Rafael Mendoza, Ph.D.

Title

Lecturer in Political Ecology

Education

Ph.D. in Anthropology
University of Florida (FL, USA)

M.Sc. in Socio-Environmental Studies
FLASCO (Ecuador)

B.A. in Anthropology
Universidad Catolica del Peru (Peru)

Teaching

SFS 3840 Political Ecology
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

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About

Faculty Profile


I was born and raised in Lima, Peru. As a child I wanted to be an historian, however at the age of eighteen I became fascinated with anthropology when I took an introductory class at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru. After obtaining my bachelor degree in this field, I traveled around the Andes, made several trips to the jungle, and gained experience working for diverse organizations of the civil society in Peru and Ecuador.

During that time I witnessed the struggles of Amazonian peoples to overcome structural inequalities and the impacts of state-sponsored mega projects on the landscape and people. Thus, I decided to explore and understand how Amazonian peoples dealt with these external forces and in what ways they defended their lands and environment. Shortly after, and feeling that I needed more academic tools, I did a master in socio-environmental studies in Ecuador and a PhD in anthropology at the University of Florida. Upon completing my dissertation in 2013, I began working as a practitioner with indigenous organizations and conservation NGOs in defense of their native lands.

In the future, I see myself researching and teaching, for I do not see a rigid dividing line between these two. I think a good professor needs to be at the cutting edge of recent scholarship, and a good researcher needs to communicate clearly and receive inputs of younger people. I will be more than happy if I can instill in my students, and people in general, the sensibility to connect the particular (as an individual act, experience, or event) to the universal (as something that is shared by humans). As a cultural and environmental anthropologist I would like my students to ponder that the ways we see and understand nature is conditioned by our culture, society, and history. And that humans and non-humans, and the environment, are connected.

Academics & Research

Areas of Expertise


  • Amazonian peoples and native lands
  • Protected areas and conservation NGOs
  • Ethnic and regional identities
  • Amazonian economies
  • Climate change and REDD programs
  • Historical ecology
  • Political ecology
  • The ethnohistory of the Amazon

Professional Affiliations


  • Member, Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA) [2013-2018]
Outputs

Publications

“Resultados y aprendizajes”. In: Robles – Pillco (comp). ICAA Consorcio Paisajes Indígena en la Amazonia de Ecuador. Quito: The Nature Conservancy. 2016.
“Una alianza regional: el fortalecimiento de la COICA”. In: Robles – Pillco (comp). ICAA Consorcio Paisajes Indígena en la Amazonia de Ecuador. Quito: The Nature Conservancy. 2016.
“Fortalecimiento de la NOA’IKE”. In: Robles – Pillco (comp). ICAA Consorcio Paisajes Indígena en la Amazonia de Ecuador. Quito: The Nature Conservancy. 2016.
“Hacia una gestión moderna del territorio cofán”. In: Robles – Pillco (comp). ICAA Consorcio Paisajes Indígena en la Amazonia de Ecuador. Quito: The Nature Conservancy. 2016.
Informe de Gestión de COICA 2005 – 2009. Quito: Coordinadora de Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica. 2009.
“La agroforestería pre hispánica y la domesticación de los bosques amazónicos. ¿Un modelo de desarrollo sustentable?” In: Letras Verdes. N 5. FLACSO. Quito, Ecuador. 2009.

Conferences and Events

Conference paper: “Territorios indígenas, un modelo para armar.” Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA), Sesquiannual Conference, Lima. July 21 – 24th 2017.
Representing The Nature Conservancy at “The Annual Meeting of the ICAA program”, and presenting a paper on the Kofan people and lands. June 8 – 12, 2015. Pucallpa, Peru.
Representing The Nature Conservancy at the workshop “Planes de Vida en la Amazonia Andina”. March 3- 6, 2015. Lima, Peru.
Representing The Nature Conservancy at the side events of the COP 20. December 1 – 14, 2014. Lima, Peru.
Representing The Nature Conservancy at the “II Cumbre de Bosques Amazonicos”. December 13 – 16, 2013. Villavicencio, Colombia