Heidi Nicholls
2010 Valene Smith Winner

smith_nicholls.jpgHeidi Nicholls is a Doctoral cultural anthropology student at SUNY University at Albany. Her research interests include indigenous heritage tourism, intercultural relations and dynamics, political ecology, identity in space/place, and the u/Urban Indian. Heidi's current research and dissertation focus is situated in Canyon de Chelly on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, co-managed by the National Parks Service. She is also working with a departmental collaborative four field research team on the Baruca Reserve in Costa Rica. Her presented research addressed the notion of what she refers to as appropriate applicability and the multiple narratives, cutting across time, of the tour guides both working and residing in Canyon de Chelly in relationship to the future of the land trust.

 

Rani Salas Mclean
2010 Valene Smith Winner

smith_mclean.jpgRani Salas Mclean is a Ph.D candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Her research interests include the social and economic links between rural California agriculture and Mexican immigrant communities in the United States.  Her theory is grounded in political economy with a focus on the construction of communities, emerging identities and the anthropology of space and place. She completed her dissertation research in April 2009 after living and conducting research for two years in Napa Valley, California. Her research questions dovetail with the concerns of a larger research project of Dr. Juan-Vicente Palerm, focusing on the construction of Mexican communities in California, in which her study plays an integral role.  One objective was to understand the impact of world-class wine production on immigrant community building in the Napa Valley versus that in the San Joaquin and Central Valley agricultural regions.  Specifically, she explored how the strong intersection between agribusiness and tourism, a unique aspect of wine production in the Napa Valley, is affecting immigrant settlement rates and processes of community participation, citizenship, and access to housing.  She explored how the settlement rates and processes of Mexican immigrant vineyard workers are affected by the economic and political structures surrounding the agriculture of premium wine grapes. Her poster, presented at the 70th Annual Meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, explored how increased interest in constructing space for tourism in the Napa Valley is influencing grape cultivation and labor organization.  Her findings suggest that tourism interests are rapidly altering grape cultivation practices to construct space for tourists.  Thus, negatively impacting immigrant laborers by constructing a work environment that facilitates social isolation, and by controlling community space to keep farmworkers marginalized, as they remain hidden from view of the tourist.

 

Tatiana Gumucio
2010 Valene Smith Winner

smith_gumucio.jpgTatiana Gumucio is a PhD student of cultural anthropology at the University of Florida. She investigates the role of artisanry as an instrument of social change for indigenous peoples. Her research takes place in the Chapare region of Cochabamaba, Bolivia, among the Yuqui indigenous community. Her burgeoning dissertation work examines Yuqui artisanal pride and the role of the state and NGOs in its development. She first worked with the Yuqui when interning on a Bolivian NGO’s citizens rights project for marginalized peoples, prior to beginning her graduate studies in anthropology.