About

I am an anthropologist and interdisciplinary social scientist whose research, consulting, and applied work have been supported by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, the Fulbright Program, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), the U.S. Agency for International Development, and the World Bank of the United Nations. I am currently employed as a research associate in Haiti, by the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

Please see the my research section for more details.

 

Research

I have been fortunate to travel extensively in Central America, the Caribbean, Central and East-Central Africa, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the United States. I have conducted interdisciplinary, social and natural science research in India, Costa Rica, Cuba, and Haiti.

Most of my research has been in Haiti, and examines human-environment interactions (broadly construed) in the context of: farmers; agricultural practices; landscape management; NGOs; international, domestic and diaspora-driven development; acute and chronic disasters; and public policy. An ongoing theme of this research is the documentation of creative Haitian mitigation efforts or solutions to ongoing ecological and environmental deterioration.

I also study Kreyòl (Haitian Creole) and Vodou (voodoo [sic]); I am an ongoing contributor to the Vodou Archive project in the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at the University of Florida, where I also teach Kreyòl language and anthropology courses.

In addition, I provide consulting services and logistical support to a wide array of individuals and public and private institutions researching or working in Haiti.

Each research project is unique, and varied research designs call for varied methods. Some of the methods I use include surveys (questionnaires, observational surveys, land-use surveys, forest transects) and interviews (unstructured-, semi-structured-, structured-, and ethnographic-). Some of the technologies I use include global information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), and remote sensing (satellite imagery). I use these methods and technologies for rapid assessments and as components of longer-term participant observation strategies. The data I collect for my research have been explored through statistical-, geo-spatial-, textual-,  and social network- analyses. I am particularly interested in theories, research designs, and research methods that bridge the social and natural sciences.

The products of my research include publications in peer-reviewed journals, policy reports, book chapters, educational materials, encyclopedia entries, book reviews, ethnographic films, and others. I disseminate the findings of my research through presentations, publications, consultations, and film screenings. My audience includes the general public, public and private institutions, anthropologists, other social and natural scientists, and the individuals and communities I work collaboratively with.

Consulting

I consult for a variety of public and private entities, including the World Bank, nongovernmental organizations, and educational and research institutions.

My consulting firm, Makaya Consulting, is legally registered with and recognized by the Haitian Government.