Joseph Boots-Ebenfield

Faculty Advisor:  Dr. Jacquelyn Gill


Biographical Statement: I am a PhD student in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences department, and a member of the Systems Approaches to Understanding and Navigating the New Arctic (SAUNNA) NRT program.  I graduated from Vassar College in 2019, where I studied biology and anthropology, and enjoyed extended stints of life and fieldwork in Sri Lanka and Iceland.  After college I moved to Vermont and worked for several years on a protein engineering project at a biofuels-oriented biotech company.   I later took a position at the Wrangell Mountains Center in McCarthy, Alaska, where I helped coordinate arts and sciences programs, and manage off-grid systems, in the largest wilderness area in North America.  My return to academia is spurred by a desire to draw from diverse fields of knowledge with the intent of adding to the growing body of work on social-ecological relationships and their importance in grappling with “hyperobjects” like climate change and the long-term effects of global land use patterns.

Research Area:  My research interests lie in paleoecology and eDNA, environmental anthropology, knowledge co-production, traditional ecological knowledge, and high-latitude systems.