Nino Abashidze is a post-doc researcher in the Health Economics and Analytics Lab at the Georgia Institute of Economics School of Economics. She comes from Georgia, a small country in the South Caucasus that during the past 20 years went through a unique series of transformations, serving as a kind of economic and social development laboratory. Nino was born in 1988, just prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union, she was a witness and involuntary participant in this experiment. Looking back, it was probably this experience of growing in a “lab” that fueled her interest in economics as a science. For the past 11 years, she has been studying economics, first at Tbilisi State University (TSU), later at TSU’s International School of Economics (ISET), and now at North Carolina State University (NCSU). Nino’s interest in environmental economics was sparked by environmental field courses she took at NCSU taught by Dr. Roger von Haefen, Dr. Zachary Brown and Dr. Laura Taylor. Through her current work, her wish is to enhance her understanding of the associations between various types of undesirable land uses and overall well-being in rural areas. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, camping and spending time with her family.