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Ciara Wirth

ciara wirth

Ciara Wirth

Dissertation Writer
Research Interests: 
cognition, learning, epistemology, local ecological knowledge, ethnobiology, ethnozoology


Worldwide, formal education through schools is reaching ever-more remote corners of our planet and landing in diverse cultural contexts, each with their own forms of local education. In my research, I have focused on local ecological knowledge (LEK) to examine the experiential and cognitive consequences of introducing schools into a cultural context where local subsistence is inextricably tied to natural resources. In my fieldwork in the Waorani Nation, an indigenous society in the Ecuadorian Amazon, I examine the impact that participation in “classroom learning” has on: (1) access to the contexts of “experiential learning” (that is, contexts in which animal knowledge could be acquired), (2) knowledge itself about animals, as well as (3) the process by which animal knowledge is drawn from experience.