Michael Mascia, PhD.
Senior Director of Social Science
Michael B. Mascia, Ph.D., is Senior Director of Social Science at Conservation International, where he leads CI’s social science research, technical assistance, and capacity-building efforts. Mike’s research focuses on governance and biodiversity conservation, particularly the governance and social impacts of protected areas. A former AAAS Fellow and NSF grant recipient, Mike has research and policy experience in Africa, the Caribbean, Central America, Southeast Asia, and the United States. He has published widely on the social dimensions of biodiversity conservation and provided technical support to numerous government agencies, conservation organizations, and donors. Mike previously served as founding co-Editor in Chief of the scientific journal Conservation Letters, founding President of the Society for Conservation Biology’s Social Science Working Group (SCB SSWG), and as Social Science Representative to the SCB Board of Governors. In 2011, Mike received the SCB Early Career Award for his work to advance conservation social science and its application to conservation policy. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Politics and Policy from Duke University and a bachelor's degree in Biology and Government from Bowdoin College.
Innovation and collaboration are hallmarks of Mike’s research. Current projects examine the links between coral reef conservation and local livelihoods in Indonesia; legal changes that temper, shrink, or eliminate national parks and protected areas (PADDDtracker.org); and the social factors that catalyze widespread conservation action. These studies involve students, faculty, and conservation practitioners from around the globe, laying the foundation for the next generation of conservation science and policy.