osage orange fights, firefly capturing, the smell and taste of honeysuckle, long dirt roads, goats' milk, the warmth of a horse's bare back, oyster beds, sonic booms: my childhood on the Chesapeake Bay. I grew up on a back-to-the-land farm structured by my mother’s love of the Whole Earth Catalog and Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and my father’s spacecraft missions as a NASA aerospace engineer through the height of the Cold War era.
shuttling between New York, Paris, and South Beach: my formative years. As a young model I worked for magazines such as Marie Claire, Mademoiselle, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Spin and did campaigns for Bulgari, Estee Lauder, and others. It was both a wonderful and terrible way to make a living; it did allow for a lot of travel.
books. study. excavation. Amazonia, Antarctica, Athens, Belize, El Salvador, Hawaii, Panama, Papua New Guinea: my earlier archaeological and ethnographic fieldwork. I have some unfinished research into apocryphal eruptions of Merapi volcano on Java and in Latin America and their impact on archaeological interpretations. I'm also keen to pick up on a thread of my Fulbright-funded doctoral fieldwork in Panama to focus on obsidian sourcing. I am at the early stages of new fieldwork in Patagonia with rock art caves and repeated volcanic events. There are a half dozen other projects across the planet I'd like to do before I'm through.
my research focuses on disaster, perception, and environmental change over the very long term in human history. as an archaeologist, I use volcanism as an example of dramatically mutable environments that humans have experienced for millions of years. contemporary climate change, nuclear power, and space exploration form underlying themes in my current work. I find the earth sciences and social sciences indivisible.
one frustration I have with academic writing entails the inability to fully embrace or incorporate the quirkiness and creativity entailed in the interface between humans and the natural world. my work has intersected with contemporary art in recent years in ways that have have been highly meaningful for me as an outlet for some of these desires. I will provide a thorough treatment of these ongoing collaborations on this site at some point.
34 marathons run on 4 continents to date, including the Antarctica and Great Wall of China races but excluding any races in South America or Australia despite having spent a fair amount of time on each. Kilimanjaro is next on my list for international marathons.
I completed my PhD at Columbia then taught at Brown and Stanford. I am currently a visiting scholar at New York University where I help direct the Cities, Cultures, Climate Change working group at the Institute for Public Knowledge and sit on working groups for history of science, science studies ethnography, and climate change action.
Should you have an interest, my academic cv contains hotlinks to some of my scholarly publications. I also am active in trying to convey archaeological perspectives on environmental disasters outside of academia, such as I did recently in the symposium on environment attached to the show 'We Need to Talk....'.
I'm proud to be in remarkable and inspiring company in this recent blog post encouraging women to enter the earth sciences: It's all for you, girl!
I’m always happy for new collaborations and conversations.
IMAGE CREDITS: the images on the home/gallery page are all taken by me. for one reason or another each one is meaningful to me. they will change at whim, somewhat like their meaning. do scroll through them and feel free to ask me about them.