Announcing 2013 Voss Interdisciplinary Postdoctoral Associate

Parsing the Impacts of China’s Grain to Green Program: Conservation Payments, Livelihoods, and Biodiversity

John Zinda

John ZindaJohn Zinda PhD in Community and Environmental Sociology, University of Wisconsin

Mentors: Leah VanWey, Associate Professor of Sociology & Dov Sax, Assistant Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Incentive-based conservation programs are at the center of global conservation efforts. It may be possible to improve forest conservation and alleviate poverty through payments for ecosystem services, but the linkages among economic incentives, human behavior and conservation outcomes are still poorly understood. Zinda's project will measure household livelihood activities and community socioeconomic patterns across  a sample of communities and relate them to forest use and forest conditions using household surveys, forest measurements, and remote sensing analysis.

John Zinda is a doctoral candidate in community and environmental sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He holds an MS in Natural Resources from the University of Michigan and a BA in Sociology and East Asian Studies from Vanderbilt University. His research trains an interdisciplinary, multi-scalar lens on the impacts of incentive-based conservation policies on rural livelihoods and landscapes. His dissertation, Organizing Tourism, Conservation, and Development in Southwest China, examines how government agencies adopt tourism and conservation practices in protected areas and how different management models affect livelihoods and resource use in rural communities. This research was conducted as part of an Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship on Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in Southwest China, funded by the National Science Foundation. Zinda has also received research support from the East Asian and Pacific Summer Institutes of the American Society for Engineering Education, the Social Science Research Council, and the Rural Sociological Society.