Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Development in Southwest China

University of Wisconsin-Madison NSF IGERT China Program

John Zinda


    The mountains of Northwest Yunnan are at the forefronts of efforts to make China's system of natural protected areas a more effective vehicle for conservation and rural development. International conservation organizations have been working with national, provincial, and local governments to establish new protected areas and improve existing ones. My dissertation research examines how these protected area management models take shape and how they impact conservation and development outcomes in rural communities. Through interview and documentary analysis I am assessing how local political institutions select which conservation strategies are feasible. I am conducting extended case studies in localities in each of three different protected area categories to discern how protected area institutions impact resource use, economic welfare, and equity. Finally, I am planning a sample survey of villages to discern the broader implications of findings from qualitative case studies.


  • Qualitative research and analysis
  • Survey methods
  • Multivariate statistics
  • Geographic information systems
  • Fluent Mandarin Chinese


  • Doctoral Student, University of Wisconsin, Graduate Program in Sociology and Community and Environmental Sociology, minor in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development
  • M.S., Natural Resources, The University of Michigan
  • B.A., Sociology and East Asian Studies, Vanderbilt University


    Dr. Gary P. Green
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