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Hello! My name is Francis Commer├žon, and I am a passionate student of conservation biology, political ecology, and environmental anthropology. I am a birder and an advocate for environmental justice, decolonizing science, and the sustainable use of our planet’s natural resources. I come from Highlands Ranch, Colorado, USA, and I studied Biological Sciences and Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO. I have loved birds since I was 10 years old, and my involvement as a volunteer for numerous citizen science projects throughout middle and high school set me on the conservation-oriented track I now pursue. In college, I co-founded our university’s birding student organization with a friend, and I devoted my energy to creating a platform for ornithological discovery and exploration among the university community.

My passion for Chinese language began about the same time as my interest in birds. This love for Mandarin lead me to study abroad in Yunnan Province, China, in 2015. Since then, I have developed a strong connection to communities in Xishuangbanna Prefecture, where I have spent a total of 16 months living with a host family in a rural Dai village. In this setting, I gained a radically new understanding of the human interaction with nature, the influence of protected areas management on local communities, and the importance of sociology and psychology in understanding human environmental behaviors. After college, I studied Mandarin for a semester at Tsinghua University, in Beijing, in preparation for a Fulbright research project on diffusion of conservation behavior in Xishuangbanna. I am currently in my third year of a Master’s in Environmental Science at Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where my research examines how conservation scientists and practitioners collaborate across boundaries to generate transhemispheric scale knowledge about migratory shorebirds in the East Asian Australasian Flyway.

Please click on the “Thoughts and Reflections” tab in the menu above to see my musings and observations, and don’t hesitate to contact me with your own thoughts using the “contact” page above.