My Reflections Two Years After Surviving a Classroom Shooting

Today marks two years since a classroom shooting happened while teaching my final class at University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Six students were shot, two of which did not make it. I wrote about my thoughts and experience a few days after it occurred: The Story of a Mass Shooting Survivor and Anthropologist I’ve…

The Fall and Rise and Lindbergh: A Javelina Story

I have been working with javelinas in Texas for nearly a year. My first encounter with them occurred at Big Bend National Park and I have since visited groups all over Texas. The group that I am currently most fond of–partially because they are easiest to hang out with and partially because of the wonderful…

Shadows, Ambiguity, and More-Than-Human Politics

I am currently working on a manuscript exploring the ways that both literal and metaphorical shadows produce ambiguity in more-than-human communities. In order to be participating members of these communities, we have to find ways to engage in a politics that bridges evolutionary, ontological, and perceptual barriers. I attempt to do so through the ethnographic…

Adventures with Peccaries: pt. 1

I am currently in the early stages of designing a multispecies project working with the Cofán, an Indigenous people of Amazonian Ecuador, and two species of peccaries (white-lipped and collared) that inhabit the forest. Peccaries are medium-sized artiodactyls that superficially resemble pigs. However, these are American originals! They differ in many substantial ways from pigs,…

Upcoming Pilot Research

As of today I have submitted all of the required paperwork (IACUC, Occupational Health, Special Use Permit Application) . I will be collecting data on behavior and the use of space by collared peccaries/javelinas (Tayassu tajacu) at Laguna Atascosa Wildlife Refuge. This pilot study will support a larger research project in Ecuador on multispecies relations…

Big Bend: Narratives of Isolation

“Splendid Isolation, the Big Bend…” is how the National Parks Services introduces Big Bend National Park on its website. My partner and I recently took a several day trip to Big Bend and, I have to say, it was truly splendid. Many of the sights and experiences I had were unlike anything I had experienced…

Becoming Inia and Dolphin

The Amazon River Basin is one of the richest river systems in the world, covering more than 7-million square kilometers. This system contains more than 5600 species of fish and is home to large predators such as caiman, giant otters, and arapaima. Many of the species that occupy the Amazon River and its tributaries are…

AES 2020 Abstract: Mediating Multispecies Relations Through Western and Indigenous Conservation

Western notions of modernity have situated human society apart from nature, which encompasses those spaces and beings that are unmodified and unsullied by human activity. The Western conception of nature/society can be contrasted with that of the Cofán—an Indigenous people of Amazonian Ecuador and Colombia—who identify as tsampini can’jen’sundeccu (dwellers of the forest). The Cofán…