Cameron Whitley has always been interested in doing environmental work. As an undergraduate student at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Whitley had his first experience with environmental sociology. Now, as a Ph.D. student in MSU's Department of Sociology, Whitley is interested in looking more deeply at human and animal relationships and environmental attitudes.
Whitley's interests are broad and the MSU sociology program provides the ideal framework to pursue these. Along with his sociology and ESPP coursework, Whitley is also getting specializations in Animal Studies and Gender, Justice and Environmental Change (GJEC). Animal studies uses an interdisciplinary perspective to examine historical and social aspects of human-animal relationships. GJEC lets Whitley incorporate earlier work he's done with gender with local and global environmental change and social justice issues.
Only in his second year of the Ph.D. program, Whitley hasn't fully developed a dissertation topic. For now, he's focusing his efforts on a variety of projects.
While Whitley's projects may appear to have different goals, he sees an obvious connection among them. "I think the underlying focus of everything is...to inform environmental policy." he said. Whitley recognizes his interdisciplinary research and academic work as critical to achieving this goal and hopes to continue working across disciplines here at MSU.