Research

My interdisciplinary research bridges critical race and ethnic studies, history, and environmental studies to explore questions about water in the arid American west, racialized labor, and agrarian capitalism in nineteenth and twentieth-century California. I am particularly interested in the study of technology and nature in relation to southernmost California's Imperial Valley. 

The hyperlinks below provide examples of my recent work. 

ArcGIS StoryMap: Water is King—Here is it's Kingdom

Through this project, I gained research experience in digital humanities through the University of California Humanities Research Institute (UCHRI). This UCHRI-funded project introduced me to innovative methods in geographic information systems (GIS) to develop interactive maps on the Imperial Valley’s environmental history. Through UCHRI mentorship, I curated an interactive mapping project on waterways to illustrate how water shapes Imperial Valley’s regional history. My digital mapping project tells a story through historical information and expressive visuals designed for academic and public audiences.

Thirsty for Change: An Environmental Justice Comic Book

Based in a fictional town in rural California, “Thirsty for Change'” explores themes in environmental justice and the human right to clean water. This bilingual comic book introduces concepts in water governance and illustrates the possibility of systemic change to water management through community empowerment. Illustrated by Jazz Diaz. Resources from the nonprofit organization, Community Water Center, are included within. This project was funded through the Henry Luce Foundation and the Center for the Humanities at the University of California Merced. This comic book will be available as an open access publication through the University of California in 2021. 

Community Engaged Research & Graduate Mentorship in the Interdisciplinary Humanities

With support from the Henry Luce Foundation, I co-led a case study on political, social, and administrative systems that govern California water. This project was part of the “Building Research Partnerships in the San Joaquin Valley: Community Engaged Research and Graduate Mentorship in the Interdisciplinary Humanities” initiative at UC Merced.