Hi everyone! I'm Ruchi Patel, and I'll be your instructor this semester. I am a PhD Candidate in Geography and Human Dimensions of Natural Resources and the Environment at Penn State. I possess more than ten years of research and professional experience at the intersections of environmental conservation, development, and policy, with a regional focus on Latin America. My current Fulbright-funded doctoral research explores the social and environmental impacts of coastal tourism development on rural, low-income communities in El Salvador. I am also a collaborating researcher with the conservation nonprofit Paso Pacífico and Smithsonian Environmental Research Center. Previously, I worked for the US Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC and served with the Peace Corps in Paraguay.
The teaching assistant for this course will be Alejandra Bonilla Mena, who is also a PhD Candidate in the Geography Department.
We look forward to having you in class!