About Me

I am an anthropogeographer who studies rural desert California. My current book project, The Checkerboarded Desert, examines conflict over land use in the private-public checkerboard of eastern San Bernardino County. Using the lens of political economy and historical and legal anthropology and geography, my book uses land transfers, fences, and pipelines to understand the political ecology of conservation, sacred site protection, and extraction of a California desert. My research draws on more than two years of contemporary participant-observation, interviews, and public records, and is complemented by extensive archival research at the Huntington Library, National Archives, University of California, and local historical societies. My new research focuses on the history of the Chemehuevi Indian Tribe reservation and its relationship to Lake Havasu City in Arizona.

I am a PhD candidate at the University of California-Berkeley and an Associate Scholar with the Native American Land Conservancy, an intertribal land trust that focuses on protecting and preserving land in Southeastern California. I have also worked with the Mojave Desert Land Trust and the Twentynine Palms Historical Society in the Morongo Basin. I have also worked with the Coachella Valley History Museum as a volunteer archivist and curator. I am an avid desert backpacker, hiker, and runner.