Nicolena (Niki) vonHedemann

About Nicolena (Niki) vonHedemann

My research interests lie at the cross section of ecology and human geography, particularly the complex social, political, and economic factors that play into landscape conservation and the impact of environmental protection on human societies.  My dissertation research explores the social and environmental impacts of national forestry incentive programs in the Western Highlands of Guatemala to determine if development-linked conservation payments can provide benefits to rural land users and create healthier ecosystems. 

Selected Publications

vonHedemann, N., P. Robbins, M. Butterworth, K. Landau, and C. Morin. 2017. "Managing mosquito spaces: citizen self-governance of disease vectors in a desert landscape." Health and Place. 43: 41-48. 10.1016/j.healthplace.2016.11.004.

vonHedemann, N. and T. Osborne. 2016. "State Forestry Incentives and Community Stewardship: A Poliitcal Ecology of Payments and Compensation for Ecosystem Services in Guatemala's Highlands." Journal of Latin American Geography. 15(1): 83-110. doi: 10.1353/lag.2016.0002. Also available in Spanish: “Incentivos Forestales del Estado y la Administración Comunal: Una Ecología Política de Pagos y Compensación por Servicios Ambientales en el Altiplano de Guatemala”

vonHedemann, N.*, M. Butterworth*, P. Robbins, K. Landau, and C. Morin. 2015. "Visualization of mosquito risk: A political ecology approach to understanding the territorialization of hazard control." Landscape and Urban Planning. 142: 159-169. doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2015.03.001. *designates co-first author

Osborne, T., Bellante, L., and vonHedemann, N. 2014. "Indigenous Peoples and REDD+: A Critical Perspective." Report for the Indigenous People’s Biocultural Climate Change Assessment Initiative (IPCCA). <>.

Nicolena (Niki) vonHedemann's picture

Contact Information

Nicolena (Niki) vonHedemann
Ph.D. Candidate
Office: ENR2 S570-CC


B.S. Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University (2008) 

M.A. Geography, University of Arizona (2013) 

Dissertation Title

Incentives, Livelihoods, and Forest Ecology: Payments for Ecosystems Services in Guatemala’s Western Highlands

Courses Taught

GEOG 302 Introduction to Sustainable Development 

GEOG 303 Field Study in Environmental Geography