Past research documented and explained the complex economic and political processes that caused agricultural expansion and land-cover change in the Brazilian Cerrado (1998-2005), the world’s most biodiverse tropical savanna. I also have studied the rise of wind-energy systems and local communities in West Texas (2008-2011).


  • U.S. Fulbright Scholar, 2016-2017, Brazil
  • National Science Foundation, “Urban Water Provisioning Systems and Household Water Security” (Geography and Spatial Science 2016-2019)
  • National Science Foundation, “Household Water Security in Low-Income, Rural and Peri-Urban Communities in South Texas” (#0924232, Geography and Spatial Science, 9/2009-2/2013)
  • Wind Energy Initiative, “Socio-Economic Impacts of Wind Energy,” subcontract with NextEra Energy Resources/TCU, with Christian Brannstrom (TAMU), 1/09-12/11
  • Glasscock Stipendiary Fellowship, “On the Poverty of Water: Discourses of Water Scarcity and Poverty in the Lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas,” Glasscock Center for Humanities Research, Texas A&M University, 9/2008-9/2009


I strive to include communities and stakeholders in the research process. I have drawn from the basic principles of community-based participatory research in terms of engagement and interaction.  I have yet to achieve the optimal level of participation, but I continually strive to incorporate various community-level perspectives in my work.  Community health workers have played a particularly important role in the research on the US-Mexico border (below).  I have learned how integral they are as bridges between communities, agencies, and academics. 


Project meeting with promotoras (community health workers) at community center in Hidalgo County (2011)

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