Jessica Breitfeller

Doctoral Student

As a student of environmental anthropology, I study the politics of conservation and sustainable development in Central America with a focus on land use, stakeholder engagement, and cultural resilience. My previous fieldwork has dealt with variety of topics, including community-based ecotourism and the preservation of Q’eqchi’ traditional ecological knowledge in Belize, and most recently, the socio-political impacts of hydroelectric development within Naso (Teribe) territory of northeastern Panama. At the University of Maryland, my doctoral research centers around the political ecology of climate change and forest conservation in Costa Rica and Panama. More specifically, I am examining how indigenous communities perceive, experience, negotiate, contest, and adapt to changing policies and projects under the international climate regime.

Areas of Interest:
  • Political ecology, climate governance, tropical forest conservation, indigenous rights, identity politics, cultural mediation and resilience, Latin America
Degrees
  • MA International Affairs, American University
  • MA Natural Resources & Sustainable Development, United Nations-mandated University for Peace
  • BA Anthropology & Environmental Studies, University of Vermont
Email: jbreitfe@umd.edu