Maria received her MS and PhD degrees from the School of Natural Resources & Environment at the University of Florida, with concentrations in Anthropology and Tropical Conservation and Development. She also holds a BA in History from the University of North Carolina. Maria has lived and worked on range of conservation and development issues in Paraguay, Ecuador, Brazil and Mexico. Maria’s research interests and expertise include community-based natural resource management, land tenure and land use governance, and political ecology. Most recently she has worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, examining field-science education programs, and as a consultant to UN-Habitat on land tenure regimes in Mexico. As a project scientist at EII, Maria works with the Sustainable Tropics Initiative and to develop EII’s research agenda within the Smallholder Program.