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Katie Conlon, Ph.D.

Katie Conlon, Ph.D., is a researcher, storyteller, director, poet, explorer, and peace builder. She is profoundly interested in bridging the social-ecological divide and finding ways for modern society to reconnect with nature, reducing harmful elements such as waste, pollution, and environmental degradation. She is a National Geographic Explorer (2020- ), a Royal Geographical Society Fellow (2024- ), a Fulbright Research Fellow (2018-19), a National Science Foundation Fellow (2014-19), and researcher from Portland State University (USA). Conlon is the Director and Founder of Ecoseva Institute, a US nonprofit that focuses on service for the earth. Currently, she the lead for a National Geographic Explorers project on plastic waste reduction in the Himalayas, and advises for numerous local nonprofits on plastic pollution efforts, too. Her research in the past has been supported through Fulbright; the National Science Foundation; and USFS.

Conlon has a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from Portland State University (her dissertation was on plastic waste issues in the global south) (2014-2020); a Masters in International Peace Studies from Notre Dame (2012-14) (thesis on climate change and peacebuilding); and a BA from the University of San Diego in International Communications and Peace & Justice Studies (2001-2005).



  • –present
    Researcher , Portland State University


  • 2020 
    Portland State University , Ph.D. in Urban Studies