Ethics is the foundation of all my research pursuits. I am passionate in my pursuit of social and environmental justice research questions, and I am equally passionate about conducting this research in an ethical manner. It is this drive that has led me to pursue research in Micronesia and which drives me to engage in community-based participatory research. I believe it is my duty as a researcher to amplify local voices, to mentor local students, to respect local knowledges, to advocate for community-based solutions, and to benefit local partners with my research endeavors. I also maintain an academic interest in ethics. A selection of papers and projects from my Master's courses is below.
To what extent has our society developed an "Ocean Ethic"? I draw on writing by Aldo Leopold, John Muir, and Carl Safina to weigh in on the preservationist/conservationist debate as it pertains to marine conservation. I use the surge in Very Large Marine Protected Areas (VLMPAs) to discuss rhetoric surrounding these issues.
In this paper, I discuss ethical and economic reasons for prohibiting oil extraction in the Amazon. Oil companies and the government of Ecuador reap the financial rewards, while indigenous groups in the area of extraction suffer the environmental and human health consequences.
I assess deontological and consequentialist arguments for vegetarianism in this classical ethics paper. I conclude that humans are uniquely capable of moral decision-making and that eating animals is morally unjustifiable (for middle and upper-income individuals in the US). I want to note here that I do support the consumption of animals under many circumstances and personally choose to consume and promote sustainable seafood.
Ethics of Overpopulation and the Tragedy of the Commons
Garrett Hardin's analysis of overpopulation is flawed because it fails to recognize that (1) overpopulation is not an immediate threat and (2) overpopulation is not a direct threat. In this paper, I defend economic development and sustainable lifestyles as alternatives to Hardin's call for an end to "breeding".