The following Purdue faculty have agreed to meet with Solutions Lab teams, by appointment, until 3 pm on February 21st, 2019. You may contact these faculty consultants at their listed email addresses to request a meeting. Faculty consultants may not meet with students after the release of the Solutions Lab prompt.
Please put “Solutions Lab meeting request” as the subject line in your team’s email.
Dr. Elizabeth Brite
Clinical Assistant Professor & Director of Scholarly Project Grants
Liz Brite earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2011. Prior to her appointment in the Purdue Honors College, she served as a postdoctoral teaching fellow in the Honors College at Auburn University, where she taught classes in sustainability, anthropology, and Central Asian studies.
Dr. Brite is an archaeologist who has worked on research expeditions in many parts of the world, including Uzbekistan, India, Peru, California, and the American Southwest. Her research focuses mostly on Central Asia (Uzbekistan), where she examines agricultural innovation and culture change in prehistory. Brite is fascinated by the role that ancient Central Asians played in the later development of agriculture, and how their especially diverse and syncretic cultures made important contributions to human food production long after agriculture’s first beginnings in the Middle East. More generally, she likes to explore how human environmental behavior is shaped by culture, and how it evolves as people’s daily practices intersect with natural processes, socio-political landscapes, and the trajectories of specific human histories. Some of Dr. Brite’s most recent work has examined the role of millet cultivation in the development of complex societies in Central Asia; the interpretation of irrigation canals as cultural artifacts of past societies; and the Central Asian origins of cotton agriculture.
As a clinical assistant professor in the Honors College, Dr. Brite teaches interdisciplinary courses that examine the cultural roots of human food, water, and other environmental resource practices. She finds these topics to have great value for a land-grant university, as she believes it is imperative to teach those who seek to change the world that material changes to food, water, and infrastructure systems are also social changes that affect people and their culture.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Trained as an environmental anthropologist, Dr. Flachs’ research spans sustainable agriculture, food studies, the anthropology of knowledge, and political ecology. Through this work, He seeks to better understand how humans create sustainable environmental relationships within the context of markets, ecology, state interventions, and social networks. He is also interested in the ways that humans build and use ecological knowledge to inform agricultural decision-making. His ongoing projects in South Asia, Eastern Europe, and North America use ethnography to bridge the gaps between ecology and economics as we look to better understand the global spread of food and agriculture systems in a changing world. In addition to numerous peer-reviewed scientific papers, Dr. Flachs’ writing and photography has appeared in the National Geographic Magazine, the National Geographic Explorer’s Journal, Nature: Plants, the Denmark-based Nature and Environment Magazine, Voices for Biodiversity, and he is the co-editor of the Society of Ethnobiology Forage! Blog.
Dr. Katie Jarriel
Clinical Assistant Professor, Honors College
Dr. Katie Jarriel joined the Honors College as a Clinical Assistant Professor in Fall 2018, where she is also serving as Faculty Honors Preceptor for Silver House. She recently completed her PhD in Classical Archaeology at Cornell University. Her dissertation is titled Small Worlds After All? Landscape and Community Interaction in the Cycladic Bronze Age. Katie’s research combines archaeology and computer modeling to explore how people living in the Mediterranean during the Bronze Age created communities based on a shared sense of place. While her main area of interest is Greece, she has also done archaeological fieldwork in Spain, Israel, and Cyprus. As an undergraduate, Katie attended the Honors College at the University of South Carolina, where she received her BA in Anthropology.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology/BRNG
Zoe Nyssa is a sociocultural anthropologist specializing in environmental questions, particularly related to biodiversity conservation and climate change. With a focus on applying anthropological insight to policy, Dr. Nyssa studies the relationships between local and elite knowledge practices, environmental governance, and distributive questions of risk and justice. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 2014. Prior to coming to Purdue, she was a Ziff Environmental Fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Environment and a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in the Program on Science, Technology and Society. At Purdue, Dr. Nyssa is co-developing the new Master’s track in Applied and Practicing Anthropology.
Dr. Nyssa has conducted research at leading conservation projects in the U.S., Europe, and Ecuador. Her first book, Endangered Logics: The Nature of Knowing in Ecological Crisis, tracks the emergence and contemporary practices of biodiversity science in order to evaluate their impact globally on human and non-human life. Using a multi-sited and mixed method approach, the project employs participant observation as well as archival research, behavioral surveys, and data mining to link analyses of conservation program building with ethnographic study of elite practice and environmental decision making. This work has been supported by a number of fellowships and grants, including an Andrew W. Mellon dissertation year fellowship at the University of Chicago and a Pre-Doctoral Fellowship at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.
Dr. Nathan Swanson
Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow & Faculty Honors Perceptor
Dr. Nathan Swanson is a political and cultural geographer whose research is focused in three areas: (1) geopolitics of everyday life, (2) public space and power, and (3) critical cartography and counter-mapping (as a member of the Counter-Cartographies Collective). Dr. Swanson completed his Ph.D. in the Department of Geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in December 2016, following previous studies in law (J.D., Drake University) and political science (B.A. & M.A., Iowa State University). In the course of these programs, he studied abroad in Kenya, Germany, Antarctica, Australia, Syria, Egypt, and Morocco. Dr. Swanson has previously conducted research in the Middle East toward his doctoral dissertation, and his current research focuses on the geographies of Middle Eastern migrant communities in Scandinavia.
Dr. Adam Watkins
Clinical Assistant Professor & Director of the Honors Mentor Program
Adam Edward Watkins has taught composition at Purdue for seven years, receiving several awards for his teaching and pedagogical development along the way. He earned a Ph.D. in Literary Studies at Purdue as well as an MFA in Creative Writing from Saint Mary’s College of California. He has published literary criticism, reviews, and poetry, including a collection of poems entitled Dear, Companion. His writing interests and teaching practices are based in the influential interaction between mind, culture, and the environment.
Dr. Lindsay Weinberg
Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow & Faculty Honors Preceptor
Lindsay Weinberg is a Postdoctoral Fellow in Innovative Studies with the Honors College and Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University. Her research and teaching are at the intersection of media studies, feminist theory, and critical political economy, with an emphasis on digital culture and the history of technology and design. She received her Ph.D. from the History of Consciousness Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2018. Her work has appeared in Lateral, Westminster Papers in Communication and Culture, and Impost: A Journal of Critical and Creative Work.