Megan Youdelis is a PhD candidate in the Department of Geography at York University. Her research interests include the neoliberalization of conservation, local communities’ roles in environmental governance, ecotourism, discourses of nature, and the governmentalizing processes involved in conservation and development interventions. Her SSHRC-funded Master’s project explored the contradictions involved in using ecotourism as a market-oriented conservation strategy in a Karen ethnic minority village in a national park in northern Thailand. Her current dissertation research, also supported by SSHRC, critically examines public controversies around private sector interests and tourism development within national parks in two field sites, Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada and Doi Suthep-Doi Pui National Park in Chiang Mai, Thailand. She is concerned with the efficacy of public and Aboriginal consultation processes and the political implications of the increasing involvement of private sector interests in conservation practice.
Keywords: Political ecology; neoliberal conservation; environmental governance; ecotourism; Thailand; Canada