Future Research

In addition to my continued work with the Tsimane in Bolivia, I am preparing grants, in collaboration with Dr. Susan Stonich (Environmental Studies and Anthropology, UCSB), Dr. Anna Lopez-Carr (Geography, San Diego State University), and Dr. Sara Alexander (Anthropology, Baylor University), to begin long-term research working with Garifuna populations, a marginalized group in Belize, and their migrant relatives in the United States. In 2008, I worked in Belize with a number of Garifuna families. This project focuses on the local causes of international migration, including environmental degradation, climate change, and economic and health vulnerability, and how international migration affects: (1) household security, vulnerability and resilience; (2) household dynamics, including the division of labor and power; (3) family planning and health; and (4) childhood development and growth.
         Garifuna are an especially interesting group to work with, as within Belize, their livelihood, security and health, and thus family members’ decisions to emigrate, are strongly influenced by climate change and ongoing environmental degradation. By necessity, my work in Belize will also investigate how and why climate change and environmental degradation drive some families apart in search of new economic opportunities in the United States, while other families appear resilient to these factors. Currently, I am applying for postdoctoral research grants to further my ties to Belize and begin the United States portion of this research project.