My research interests include trying to understand both the broad impacts and impetuses of global migration and the local-level meanings of global changes. I am specifically interested in how Mexican oil workers live in the crux of highly contested issues, including energy, immigration, labor, and climate change policies. The ties between energy, environmental/climate change, and immigration/emigration policy are related in complex and obscure ways, and my research attempts to locate questions and answers to these issues as experienced by workers and their families.
Non-field research experience such as my master's thesis study, which dealt with subnational-level transnational activities and projects in Mexico, has allowed me to become informed of the theoretical and policy issues surrounding international migration. I have also conducted ethnographic fieldwork with the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology in Deep South Texas, studying communities with shipbuilding and fabrication industries.
My dissertation research will incorporate knowledge gained from prior experience and fieldwork in petroleum-centered coastal communities in the states of Tampaulipas, Veracruz, and Campeche, Mexico. These areas are not only dominated by the petroleum sector, but they are 1) some of the most environmentally degraded areas of Mexico; 2) experiencing new out-migration; and 3) have been identified as areas at risk for devasting affects of climate change (such as sea-level rise and climatic anomolies).