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Mary Little

Mary Little, LL.M.

Location

Costa Rica

Education

LL.M, International Human Rights Law
University of Essex (UK)

J.D. University of Buffalo Law School
State University of New York (NY, USA)

B.A. in Development Studies and Chinese Studies
Hampshire College (MA, USA)

Teaching

SFS 3820 Environmental Ethics and Development
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 3030 Economic & Ethical Issues in Sustainable Development
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

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Mary Little, LL.M.

Resident Lecturer in Environmental Ethics & Development

About

Areas of Expertise


  • Climate change perception and mitigation
  • Culinary tourism
  • Environmental justice
  • Social impact assessment
  • Tourism and resource management

Professional Activities


2014
Member – International Sustainable Development Research Society
2005
Member – American Society of International Law

Faculty Profile


Prior to joining SFS as Lecturer in Economics & Ethical Issues in Sustainable Development, Mary taught courses on development and human rights at the International Center for Development Studies. Her research there included work on immigration, poverty and standards of living. Mary also taught research and human rights in Asia at Peace University in Costa Rica. As a human rights lawyer, she worked at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Washington, D.C. Before working in the legal field, she monitored microcredit loan programs for a rural women’s NGO in China and provided support services at a domestic violence center for foreign women in Japan.

Research Projects


The research conducted at SFS field stations is designed to answer key questions related to critical and related social and environmental problems and to provide our hosts with detailed and accurate information for decision making and action. Faculty and student research projects are linked to the Center’s Five-Year Research Plan, which defines an overarching research directive.

The Pacific Coast town of Santa Teresa has transitioned from an economy of farming and fishing to a tourism-driven economy.  Located in a dry tropical zone, this growth has placed pressure on local water resources.  The focus of this investigation was to assess the water practices of local businesses to identify willingness to participate in sustainable practices, what practices were underway and the obstacles businesses faced when trying to address waste water issues.  Our recommendations included community knowledge sharing on biogardens & proper septic maintenance and the creation of a local bio-digester to process cooking grease into gas, a project that is now underway.
This study looks specifically at the social-environmental interface in relation to waste management solutions in the context of tourism communities in the Nicoya Peninsula of Costa Rica. The possibilities and weaknesses of public/private partnership in generating a recycling program are explored. The roles of trust, locally developed rules and common cause are examined as foundations of social capital and delivering environmental dividends.

This investigation was created to expand the understanding of community-based tourism activities near Carara National Park. The objectives include determining what tourism activities already exist, others the community would like to develop, obstacles to development and means by which communities can strengthen local tourism, ideally with the assistance of the Park.

Outputs:

Report on local restaurant and hotel water treatment practices to area stakeholders, including Nicoya Peninsula Waterkeeper and MaisPais/Santa Teresa Chamber of Tourism.

Report on Sustainable Tourism Opportunities Near Carara National Park

“Reduce and Recycle to Remain Relevant in Global Tourism”, Tico Times, Oct. 10, 2016

“Streamside Plants as a Solution to Pollution” Sophia Ryan and Mary Little, The Dirt Road, January 2017