Rafael Mendoza, Ph.D.

Title

Resident Lecturer in Political Ecology

Education

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

Masters in Socio Environmental Studies
FLACSO Ecuador (Quito, Ecuador)

Bachelors in Anthropology
Universidad Catolica del Peru (Lima, Peru)

Teaching

SFS 3840 Political Ecology of Developing Landscapes
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 2090 Language, Culture, and Society of Peru
(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
  • Ethnohistory of the Amazon

Professional Affiliations


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

Publications

(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) “Resultados y aprendizajes”. 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) “Fortalecimiento de la NOA’IKE”. In: Robles – Pillco (comp). ICAA Consorcio Paisajes Indígena en la Amazonia de Ecuador. Quito: The Nature Conservancy
(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) Informe de Gestión de COICA 2005 – 2009. Quito: Coordinadora de Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica.

Conferences and Events

Conference paper: “Territorios indígenas, un modelo para armar.” Society for the Anthropology of Lowland South America (SALSA), Sesquiannual Conference. July 21 – 24 2017. Lima, Peru.
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.
Representing The Nature Conservancy at the “I Cumbre de Bosques Amazonicos”. August 15 – 19, 2011. Manaus, Brazil.
Representing The Nature Conservancy at the “V Foro Indigena de Abya Yala: camino a Durban COP 17”. March 1 – 3, 2011. Ciudad de Panamá, Panamá.
Organizer of the workshop: “Intercambio Indigena en Planes de Vida”, with the participation of indigenous leaders from Peru, Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia. February 21 – 25, 2011. Tarapoto, Peru.
Organizer of the workshop: “Intercambio Indigena en Planes de Vida”, with the participation of indigenous leaders from Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia. October 11 – 15, 2010. Puyo, Ecuador.
Representing The Nature Conservancy at the workshop: “Hacia la construcción de Capacidades de los Pueblos Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica sobre Cambio Climático y REDD”. August 21 – 25, 2010. Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
Representing COICA at the “XIII Forest World Congress”. October 18 – 23, 2009. Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Advising COICA in socio-environmental issues at the “VII United Nations Forum on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples”. May 16 – 28, 2009. Nueva York, USA.
Representing COICA at the “III Annual Meeting of the ICAA partners”. April 19 – 25, 2009. Bogotá, Colombia.
Advising COICA in socio-environmental issues at the “Informative Workshop on mega infrastructure - IIRSA”. April 10 – 15, 2009. Georgetown, Guyana.
Advising COICA in socio-environmental issues at the “Encuentro Continental de Organizaciones Indígenas del Abya Yala”. March 13 – 15, 2009. Quito. Ecuador.
Conference paper: “Protected areas and the forests without history in the Upper Peruvian Amazon” at the Southeast Conference on Amazonian and Andean Studies. Florida Atlantic University (FAU). 2008. Boca Raton, FL, USA.
Conference paper: “Indigenous communities and colonists in the buffer zone of Cordillera National Park, Peru” at the Tropi-Lunch weekly-presentations. University of Florida. 2008. Gainesville, FL, USA.