We conduct applied research in a variety of Indigenous and rural contexts, both locally and globally, to address some of the world’s most pressing social and environmental problems.
My research focuses on Indigenous and local knowledge related to mountainous protected, conserved, and secured areas. I also study how households and settlements embedded in integrated social and environmental systems recover from disasters in biophysical extremes. In all my projects, I strive to apply research findings to projects created in participatory ways, such as the integration of Indigenous knowledge into protected area governance, management, and interpretation. Pragmatic outcomes of my projects include informing non-governmental organization (NGO) disaster recovery interventions, collaborative resource stewardship initiatives, and interpretive programs.
I utilize quantitative, qualitative, and collaborative methods to understand the heterogeneity of Indigenous and local knowledge and practice at specific points in time and/or over time. Depending on the context, my research is either deductive or inductive, engaging larger or smaller sample sizes where appropriate. This lens necessitates a context-specific approach that rigorously assesses the ecological, political, and economic dynamics of an area at a particular point in time. It also accepts the continual processes of adaptation and change inherent in any people-land relationship.
Interests: Environmental and applied anthropology, ethnoecology, mountainous protected areas, natural hazards and disasters, place-based spirituality, public education, justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion; Nepalese Himalaya, Great Basin & Northern Mojave Desert, Pacific Northwest / Cascadia, Hawaiian Islands, Kenyan Rift Valley.