The aftermath of an airplane crash

During the last months of my Fulbright-sponsored PhD research with the Tado community on Flores island (eastern Indonesia), my then-spouse was a passenger on a Singapore Airlines flight that crashed upon takeoff from Taipei. He survived. Ultimately, our marriage didn’t. My recently published essay, “Class Divisions,” emerged after almost two decades of psychic angst and over […]

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The Language of Silence

  “My mouth does not know how to pronounce these names, and my fingers only recently learned how to type them. This is a purely scientific form of ignorance.” In my most recently published essay (Camas, Winter 2018: Fragility), I tell the parallel stories of centuries of ecocide and genocide surrounding California’s largest lake, Clear […]

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Biodiversity Loss & Biocultural Diversity

The New York Times recently featured an article written by Brooke Jarvis, ”The Insect Apocalypse Is Here” detailing citizen science research by German naturalists who compiled long-term quantitative data on the presence/absence of insects in nature reserves. Their conclusions, based on twenty-seven years of data collection, were stunning: flying insect abundance in the reserves had […]

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Learning how to let go of despair

There are some days (Weeks? Months? Years?) when everything seems like a slog. It’s all too much, too hard, too much effort. Unless you’re super-human, I’m guessing you’ve been there, done that. In my first article for the media site Medium, I decided to share some of the most important life lessons I’ve ever been […]

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A Heart. A Monster.

We humans can be odd, cruel, empathetic, dismissive, protective, and transcendent in our treatment of others … and of ourselves. I try to demonstrate all of this in a short piece published online in Silver Needle Press. “A Heart. A Monster.” tells micro-stories of intense experiences from my latest “ethnographic safari” across the United States, […]

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When I almost became predator bait (feline, that is)

  Years ago, while on an early-morning birdwalk in the Terai region of western Nepal, things went suddenly very, very wrong, and I found myself alone in tiger territory (my guides had disappeared for parts unknown). The story of that birdwalk-turned-predator-stalking, “Of Fur Not Fowl: Or How Not to Catch a Tiger,” has just been […]

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The Professor and Her Champion – in Vogue!

Your favorite ethnoecologist and her tiny home is one of twelve retrofits featured in a brand-new book, The Modern House Bus, by Kimberley Mok (Countrymen Press, 2018). The book provides a luxurious (“transporting”) introduction to bus conversions by a wide range of owners (young families, techies, freelancers, artisans), along with a how-to guide for DIYers. […]

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