Hannah Larson


Environment and Resources MS

I am a second-year Master’s student in the Environment and Resources program at the Nelson Institute. My primary interests are in landscape ecology, human-environment systems, and GIS. At UW-Madison, my research focuses on land use change and threatened black-necked cranes in western China, in cooperation with the International Crane Foundation and Guizhou University. The Caohai Lake watershed in Guizhou Province is a key wintering area for waterbirds, but also supports a dense human population of farmers, city residents, and tourists. Through remote sensing, GIS analysis, and fieldwork, I study the potential impacts of landscape and water level change on black-necked cranes and wetland habitat. This research adds to our understanding of this complex, changing system and can inform management and conservation efforts for the Caohai National Nature Reserve.

My interest in conservation and human-environment systems was first sparked by a study abroad semester in Yunnan Province, China, where I conducted research on conflicts between local farmers and elephants. At Bowdoin College, I built on this experience by studying ecology, environmental history, and GIS. After graduating, I worked for five years in the environmental field, primarily at land conservation and environmental advocacy organizations. I gained hands-on conservation experience from my time as an outreach coordinator at Potomac Conservancy and from several seasons of building hiking trails and leading wilderness trips. At American Rivers in Washington, DC, I wrote grant applications to support river protection and restoration projects across the country. Most recently, I gained further field ecology experience by working for Utah State University to collect stream quality data and for Adventure Scientists to track wildlife on the Montana prairie. My personal interests include anything outdoors, especially canoeing, backpacking, or cross-country skiing, as well as team sports, traveling, cooking, and good books.

Past degrees B.A. Environmental Studies and History, Bowdoin College, 2010

Degree in Progress M.S. in Environment and Resources, UW – Madison

Hannah at scope