CEMS - The College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Cathy Bliss awarded Complex Systems Graduate Assistantship

Release Date: 04-14-2009

Author: CEMS Communications

Catherine BlissThe College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) and the Graduate College at UVM are delighted to announce that Catherine Bliss will be awarded the first of CEMS' highly competitive Complex Systems Graduate Assistantships.

Cathy has a stellar and highly diverse academic record, with a BA in Psychology and a minor in Mathematics from Syracuse University (1995), an MS in Mathematics from the University of Vermont (2000), an MA in Marine Affairs from the University of Miami (2007), and numerous awards and honors. She has also studied abroad in Tanzania and Jamaica, and lived overseas (Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Virgin Islands and Costa Rica), which has afforded her with a unique vantage point from which to understand both the theory of environmental protection and the socioeconomic challenges of implementing protection.

With 11 years of teaching experience, Cathy is currently an area coordinator and math instructor at Empire State College in Saratoga, NY. She has previously conducted research in the fields of psychology, anthropology, mathematical biology, environmental policy, and education, including the development of a spatially explicit, agent-based model of human-environmental interactions to explore the impact of a designated-protected, near-shore benthic area on natural resources (marine populations) and resource users (fishermen).

In the fall of 2009 Cathy will enter the PhD program in mathematics, under the joint supervision of Assistant Professors Chris Danforth and Peter Dodds. Once here, she plans to continue to develop and apply complex systems modeling and analysis methods to the study of coupled socio-ecological systems, examining how cooperation and trust, communication, power structure, and group affiliation influence resource use decisions. She will also study how societal norms emerge from individual actions and how they, in turn, affect individual subsequent actions.

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