Welcome! My name is Ellie and I am currently a Ph.D. student and research fellow in the Department of Geography at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.
I received my M.S. in Environmental Education from Southern Connecticut State University in 2020 (and my B.S. in Anthropology in 2012 from SCSU as well). During my Master’s program, I began researching the Cape Town Water Crisis. After a trip to South Africa in January 2020, I wrote my master’s thesis, The New Normal: A Critical Analysis of Policy and Media Discourse in the Philippi Horticultural Area During the Cape Town Water Crisis. I became increasingly interested in the way people interact with their environment, especially in the face of global environmental change.
Understanding this relationship – mutual, dynamic, and deeply entangled through space and time – frames my approach to my research interests and questions. I am particularly interested in how the law shapes, and is subsequently shaped by, the human-environment relationship. Legal geography provides a unique lens through which we might come to better understand the reciprocal relationship between space and law in the environment and how anthropogenic climate change is reshaping this relationship.
I use methods like critical discourse analysis to uncover the ways in which language yields different iterations of power in a social space. While my research currently focuses on land reform and water governance in South Africa, I have additional research interests in the food-water-energy nexus and sustainability transitions in northern Colombia and the Northeast region of the United States.
I was awarded the Graduate Diversity Excellence Fellowship from Texas A&M University to conduct my dissertation research. In addition to my research, I am also a graduate teaching assistant in the Department of Geography, teaching courses like Intro to GIS and Resources & the Environment.
When I’m not doing some deep thinking about the world (it’s rare, but it does happen), you’ll likely find me traveling, hiking, knitting, running into the ocean when I’m near one or, if we’re at a party, on the floor playing with the dog.
If you have questions about me or my research (or want to talk about why New Haven’s pizza is the best pizza in the country), please feel free to reach out via email or on Twitter (@elliecarlino).