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Kelly Claborn

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Graduate Assistant/Associate, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2701
Grad Research Associate
Graduate Assistant/Associate, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2701
Student Information:
Graduate Student
Environmental Social Science (Complex Adaptive Systems Science)
The College of Lib Arts & Sci


Kelly is an incoming PhD student in Environmental Social Sciences, with a concentration in Complex Adaptive Systems Science.  Her broad research interests include governance and institutions, human behavior, decision-making, ‘sustainability’, the social impacts of environmental conservation, collective action, adaptation, and cultural evolution.  She earned her M.S. at The Ohio State University in Environmental Social Sciences and spent the past 4 years as a conservation data scientist on the Conservation Evidence team at World Wildlife Fund (WWF). 


In her role at WWF, Kelly spent most of her time exploring how to meaningfully incorporate evidence into decision making across the conservation sector.  From contributing to a long-term, quasi-experimental monitoring program examining the social and ecological impacts of marine protected areas in Eastern Indonesia, to the development of a decision support tool utilized by senior leadership across the WWF portfolio, Kelly has sought to follow a holistic, systems-based approach to conservation evidence generation and synthesis.  She now seeks to further cultivate the skills, knowledge, and relationships necessary to tackle the complex challenges of our time – and to help bring evidence into decision making at all scales, from individual behavior to the strategic planning of conservation interventions to informing global multilateral agreements and policy. 

  • M.S. Environmental Social Sciences, The Ohio State University, 2016
  • B.S. Anthropological Sciences, The Ohio State University, 2012