Meet an IAS Residential Fellow: Florencia Pech-Cárdenas


Florencia Pech-Cárdenas
Natural Resource Science and Management, College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences
University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow at the IAS, 2020–2021

Influences of Handicraft Production on Gender, Livelihoods, and Natural Resources Management in Maya Communities

My research aims to understand how Maya artisans’ participation in the tourism economy through handicraft production shapes the relationships between gender, livelihoods, and land-use decision-making in Maya communities. The interdisciplinary nature of my research requires me to integrate theoretical frameworks and methodologies from the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences to analyze my ethnographical, social, and ecological data sets. As an IAS fellow, I have the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Bianet Castellanos from the American Studies department to enrich my theoretical lenses, to foster the integration of the humanities in my research, and provide training necessary for a critical analysis of my ethnographic data. The humanities can transform my research by opening new approaches and ways of knowing that allow for the interpretation of people’s worldviews, decisions, and values within natural resources inquiries. During my IAS fellowship I will be working on two chapters of my thesis which will become journal publications.  
Florencia Pech-Cardenas is a Yucatec Maya and PhD candidate in the Natural Resources and Science Management Program in the Forest Resources Department at the University of Minnesota. She is a Fulbright scholar and a CONACYT scholar. Her research has been awarded with the Julia F. Morton Award (2018) by the Society of Economic Botany, and the Indigenous Ethnobiologist Fellowship (2019) by the Society of Ethnobiology. She has presented her research in the MALCS (Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social/Active Women in Letters and Social Change) Summer Institute. She facilitates with Dr. Ray Newman the study abroad program Sustainable Akumal: Turtles, Tourists, Cenotes and Coral Reefs



This series features an IAS Residential Fellow—a Faculty Fellow, Interdisciplinary Doctoral Fellow, or Community of Scholars Fellow. Each profile is written by the participant as a way to share their projects, goals, and experiences as part of their time at the IAS.



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