Graduate Student Spotlight
Name: Dori M. Pynnonen (Hopkins)
Hometown: Lewiston, MI
Degree: Ph.D. Candidate in Forestry with a Social Science focus
Graduate Research Focus:
I decided to pursue a Ph.D.
after completing my M.S. in Forestry here at MSU with a specialization in
Gender, Justice, and Environmental Change. I feel a passionate interest in the
many ways that humans relate to the environment and enjoy working on projects
that benefit the community. My dissertation research is inspired by
environmental justice and feminist research and is focused on the importance of
trees and forests to people. I focus on pursuing the methodological and
normative issues regarding studying racial minorities and women, and examining
public participation in natural resources management. Often in natural resources, social research is limited
to white participants, particularly male and middle or upper class. Women,
racial and ethnic minorities, and those from a lower socioeconomic status are
dramatically underrepresented, leading to management and policy that only
reflects a certain segment of the population. This
is becoming more problematic as our society continues to grow and diversify.
Activities: I spend my free time jogging outdoors, reading fantasy fiction, participating in domestic violence advocacy, playing with my dogs, and growing with my husband. I have recently taken a keen interest in refinishing old wood furniture.
After graduate plans:
Ideally I will pursue a
position that combines my research skills, knowledge of forestry,
environmental, and social issues, and my ability to relate to diverse people.
This may manifest in teaching at a university or working for a natural
resources-focused organization. I love the three sides to academia—teaching,
research, and service—and feel I must use all of these skills in some
combination over the course of my career to help benefit our world and work to
keep strong the human-environment relationship.