As a geographer, Yen-Chu has always been interested in exploring the connections between human societies and the environment. With M.S. and Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Yen-Chu received broad trainings in both the biophysical sciences and the social sciences and has integrated quantitative, qualitative, and GIS methods into her research projects. Her master’s thesis analyzed the spatio-temporal changes of urban landscape patterns in response to urbanization, with a focus on greenspace conservation. In her doctoral research, she explored different perspectives on ecological restoration from the standpoints of scientists, professional practitioners and volunteers. Based on case studies from Wisconsin and Michigan, she interrogated the meanings of science, nature, and participation embedded in restoration ideologies and practices.
Currently Yen-Chu is a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow at the University of Washington’s Program on the Environment. She teaches courses on Interdisciplinary Foundations for Environmental Studies, Data Types and Collection Methods for Environmental Studies, and Social Dimensions of Ecological Restoration. In addition, she has also been serving as a Master Naturalist for the City of Bellevue, helping with restoration projects, leading canoe trips, and interacting with the public at community outreach events. Yen-Chu enjoys teaching, both formally and as an environmental education docent. With her research and teaching interest in public participatory natural resource management, she will continue to explore opportunities to engage the public through her work.