I am an academic anthropologist by training, a research and teaching professor by profession, and an activist at heart. In my research, presentations and publications I have addressed the relationship between humans and their environment in a variety of contexts. As an environmental anthropologist, I am especially drawn to context of development and change where competing values of nature and resource management practices are at play. Such occasions afford us the opportunity to both engage theoretical debates within anthropology and address issues of great importance to the affected communities. Whether it is the impending implementation of industrial gold mining, the management of ranch lands on top of a large aquifer, or even the regulation of invasive species, I believe that ethnographic understandings of what is at stake can inform both policy and intellectual debates that are central to our discipline and the lives of the people with whom we work.
While grounded in a commitment to long-term fieldwork among Biangai speakers along the Upper Bulolo River of Papua New Guinea, my research focuses on the historical and contemporary politics of nature in a context of competing resource management regimes. My work thus far is directed toward interventions in contemporary policy highlighting 1) the role of local imaginaries and epistemologies in the definition and management of ‘nature’ and ‘resources,’ and 2) the competing ideations of local place-based and scientific knowledges. But I am also in the early stages of developing research that extend out from my initial studies both regionally to a wider Pacific and topically to other sites of resource management in South Texas.
Department of Anthropology
University of Texas at San Antonio