Shannon Crawford

Shannon Crawford
Mentor: Dr. Katrina Schwartz
College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
"I got involved with research because my ultimate academic goal is to receive a PhD in the social sciences. Performing undergraduate research has allowed me to investigate the issues that interest me the most and has given me a sense of the work I will do in graduate school. I decided to apply to the University Scholars Program because I wanted to extend my research to India to answers questions that are important for development. As a University Scholar, I hope to sharpen my research skills and gain more insight into academia."


Political Science


Geography, Sustainability Studies

Research Interests

  • Environmental Politics
  • Development
  • Human Geography

Academic Awards

  • College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Anderson Award: High Distinction
  • Dean's List
  • President's Honor Roll
  • UF International Center Summer Study Abroad Scholarship


  • Pi Sigma Alpha
  • University Pre-Ph.D. Association


  • Eau Gallie Youth Basketball League Summer Coach
  • Wuesthoff Progressive Care Nursing Home
  • Surfrider Foundation

Hobbies and Interests

  • Offroad Unicycling
  • Downhill Longboarding
  • Geocaching
  • Hiking

Research Description

Politics, Environment, and Development: An Investigation of the Perception of Climate Change in Rural India
" I plan on using my study abroad in India experience to answer questions I have about the intersection of politics, environment, and development. I will investigate what the rural people of India are doing to plan for certain climatic changes, namely the melting of ice sheets in the Himalaya Mountains. As global warming continues, the seasonal water flow from these glaciers could diminish, leading to water scarcity in the areas that rely on glacial runoff for water supply. To investigate this topic, I will focus in on water conservation techniques in rural India. This research aims to draw a link between the perceived threat of melting ice sheets and the water conservation techniques used by marginalized populations of India. I will first assess the various water conservation techniques used by rural villagers. I will then seek to answer the question of whether rural people employ sustainable water management techniques because it is customary in their village, because they perceive the risks of climate change, because water conservation makes life easier, or some combination of the three. I will also examine the role of NGOs in fostering sustainable water management techniques, which has implications for how to spread information about water conservation among poor societies. This is a subject that warrants more attention considering the potentially devastating impacts of Himalayan glacial melt on the water supply of rural India. This research is important because it explores linkages between politics and the environment in one of the world’s most rapidly developing nations, and because it examines water conservation techniques in areas that face growing water scarcity. As a whole, this research will shed light on the link between poverty and the perceived risk of climate change in India, and it will give insight into the prospects of water conservation techniques in dealing with groundwater depletion.