Megan Verner-Crist

Position
STEP PhD Student
Office
310 Robertson Hall
Adviser(s)
Bio/Description

I am a PhD student advised by David Wilcove in the Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP) program at Princeton’s School of Public and International Affairs. My work focuses on the intersection of land use, climate impacts, and conservation ecology, with a particular focus on plant communities. I’m interested in understanding the interaction between climate change, development pressures, and conservation outcomes, and how policy implementation impacts the effectiveness of conservation mechanisms at different scales under climate change.

I graduated from the University of Chicago with bachelors in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies in 2018 and spent a year doing ecological field research focused on the impact of climate change on plant community phenology in central Florida scrub ecosystems. Prior to coming to Princeton, I spent three years working in local government in California, developing more data-driven, comprehensive approaches to flood resilience and endangered species management for a community in the Bay Area. I also worked as a Carbon Farm Planner for the Alameda County Resource Conservation District, helping local ranches and vineyards integrate carbon sequestration practices into their farming.