Tod Dillon Swanson
Founder & Director
Tod Dillon Swanson is Associate Professor in the Humanities and Senior Sustainability Scholar in the Global Institute for Sustainability at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1988. His research focusses on the social relation to nature in indigenous thinking about the environment in the western Amazon. Swanson grew up in Pastaza Province Ecuador where his father work as a doctor beginning in 1961 and is married to Josefina Andi with whom he cofounded the Andes and Amazon Field School in 1999.
Diana Chavez Vargas
Diana has an MA in Indigenous Planning from the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque and BA in Business Administration from the Universidad San Francisco de Quito. She is a member of the Amazonian Kichwa Comuna San Jacinto and President of Fundación Cotococha.
Janis B. Nuckolls
Professor of Linguistics
Janis Nuckolls is an anthropological linguist and professor of linguistics at Brigham Young University who received her Ph.D from the University of Chicago. Her research interests center on the cultural poetics of Kichwa verbal practice and the role of ideophones and grammatical categories such as evidentiality in the expression of attitudinal alignments with nonhuman nature.
Juan Ruiz Macedo
Herbarium, Universidad Nacional de la Amazonía PeruanaJuan Ruiz, Ingeniero Forestal, Herbario Amazonense Universidad Nacional de la Amazónia Peruana, will spend one month each year on location with the team to make preliminary identification of plants in forest plots as well as plants identified by Kichwa and Waorani ancestral knowledge experts. Ruiz, a native of Loreto Province, Peru is a legendary plant para-taxonomist who has worked in the field identification of plants with the top ethnobotanists and tropical plant specialists such as Alwyn Gentry, William Balee, Wade Davis. He has previously worked 3 summers with Tod Swanson and the Kichwa/Waorani families at the proposed sites.
Lisa Warren Carney received the University of Maryland's Distinguished Dissertation Award for her thesis on dreams: "By the Authority of Dreams: Truth and Knowledge in Kichwa Muskuy Narratives." Research for the thesis was carried out In Napo and Pastaza at the Andes and Amazon Field School over several summers. Lisa is now pursuing additional study in the information science area. As a part of this course of study she will assist with the design of our digital humanities variable pathway resource on the Kichwa Social Relation to Nature.