Brittany Kiessling, PhD
Environmental Anthropology, International Development, Community Resilience, Evnironmental Risk.
Brittany Kiessling graduated from the Global and Sociocultural Studies PhD program at FIU in August 2016. Her dissertation, based on 9 months of ethnographic field research in Tamil Nadu, India, demonstrated the entanglements of rural development discourse and ideology with commercial aquaculture in India. Specifically, she highlighted how commercial aquaculture has been promoted by Indian development planners and fisheries scientists as an alternative livelihood in fishing communities impacted by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Kiessling also documented how the shrimp and farming industry in Tamil Nadu, India has affected local social, economic, and environmental conditions since the 1980's, contributing to issues of environmental risk and vulnerability.
She now has a postdoc position at the Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Homeland Security Research Center. As part of her postdoc, she is developing and identifying indicators that can be used to measure community resilience, particularly following a disaster. She is also collaborating with other researchers at the EPA to facilitate the integration of social science in EPA projects.