses on the multi-level and cross-scale dynamics of economic, demographic, and environmental change and the consequences for coastal communities and commercial fisher participation in governance of fisheries and sustainability of habitat.
In Louisiana, her research focuses on the vulnerability, resilience, and adaptation of coastal communities to market forces, climate change, and industrial activities. Research projects include the use of boat-to-fork programs to increase community resilience through shortened supply chains for locally produced seafood; a multi-disciplinary study of the conservation potential of private, absentee landowners in the context of increasing intensity of storm surge from rising sea levels and land lost to internal hydrological inundation and external erosion; and, an interdisciplinary, comparative study of the differential risk, vulnerability, and resilience of rural, racially and economically diverse coastal communities.
Her research in South Dakota focuses on governance of the water-energy nexus and the potential for the conservation efforts of recreational user groups to scale up to broader environmental justice outcomes.