I am an Instructor in the Anthropology Department at Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. I teach Culture and Communication, Anthropology of Disasters, Global Problems and Human Survival, Urban Anthropology, and Environmental Anthropology.
I am also an Adjunct Assistant Professor at St. Louis University in the Sociology and Anthropology department. I teach a four-field introduction to Anthropology, Peace and Conflict, Environmental Anthropology, Cultural Anthropology, Cultures of Oceania and Urban Ethnography.
I am a cultural anthropologist focusing on human interaction with the environment. I have a broad understanding of what might be included in that category, as I consider the environment to include the natural and social world.
I am also interested in the creation of value. I find that the process of value creation fits quite well with, and furthers my analysis of, the data on how people interact with their surroundings.
Until recently, my research has been centered on gaining insight on how people think about and interact with sacred land, especially in indigenous groups living in colonial contexts (Navajo/Hopi and Maori). I have also done research with hunters in Montana to discern how their hunting practices may or may not reflect their ethics toward animals and their environment, particularly any notion of sacredness.
Most recently, I am doing research with a disaster preparedness groups. I want to know how people that are preparing for a future disaster (natural/social/economic, etc) think about and perceive how their environment might be changing. I also want to know how they create value in order to get other people to think and act in the same way.
Now that I have been in the field for the past several years with preppers, other questions have come from the data: what is the difference between preppers and survivalists (if any)? How do prepper’s sense of government and their place in a disaster context affect their ideas of governmentality and power and how might that differ from stereotypical survivalists ideas? how might the theory of positive deviance inform Bourdieu’s sense of capital in regards to value creation? How is policy affecting the creation of discourse for or against preparedness groups? How is the media treating such groups and their creation of discourses and how is that being relayed to the public? How is the public accepting or rejecting such ideas? What might preparedness groups mean for the future of social contracts in various portions of the populace? And on and on…