I grew up in Honolulu, Hawaii, and left when I started college. I received my BA and MA from Stanford University and my PhD from the University of Michigan, all in anthropology. I am an archaeologist and have worked primarily in Peru and Chile, as well as Zacatecas, Mexico; Zuñi, New Mexico; northern California; and southern Hungary.
The main focus of my research is the political ecology of late prehispanic societies in the Andes, and what happened to local people, their water, and landscapes when they were forcibly incorporated into the Inka Empire. For the past 20 years I have been studying these dynamics in arid environments, first on the north coast of Peru and more recently in the high-altitude Atacama Desert, where I co-direct an interdisciplinary project with colleagues from the University of Chile and the Spanish National Research Council.