Hello and welcome to my research and teaching webpage! I am an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oklahoma. Broadly, I am interested in how Indigenous and subaltern communities assert autonomy through struggles over environmental and cultural resources. I’m also interested in how initiatives in the name of environmental sustainability manifest in the context of settler colonialism and global capitalism, with attention to their effects on environmental justice.

Before coming to OU, I received my PhD in Urban Studies from Portland State University and masters’ degrees in Latin American Studies and Urban Planning from UCLA. I participated in an NSF-IGERT PhD traineeship, “Ecosystem Services in Urbanizing Regions” which led to an enduring interest on forging interdisciplinary approaches to study complex socio-environmental issues. I have worked with wetland biologists, forest ecologists, and geologists to study the socio-ecological effects of environmental conservation and restoration policies as well as to develop best practices in critical pedagogy for environmental sustainability.

My research trajectory is also defined by more than a decade of collective knowledge production with communities on the frontlines of struggles against inequality. In Mexico, I worked as an independent journalist and edited a book, Teaching Rebellion: Stories from the Grassroots Mobilization in Oaxaca (PM Press, in Spanish and English, with CASA Chapulin), which documents a statewide uprising that proposed a vision for government based on pillars of Indigenous governance. I produced a series of documentary films about experiences of migration in Indigenous communities as well as a film that followed a Workers’ Party-led movement aimed at the inclusion of historically-excluded citizens in Brazilian city government. I coordinated action research on issues of environmental sustainability and territorial sovereignty with Chinantec youth researchers in the cloud forest of southern Mexico, including on a project on food sovereignty (see our blog here).

My current book project, The Struggle for Food Sovereignty in Urban Mexico is an ethnographic and historical study of a precolonial Mesoamerican urban institution, the open-air street markets known by their Nahuatl name, tianguis. The book foregrounds the ongoing struggles for self-determination in the city through an exploration of the contentious entanglement of this ancient system of markets with competing visions of contemporary urbanism.