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. “Class Divisions,” my recently published essay recounting what happened, emerged after almost two decades of […]

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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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