Alaina Bur

Alaina  Bur
  • Ph.D. Student
  • Dual Major
  • Sociology
  • College of Social Science


I am a PhD student in the sociology department. My research focuses on how individuals, communities, and governments access and manage natural resources. I am particularly interested in how an individual’s positionality, such as their gender, class, and ethnicity, affects their ability to access and control water resources in sub-Saharan Africa. Before coming to MSU, I evaluated the effect of borehole-drilling initiatives on women’s water insecurity in semi-arid western Kenya. Since arriving at MSU, I have continued to conduct research in the same region, expanding the scope of my work by interviewing a variety of stakeholders involved in regional water management, as well as those who manage the forests that serve as water catchment areas. I have also assisted in conducting research on the Flint Water Crisis, water access in Native American nations, and the mitigation of phosphorus runoff from farms into Lake Erie.