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The Political Ecology Lab

The Political Ecology Lab in OSU's College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science examines the power dynamics that shape natural resource access and use and the ways that social power relations mediate the impacts of environmental change. 


We are geographers, geospatial scientists, environmental scientists, activists, and educators who aim to bring a focus on power, equity, and justice to our work in the Earth, ocean, and atmospheric sciences. 

If you are interested in joining us, please reach out at kelsey dot emard at

Lab Members​

AM Lauritsen.png

Kelsey Emard (she/her)

PI/Lab Director

I am an Assistant Professor (Senior Research) and Instructor of Geography at Oregon State University. My work includes collaborations with climate scientists and farmers to make climate data more accessible and usable for agricultural decision making, participatory research with coastal communities on the impacts of marine protected areas on their livelihoods, and qualitative studies of the impacts of social-environmental change on rural communities' land use and livelihoods. 

Lorena Cardenas (she/her)

PhD Student in Geography and Geospatial Science 

Starting January 2024. 

Ann Marie Lauritsen (she/her)

PhD Student Environmental Sciences

Wildlife Biologist at U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Ann Marie has worked in the field of conservation over the last two decades, from endangered species recovery and implementation to research and policy and most recently international sea turtle conservation efforts. Her research interests lie at the intersection of global conservation and social science to better understand how conservation is integrated at the community level. 

Margo Carroll (she/her)

Master's Student Environmental Science

Graduate Teaching Assistant

Margo is studying environmental governance and climate change adaptation planning in forests using a range of geospatial and ecosystem monitoring tools. She has prior career experience in marketing and program management, which she is now applying to ecosystem management and adaptation planning. 

Lab Alumni​


Olivia Cameron (she/they)

MS Geography

Olivia successfully defended her thesis in October 2023 and accepted a new career position as the Coordinator of Adventure Trips and Classes at OSU's Adventure Leadership Institute. In her MS thesis research, she explored the ways social systems such as gendered norms and masculinities intersected with farming practices and farmers' abilities and choices to adapt. 

Abby Knipp (they/them)

MS Marine Resource Management

Abby completed their MS in August 2023 and accepted a position as Field Organizer for advocacy non-profit, Rogue Climate. Abby is an activist, creator, and scientist who studied power dynamics in the decision-making process of marine protected areas during their MS.

Elliott Scheuer (he/they)

Undergraduate Student in Geography and Geospatial Science

Elliott graduated in June 2023 and started a new position as Course Materials Specialist at the J. Paul Leonard Library. While at Oregon State University, Elliott conducted research on farmers' adaptation to climate change as part of the political ecology lab. Together with Lauren, they created and presented a poster at the 2023 American Association of Geographers Meeting in Denver. 

Lauren Hanley (she/her)

Undergraduate Student in Environmental Sciences and Geography and Geospatial Science

Lauren graduated in August 2023 but before that she conducted qualitative data collection and analysis for our lab's project on climate data usability for farmers. With Elliott, she created and presented a poster at the 2023 American Association of Geographers Meeting in Denver. 

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