Allison Koch


Doctoral Student ALLISON KOCH

Research Interests:Science and technology studies; anthropology of value; economic anthropology; tropical rainforest ecology; conservation; traditional environmental knowledge; production of nature

Advisors: Michael Cepek, Patrick Gallagher

Degrees: B.A. Anthropology; B.A. Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Dissertation Topic: I am currently exploring how people explain environmental and economic decline in Boca del Drago, Panama and what their narratives reveal about value, nature, and place. Boca del Drago is a tropical island village that hosts more tourists than it does residents. Owing to the region’s rich biodiversity, the area also attracts many ecology students and researchers. I look at how tourism and scientific research, as carried out at the Institute for Tropical Ecology and Conservation (ITEC), influence the way people talk about the loss of environmental objects, economic opportunities, and landscapes. The story unfolding here is not one of complete despair–the experiences of loss generate new life, opportunity, and value.

Publications: Koch, Allison N. Review of The Geographies of Social Movements: Afro-Colombian Mobilization and the Aquatic Space, by Ulrich Oslender. Environment and Society 8, no. 1 (2017): 217-218.


Research Locations:  Boca del Drago, Bocas del Toro, Panama