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Clayton Whitt B.Sc. (Cal Poly SLO), Ph.D. (UBC)
I am a sociocultural anthropologist who focuses on how people experience and respond to environmental change in the western Bolivian highlands. I finished my dissertation at the Department of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in 2017. My dissertation work explores how people in an agricultural community in the Andean highlands of western Bolivia experience and respond to climate change and other environmental problems and how these experiences and responses are reflected in local politics. I contextualize these environmental problems within other changes occurring across broader geographies, including Bolivia’s rapid economic growth, political transformations, new development projects, and spatial linkages formed by migration to other areas. The next phase of my research will entail tracing out the different trajectories of politics, materials, and infrastructures that met in the recent Lake Poopó disaster, which left Bolivia's second largest lake dry at the end of 2015.
Areas of Interest
My research interests include environmental anthropology, climate change, place and space, affect and the body, political ecology, environmental justice, indigeneity, Latin America, Bolivia and Andean indigenous communities.