Supin Wongbusarakum joined The Nature Conservancy in 2010 as the first Senior Social Scientist in Central Science, Worldwide Office. She brings social scientific methodologies and tools to the organization to help improve conservation planning and assessing how conservation impacts people. Supin works with global priority programs to systematically identify their human wellbeing objectives and develop practical ways of monitoring their social impacts. She also develops guidelines and trains staff and partners in the areas of socioeconomic monitoring, community-based climate vulnerability assessment, and social resilience. Currently she is working with the TNC forest and carbon programs and REDD practitioners to address the social dimensions of REDD+ programs; with the Micronesia programs and Micronesia Challenge partners to build their regional socioeconomic monitoring efforts and apply social scientific data in resource management and conservation decision making; and with TNC Central Science and Ethics and Compliance colleagues to develop standard operating procedures for conducting research with human subjects
Prior to joining TNC, she was the Associate Director of the Hazards, Climate and Environment Program at the University of Hawai‘i’s Social Science Research Institute and Project Leader of the East-West Center’s Pacific Islands Regional Integrated Science and Assessment Program. She has lived and worked on several continents on projects related to the conservation of natural environments and local cultures, socioeconomic monitoring and training, equitable community development, coastal hazard mitigation, and climate adaptation. Supin holds a PhD in Human Geography from the University of Hawai‘i, where she used a political ecology approach in her dissertation research how multiple stakeholder groups participate in and are affected by coastal and marine resource use and management, including the last-remaining indigenous sea nomadic peoples of the Indian Ocean.
Supin is based in Honolulu and is married to Peter D. Hershock. In her spare time, she homeschools her son, Ka’eo, in Thai. She is a dedicated Iyengar yoga practitioner and is a passionate ceramicist who teaches at the Hawai’i Potters Guild.
Areas of Expertise
- Socioeconomic monitoring
- Human wellbeing in conservation
- Equitable community development
- Coastal hazard mitigation
- Community-based climate adaptation