Graduate Student Sustainability College of Global Futures
Taína is an activist scholar working as a Senior Global Futures Scientist in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and PhD student in the School of Sustainability. She works with Dr. Melissa Nelson as a graduate research associate developing the Indigenous Knowledges focal area within the Global Futures Lab.
Her research interests include: global indigeneity, cosmogeneology, traditional ecological knowledge (TEK), Indigenous geographies, food and seed sovereignty, arid desert ecologies, borderlands and debordering, seed and land rematriation, Indigenous Latin America, ecological spirituality, ethnoecology, ancestral trade networks, food mobility, identity formation, ecogastronomy, food geopolitics, governance and transterritoriality, bio/geocultural engagement, Indigenous archaeology, agroecology, meaning making, indigeneity, geographical-historical landscape analysis, collaborative environmental management practices, climate change, and Indigenous futurism.
Her positionality in research and writing are based in her experience as an Indigenous Latina existing in a borderland identity. She orients her work towards Latin American and American Indian liberation by centering community knowledge and connection to place.
BA in Geography and Sustainability from the George Washington University (2016)
MDiv/MA in Sustainability dual degree from Wake Forest University (2019)
sustainable food systems, traditional ecological knowledge, global indigeneity, concepts of indigeneity, justice, food sovereignty, Indigenous geographies, biogeography, place-making, cultural diversity, migration, environmental justice, human geography, decolonizing methodologies, decolonial mapping, climate resilience, science and religion, U.S. Southwest, agriculture, U.S.-Mexico Border, desert environments, ethnoecology, ethnobotany, multispecies relationships, intergenerational learning, rights of nature, agroecology, environmental quality and management, cosmologies, ecotheology, sociocultural anthropology, tribal law, international Indigenous cooperation/movements, geographies of pain, memory, ethics, Latin American and American Indian liberation theologies, cosmogeneology, Indigenizing foodways, de-bordering, seed and land rematriation, Indigenous Latin America, ancestral trade networks, identity formation, storywork, data sovereignty, culturally sustaining/relevant pedagogy, culinary history, ethnogastronomy, archaeology, decolonizing education
Food Justice Research Group
Earth Systems Science for the Anthropocene (ESSA)
Shouts and Whispers: Radical Meditations for Lent. Wake Forest University Divinity Students and Guests, Katherine Shaner (ed.). Wake Forest University Press, 2017.
"Ecological Relationality and Models of Sustainability: Towards a Social, Intergenerational, Multi-species Environmental Ethic Through the Evaluation of Cultural-Spiritual Ecosystem Services." Wake Forest University, 2019.
Honors / Awards
The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation Fellowship, 2016-2019.
Society for Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)
American Association of Geographers (AAG)
Affinity Group: Graduate Student
Specialty groups: Cultural and Political Ecology, Latinx Geographies, Geographies of Food and Agriculture, Human Dimensions of Global Change, Geography of Religions and Belief Systems, Biogeography, Indigenous Peoples, Critical Geographies of Education
American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
Founding board member, Hispanic Summer Program Alumni Network
Executive Board member, Events Coordinator (elected June 2023)