Digging for Birds

My partner and I bought a house in 2019 and moved to San Antonio, TX, in service of my pursuit of a Ph.D. in anthropology. One thing that was abundantly clear to us—we are both from the East Coast and accustomed to a different climate—was that it is dry and gets very hot! Following the…

A Rat’s Journey There and Back Again

In early August of this year, my partner and I took a much needed vacation to South Padre Island. While visiting, we decided to go snorkeling in Laguna Madre, one of only six hypersaline lagoons in the world. We saw many small fish, lots of large black drums, maybe a barracuda, and tons of hermit…

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…

Science as an Orientalizing Field

Science is a Western form of knowledge production and can be divided into three forms: 1) science as a set of methods for investigating the world we inhabit, 2) the pool of knowledge containing the data and conclusions drawn by science, and 3) a social institution through which empirical studies of the world are carried…