Jennifer Zavaleta Cheek

Jennifer Zavaleta Cheek is an Assistant Professor at South Dakota State University where she leads the Conservation Planning and Park Management Program. She is a sustainable development scholar who uses quantitative and qualitative methods to better understand complex human-natural systems and advance human dignity. Her research interests are broad, ranging from food and agricultural systems, community forestry management, and human dimensions of biodiversity conservation. She earned her PhD from the University of Michigan in 2019 and her dissertation focused on women’s empowerment and food security in India.  She is currently working on research projects related to women and hunting, state and federal manager’s climate adaptation and planning, and local food security networks in South Dakota.