I study trash, recycling, and things that could be thrown away but aren't. I study this stuff because patterns of disposal and conservation can say surprising things about politics, economics and culture. The trail of discards and saved objects has taken me (so far) all over North America and into the Caribbean: I have followed municipal solid waste across the U.S.-Canada border (from Toronto to Detroit), old cars and tin cans across the U.S.-Mexico border (from El Paso to Juárez), cosumer electronics in Santiago de Cuba and the recovery of biomass energy from liquid kitchen wastes in downtown Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Sometimes there's not much of a boundary between my research and my community work. I am an avid supporter of the Kalamazoo Public Schools where I volunteer, when I have the time, to help get the next generation of students ready for their college years at WMU.

In my day job, I'm an Associate Professor with appointments in the Department of Anthropology and the Program in Enviromental Studies. I am also a writer. I am not very fast, nor very prolific. But I have found that plugging away is worth the effort. My 2010 article on the drug war in Juárez, Mexico was named the 4th best magazine story of that year by


Associate Proffessor of Anthropology
   and Environmental Studies
Western Michgain University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008

1011 Moore Hall
(269) 387-4150


Teaching Research
Community Activities