Kira Sullivan-Wiley is a behavioral geographer using tools from the spatial and social sciences to better understand human-environment relationships. She uses these tools to study how human perceptions shape behavior; how behavior shapes social, economic, and environmental outcomes; and how these outcomes affect well-being. Collaborating with partners in the private and non-profit sectors, Sullivan-Wiley assesses these processes in the developing world in the context of ongoing conservation and development interventions. Her work seeks to better understand how programs designed for the purposes of poverty alleviation and conservation can inform how people engage with their environments to produce landscapes that either reinforce or erode well-being in both the near and longer-term.
While at the Pardee Center, Sullivan-Wiley will continue her past collaboration with The Nature Conservancy to better understand how its international programs shape landowner and resource manager behavior and outcomes. She will work closely with partners to categorize the work done by such organizations and evaluate their impacts on local communities. She will also partner with Pardee Center affiliated faculty to integrate behavioral research approaches and understanding into ongoing projects.
Sullivan-Wiley received her B.S. in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Connecticut and her M.A. in climate science and development at Columbia University. She completed her doctoral work at Boston University in 2016 on the environmental perceptions and land management decisions of farmers in eastern Uganda.