Monday, October 14, 2013

Faces of Ethnobiology: Elizabeth Georgian

Sitting in a pea field in Lijiang, Yunnan
My name is Elizabeth Georgian and I am from Salem, Connecticut, USA. I am currently a PhD candidate in the Botany Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I conducted my B.S. in Biology at Keene State College in Keene, NH.

Three keywords that describe my work: Rhododendron, ethnic minorities, conservation

One fieldwork location in Fugong, Yunnan Province
I attended Keene State College with the aim of studying biology and secondary education. The biology department at Keene State increased my love of biology, and after a year or two, I dropped the education portion of my degree. I decided that I loved biology and research so much that I wanted to pursue a graduate degree in the field. At about the same time, one of my professors, the only botanist in the department, spent a few lectures describing ethnobotany. I decided that was the direction I would take with my future studies, because I had many interests that were studied all by this one field.

Standing next to a Rhododendron after learning Yi ethnic minority dances.
For my PhD research I conducted work in Yunnan Province, China, and one of my most memorable experiences in ethnobotany took place during this fieldwork. One evening, while spending the night in a rural, mountain village I stayed up until the wee-hours learning Yi ethnic minority dances and practicing them around a fire.

My immediate future plan is to finish writing my dissertation and to complete my PhD program. I plan to continue ethnobiological and conservation research after I graduate.

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