The Center for Integrative Conservation Research has named Dr. Laura German its new director. German is a professor of anthropology in UGA’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, and she has worked closely with CICR and the Integrated Conservation PhD Program (ICON) since 2012. Her current scholarship draws on critical agrarian, development and legal studies to elucidate the politics of land governance, with a focus on sub-Saharan Africa. As director, she will draw on a longer history of work on land-use and governance spanning the social and biophysical sciences and both applied and academic research traditions.
As the Center’s director, German will support CICR’s mission to further collaborative training, research and problem-solving, while helping to position CICR within challenging conversations surrounding the role of conservation science and practice in ongoing forms of Indigenous marginalization and erasure. She also hopes to expand the Center’s partnerships beyond academia with organizations on the front lines of social and environmental change as well as those critical of these efforts, as a means to strengthen the Center’s relevance to ongoing efforts to address “grand challenges” – be they climate change, competing uses of arable land and freshwater, or contested sovereignties.
German hopes to work with graduate students and faculty on campus, while centering the voices of BIPOC scholars and activists further afield, to enhance collective awareness of the crucial importance of social justice to environmental health, broadly conceived.
Dr. Nate Nibbelink, German’s predecessor, has been CICR’s director since 2014. Nibbelink recently accepted a position as the Associate Dean for Research in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.