Title: Interdisciplinary intelligence mapping of illicit global environmental change
Abstract: A scientific understanding of human behavior is critical for improving humans’ ability to predict and adapt to global environmental change. The type of behavior that society defines or perceives as driving illicit global environmental change can be omnipresent, but we have mostly lacked an effective mechanism for thinking and talking about, and addressing, the problem. The emerging field of conservation criminology offers a model for understanding the types of illicit human behavior and the emotions, cognitions, and institutions that are a cause and a consequence of illicit global environmental change. I will introduce key dimensions of conservation criminology and provide three widely different examples of how interdisciplinary intelligence mapping can engender enhanced scientific understanding of illicit global environmental change, based on recent fieldwork: illegal rosewood logging in Madagascar’s northeastern rainforests; urban wildmeat trafficking into Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo, and sea cucumber trafficking (illegal fishing) in Yucatan, Mexico.
Bio: Meredith L. Gore is an Associate Professor of Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change in the Department of Geographical Sciences at University of Maryland, College Park. Her research uses risk concepts to build new understanding of human-environment relationships and is designed to build scientific evidence for action. The majority of her activities can be described as convergence research on conservation issues such as wildlife trafficking, illegal logging, fishing and mining. Meredith has conducted research in collaboration with local communities in 15 countries on 5 continents with funding from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, DEFRA, Global Wildlife Conservation and others. Her website hosts voluntary, consensus-based and open-access GIS standards to combat wildlife trafficking. In 2016-2017, she served in-residence at the U.S. Department of State Office of the Geographer and Global Issues as a National Academies of Sciences Jefferson Science Fellow. Meredith has continued to provide senior science advising to the State Department on conservation crime as an Intelligence Research Expert; she has advised the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime’s Office of Wildlife and Forest Crime, the African Union Commissions’ Department of Rural Economy and Agriculture, Wildlife Conservation Society’s Urban Bushmeat Team, and Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Division. Dr. Gore has published over 75 referred journal articles and book chapters and currently serves as an Associate Editor for Global Ecology and Conservation. She is the Editor and author of Conservation Criminology (2017, WileyBlackwell), and her co-edited volume Women and Wildlife Trafficking (WileyBlackwell) is expected in early 2022. Meredith earned her PhD at Cornell University, MA at The George Washington University, and BA at Brandeis University.