Kyle Wagner is currently working on his master’s degree in the Department of Geography at York University. He is a part of the New Directions in Environmental Governance project (NDEG), a funded research grant that is directed by Peter Vandergeest. Kyle’s area of focus is in political ecology, ecotourism, neoliberism and conservation management within protected areas in the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR). His thesis broadly focuses on novel forms of environmental governance in natural resource management by investigating the development of market mechanisms (e.g. ecotourism and PES schemes) for biodiversity conservation and wildlife protection. Kyle holds a bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a minor in Global Asia Studies from DePaul University in Chicago, USA. He has over two years of Japanese language training, enrolled in a year of Mandarin language courses, and is conversational in Lao. He has worked in the tourism industry in Luang Prabang for a year prior to entering York University.
Keywords: Political ecology; ecotourism; neoliberism; conservation management; Lao PDR