Kourtney Collum is a Ph.D. student in the Anthropology & Environmental Policy program at the University of Maine, working under the supervision of Dr. Samuel Hanes. As a research assistant on the USDA funded “Pollination Security” project, Kourtney examines the social and political factors that influence the adoption of pollinator conservation.
Through a comparative study of lowbush blueberry growers in Maine, USA and Prince Edward Island (PEI), Canada, Kourtney’s research examines the influence of agricultural policy, governmental and non-governmental agricultural organizations, and social capital on blueberry growers’ pollination management practices. Through her research Kourtney aims to identify what pollinator conservation practices are currently being used in Maine and PEI, and what the barriers are to blueberry growers adopting diversified pollination management strategies—such as conservation of native bees—in order to secure adequate pollination and enhance environmental stewardship. The goal of her research is to inform future agricultural policy so that it can maximize existing social and political resources to help blueberry growers secure pollination for their crops.
Prior to entering the PhD program, Kourtney completed a Master of Science degree in Forest Resources at the University of Maine and a Bachelor of Science degree in Anthropology & Environmental Studies at Western Michigan University.