Self-determination in a Digital Age is a project I co-lead with Dr. Diego Soares (Universidade Federal de Uberlândia, Brazil) in partnership with one Kayapó community (Brazil) and a local Kayapó NGO. The project explores the centrality of digital “media worlds” in one Kayapó village, paying attention to the production, consumption, and reception of digital media technologies. From an approach that combines the strengths of feminist political ecology, Science and Technology Studies, and decolonizing research methodologies we offer an intersectional analysis of different generational and gendered conceptualizations of and engagements with digital media technologies as well as their circulations across time and space. With a strong engagement component of this work, we are working with the community on building a digital media center and training youth in digital media production. Since January 2015 we have partnered with EPICS at Purdue University on this project (https://engineering.purdue.edu/EPICS) and have a large team of graduate and undergraduate students from UFU and Purdue working with us. Stay posted for more information.
In this collaborative research project, I am working with Dr. Courtney Carothers and a project team composed of community advisors and graduate students (Purdue and University of Alaska Fairbanks) to partner with women and men in Barrow, Alaska. In this project, we hope to learn about the current challenges and opportunities women and men face and highlight stories of leadership, empowerment, and strength. In this project we are co-designing this research project with the community to better understand contemporary women’s lives; working with women and men to discuss women’s and men’s involvement in subsistence practices and how different generations know about and use their local environment; talking with women and men about their professional careers, goals, and aspirations and how these have changed over time; and hoping to identify what other types of activities and organizations women and men participate in the community. We hope this work will provide a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges women and men from many different generations are facing today. More about the project can be found at http://tinyurl.com/leadership-strength
Examining the Politics of Indigenous Representation in Global Environmental Governance In recent years, Indigenous Peoples and local communities have steadily gained access and opportunities to participate in international policy-making arenas. This increased participation is particularly visible in global environmental governance venues, such as the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Despite, however, the resources and attention dedicated to indigenous representation and the increased presence of Indigenous Peoples in global environmental governance, their influence on decision outcomes remains mixed (Witter et al 2015). In this project, we seek to identify and examine the ways in which marginalized and underrepresented groups effectively influence governance processes that directly impact their ways of living. Led by Dr. Kim Marion Suiseeya and myself, presence2influence is a multi-sited, multi-year collaborative research project.
More information about the team can be found here: www.presence2influence.org.
Multidisciplinary Investigation of Electronic Life Cycles and Waste. I am part of an interdisciplinary project led by Dr. Kory Cooper that focuses on e-waste. Hundreds of millions of electronic devices (computers, cell phones, LCD televisions, etc.) have been produced globally in the last few years and many of these devices contain materials known to have serious negative impacts on human health. When an electronic device comes to the end of its use-life, or is replaced with a newer model, it is disposed of in a landfill, stored in the home (closet-fill), refurbished for resale and reuse, or dismantled for the purpose of recycling metal components. As the amount of e-waste continues to grow at an alarming rate it is clear that the hazardous effects of e-waste will be with us for a very long time to come. Check us out here http://electroniclifehistoriesproject.com - and - http://www.facebook.com/purdueelhproject
Using cash transfers to promote ecosystem services and sustainable livelihoods: What is the role of conditionality? I am part of a team of researchers led by Dr. Zhao Ma who are investigating the strong belief in the research and practitioner communities that conditionality is a core attribute of PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services) programs, dictating that payments (i.e., cash transfers) should be conditional on measurable ecological benefits or on specific management actions intended to produce desired ecological benefits.
Water Security and Sovreignty: Indigenous Lands, Conservation Issues, and Freshwater Resources This project partners with Kayapó communities to analyze water security issues for current and future generations. The goal is to identify culturally relevant solutions for ongoing healthy socio-ecological systems in the face of climate change, development plans, and other emerging issues that will impact local livelihoods.