I completed my undergraduate work at Guilford College earning a B.A. with Honors in Religious Studies. After seven years working with locally- and nationally-focused social and environmental justice groups based in Atlanta, I undertook graduate study in anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, working with Dorothy Holland and Arturo Escobar. With Holland, Escobar and other faculty and graduate students, I helped found the Social Movements Working Group (SMWG) in 2003 and with Holland in the same year, the Center for Integrating Research and Action (CIRA). I received external grants for graduate work and dissertation research from a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, an NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, a Wenner-Gren Foundation Dissertation Fieldwork Award, a Jacobs Fund Dissertation Fieldwork Award, and as a Fellow in UNC-CH’s Royster Society of Fellows. I completed her Ph.D. in Anthropology in 2011 joined the faculty at Appalachian State University, where she designed the Anthropology Department’s program in Social Practice and Sustainability. My four main courses are Political Ecology & Sustainability; Culture, Energy, Power; Anthropology of Environmental Justice; and Native America through Ethnography.
I have done ethnographic research in Chiapas, Mexico, in Beijing, China, and most extensively in the Navajo (Diné) Nation in the American Southwest, focusing on environmental movements around energy infrastructure. My first book, Landscapes of Power: Politics of Energy in the Navajo Nation, will be published with Duke University Press in January, 2018. I have a long-term collaboration with scholars at the Diné Policy Institute with whom I am currently developing a new project, investigating the significance of the recent Standing Rock/Dakota Access Pipeline movement within Diné energy and infrastructure politics. This new project is supported by grants from Appalachian State’s University Research Council and the Department of Anthropology’s Claassen Research Enhancement award.