I am a data scientist employing a variety of ecoinformatic tools to understand and improve the sustainability of complex social-ecological systems. I am also working to apply Science and Technology Studies to my modeling processes in order to make social-ecological system management more just. I prefer to work collaboratively with communities on modeling, both teaching mapping and modeling skills as well as analyzing and synthesizing community-held data as appropriate. At the same time, I look for ways to create space for qualitative and other forms of knowledge to reside alongside quantitative analysis. Recent projects include: 1) studying Californian forest dynamics using Bayesian statistical models and object-based image analysis (datasets included forest inventories and historical aerial photographs); 2) indigenous mapping and community-based modeling of agro-pastoral systems in rural Zimbabwe (methods included GPS/GIS, agent-based modeling and social network analysis).
This model has been created with and for the researcher-farmers of the Muonde Trust (http://www.muonde.org/), a registered Zimbabwean non-governmental organization dedicated to fostering indigenous innovation. Model behaviors and parameters (mashandiro nemisiyano nedzimwe model) derive from a combination of literature review and the collected datasets from Muonde’s long-term (over 30 years) community-based research. The goals of this model are three-fold (muzvikamu zvitatu):
A) To represent three components of a Zimbabwean agro-pastoral system (crops, woodland grazing area, and livestock) along with their key interactions and feedbacks and some of the human management decisions that may affect these components and their interactions.
B) To assess how climate variation (implemented in several different ways) and human management may affect the sustainability of the system as measured by the continued provisioning of crops, livestock, and woodland grazing area.
C) To provide a discussion tool for the community and local leaders to explore different management strategies for the agro-pastoral system (hwaro/nzira yekudyidzana kwavanhu, zvipfuo nezvirimwa), particularly in the face of climate change.