Broadly speaking, my research interests are the political ecology and economy of extractive frontiers in Andean Latin America, especially in Ecuador and Colombia. More specifically, I am interested in the ways that state-promoted narratives of development funded and facilitated by extractivism are accepted, contested, and propagated by communities and individuals living near sites of hydrocarbon exploitation. Of particular interest are the intersections of natural resource perception and valuation, market integration, and political representation—the human-nature interactions—present in spaces transforming ecologically and economically through extractivism.
I earned a BA and MFA degree in creative writing from Cal State University, Long Beach in 2002 and 2004, respectively. Recently, I completed a second BA in Latin American and Latino Studies at UC Santa Cruz. My senior thesis there, based on fieldwork in Ecuadorian Amazonia, addressed the question of resource valuation in a cross-cultural sample of Indigenous youth living at different proximities to oil exploitation sites.