Dr. Melissa Finucane and Dr. James H. Spencer examine the link between multifaceted human-made environmental changes and outbreaks of avian influenza in poultry in Vietnam, where the "bird-flu" has caused widespread economic damage. Presenting the results of their field research, Dr. Finucane and Dr. Spencer highlight the importance of understanding environmental transformation and coupled natural-human systems so that planners and policy makers can manage diseases effectively in rapidly changing places.
Dr. Melissa Finucane is a Senior Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu, Hawai'i, and Senior Social and Behavioral Scientist at RAND Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her interdisciplinary and policy-oriented research focuses on understanding the human dimensions of environmental and health risks in the Asia-Pacific region. Dr. Finucane has received support for research from NOAA, National Science Foundation, National institutes of Health, and other organizations. She received an M.Psych and a Ph.D. in psychology from the University of Western Australia.
Dr. James H. Spencer is the incoming Chair of Clemson University's Department of Planning, Development, and Preservation, and an Adjunct Fellow at the East-West Center in Honolulu. He was recently Associate Professor of Urban & Regional Planning, and of Political Science at the University of Hawai'i. Dr. Spencer has held staff positions at the Ford Foundation and non-profit organizations working on community development, and provided technical support for communities in Southeast Asia and Hawai'i. His current research focuses on international urbanization and planning issues, with a particular focus on the urban transition, water supplies, infrastructure and inequality. He received a Masters of Environmental Management from Yale University, and a PhD from UCLA in Urban Planning.
Recorded at the East-West Center office in Washington, D.C., September 17, 2013.