Debbie is a PhD student in the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia. Her research is in tropical forestry, land tenure, non-timber forest products and gender.
She hopes to focus on how land ownership and conflict have impacted community livelihoods in forested areas. She has a bachelor of arts in economics and environmental policy from the University of Michigan and a masters in environmental science and management from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
During her masters she worked with others to develop a business model for the sale of biochar on California farms and vineyards. She has worked in the non-profit and for-profit sectors on environmental philanthropy, sustainable development and agriculture. She spent the last few years working at the World Bank in Washington, DC on Indigenous peoples, gender and forestry issues, specifically working with forest-dependent communities in Mexico, Peru, Guatemala, Brazil and Burkina Faso.