I am a new doctoral student in BioCultural Medical Anthropology with a research focus on industrial hemp as a catalyst for cultural change in the areas of health (medicine), economics, and the environment (as a bioremediation crop). I received my M.A. in Anthropology from the University of West Florida (2019), which focused on hemp farming connected to issues of sovereignty and resiliency among the Oglala Lakota in my thesis research entitled The Resilient Warrior: A Lakota Ethnography in Hemp Economics. I also received B.A. degrees from the University of West Florida in both International Studies and Anthropology (1989). Between my B.A. and M.A. degrees, I worked for seven years with the National Park Service as a Park Ranger and Archaeologist in the southeast. I also served in AmeriCorps VISTA for two years, served as a governor appointed Alabama State Commissioner with the Governor’s Office for National and Community Service to distribute and oversee Corporation for National Service grants for four years, worked with various non-profits, and volunteered with the University of South Alabama Center for Archaeological Studies and as a 4-H club leader working with youth.
In looking at hemp as a catalyst for cultural change, I am pursuing learning all aspects of the plant and serve on a team led by Dr. Lukasz Ciesla in Biological Sciences for testing THC levels of industrial hemp cultivated by local farmers. I am also part of The Human Behavioral Ecology Research Group (HBERG) with Dr. Christopher Lynn, a member of the university’s graduate program Tide Together, and I’m concurrently working on my Museum Studies certificate. Other
research interests include linguistics and language revitalization among the Oglala Lakota, women’s health, and NPS-Tribal relations.