the Politics of Heritage

I received an undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of California Berkeley (BA) and MS and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Oregon, where I was a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow. Before accepting the position in the Social Sciences Department at Michigan Technological University, I was a Postdoctoral Scholar at Stanford University, sponsored by the Stanford Archaeology Center, Department of Anthropology, and Woods Institute for the Environment.

My research investigates the politics of heritage. This work is multi-sited and global in scope: I have researched in north and central America, Northeast Asia, Western Australia, and western Europe. You can learn more about some of these research experiences here.

Fieldwork in the Altai Mountains, 2006

I have published on a wide variety of topics. My book, Critical Theory and the Anthropology of Heritage Landscapes (2017), in the Cultural Heritage Studies series at University Press of Florida,  presents research experiences as an ethnographer, archaeologist, and heritage expert that served as touchstones to examine the sociopolitical and historical contexts of heritage landscapes. 

Book cover photograph by ROA – activist artist and muralist from Belgium. The photograph was taken in the Pilbara region in Western Australia.


I have three overlapping and intersecting research projects: A multi-sited research project on heritage work in extractive zones, an NSF CNH2 project, Convergence Research: Bridging Knowledge Systems and Expertise for Understanding the Dynamics of a Contaminated Tribal Landscape System ($750,000), and in-progress research project related to oil spills and disasters in the Great Lakes. You can learn more about these projects under the research tab. 

I teach courses in Environmental Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Ethnographic Methods, and the Anthropology of Energy, and have extensive experience teaching in archaeology and Ethnic and Critical Race Studies. It was my experience teaching for Ethnic Studies (now Indigenous, Race, and Ethnic Studies) at the University of Oregon that led me to develop a  critical heritage studies framework for my dissertation research.

Associate Professor of Anthropology, Michigan Technological University