Jessica is a social scientist with the Human Dimensions Program, working to integrate social science and economics into Conservancy science. Her work involves developing and piloting approaches to integrate human well-being considerations into planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of conservation projects. Currently Jessica leads a project to design a devolved social monitoring system to track the impacts of conservation on the many indigenous peoples living within the community conservancies in northern Kenya.
Prior to joining the Nature Conservancy, Jessica was an Economics of Ecosystems fellow with Defenders of Wildlife where her work focused on valuing grassland ecosystem services and developing payments for ecosystem services (water quality, water quantity, and biodiversity) accessible to ranchers. Jessica has also conducted research natural resource and development issues in Zimbabwe, South Africa and the USA on topics including incentives for sustainable wildlife use, smallholder agriculture, community-based natural resource management and fisheries management.
Jessica was born and raised in Zimbabwe where she developed a love for nature and a deep appreciation for the intricate relationship between nature and people. She holds a PhD and MSc in Food and Resource Economics from the University of Florida, and a BSc in Agricultural Economics from the University of Zimbabwe.
Areas of Expertise
Market-based approaches to conservation
Community based natural resource management
Private land conservation