I am a Ph.D. candidate in anthropology at Rutgers University. My dissertation research examines cooperation and collective action among Koryak salmon fishers in the Russian Far East. Koryak people have long constructed their livelihoods and cultural identities from their relationships with salmon. These relationships were adapted to the harsh environments of the North, incorporated into the Soviet state economy, and are now being reinvented in a challenging and changing climate. Understanding how contemporary Koryak salmon fishers negotiate solutions to these challenges, and the role that economic, political, and cultural factors play in cooperative relationships, is the primary goal of my research project.
During my Fulbright year, I will be working and living with communities of salmon fishers on the Kamchatka peninsula. I plan to return to several villages that I visited previously in the summer of 2005, and I hope to visit others during my travels as well. While in Russia, I will be affiliated with the Kamchatka Pacific Institute of Geography. I am looking forward to seeing the friends and colleagues that I met on my last visit to Russia, and I am excited for this wonderful opportunity.