I am currently a Postdoctoral
Associate in the School of Anthropology, Oxford University, while
residing in Toronto, Canada as an Assistant Professor Status-Only in
the Department of Anthropology, University of Toronto.
As a Mellon Postdoctoral Fellow from 2011-2013
University I continued my study of Marshallese climate change
perceptions and expanded my work to
include public understandings of climate change in Western countries,
in particular the influence of belief in progress, and the public and
academic debate over whether climate change can be 'seen with the naked
eye' by non-scientists.
See my academia.edu
homepage for more information on my academic work.
As a doctoral student in
Anthropology at Oxford University, I studied
indigenous reactions to the threat of climate change using ethnographic
methods. My doctoral thesis was based on 19 months spent in the
Marshall Islands, including 7 months of fieldwork devoted to this
topic, and extensive interviews in the Marshallese language. My
doctoral work has been featured in a New
Internationalist article by Skye Hohmann, a NPR blog post by Barbara J. King, and a Scientific American article by Francie Diep. Here's another
summary of my findings.
I have also completed a pilot
climate change reactions among the Sami, the indigenous people of
northernmost Europe, as a visiting
researcher at the University of Tromsø, Norway.
Change and Tradition in a Small Island
State: The Rising Tide
an ethnography of Marshallese
perceptions and responses to the
threat of sea level rise and climate change, published in Routledge's
'Studies in Anthropology' series in 2013. It is available for order here.Praise for Climate Change and Tradition in a Small Island State:
“[A]n engaging, important, and highly scholarly contribution to the
literature…[T]here is little doubt that we need more books along the
lines of Climate change and tradition…The
author’s introspection, depth of data, and balanced analysis delve
deeply into humanity’s interests in and reactions to human-caused
-Dr. Ilan Kelman, Institute for Risk & Disaster Reduction,
University College London (Review in Island Studies Journal,
“The Marshall Islands have had more than their share of externally
induced disasters…Global warming may be the greatest threat of all and
this book provides a uniquely sensitive and nuanced account of what is
occurring there, but, above all, of the multiple ways in which it is
understood—a fascinating account of the complex and changing
relationships between society and nature [and]… perceptions of
adaptation policies and practices…[A] welcome contribution to thinking
about modernity, mobility and climate change, and the reactions and
resilience of those most threatened.”
-Dr. John Connell, Professor of Human Geography, School of Geosciences, University of Sydney (Review in Australian Geographer Volume 45, Issue 2, pp 243-4)
is a freely distributed, full-length textbook for learning Marshallese,
language of the Marshall Islands. It has been used since 2004 as the
official language manual for all volunteers in the WorldTeach Marshall
Islands program, and it has formed the basis of language classes for
Americans at Kwajalein Atoll. The 102 short lessons describe the
grammar of the language in practical and familiar terms, and a glossary
presents 1500 useful words.
Download the book here.
I also encourage you to download Nik Willson's wonderful
Marshallese-English dictionary Naan here.
Praise for Practical Marshallese:
“A lucid course of instruction...The care with which you have
transcribed words, phrases, and sentences is remarkable.”
-Dr. Byron Bender, Professor of Linguistics, University of
Hawaii-Manoa; Marshallese language scholar
“A heads-up marvel from what we had in 2002-2003...[A] work of monumental worth and information.”
-Bettylene Franzus, WorldTeach Marshall Islands volunteer