I am an environmental and economic anthropologist, who studies environmental processes, public finance and infrastructure, and everyday social and economic life.
I am a doctoral candidate at the Department of Anthropology, University of California Irvine. In my dissertation project, I show that the shifting boundaries of land and water at the coast demand new ways of thinking about labor, environment, and value. I draw on 15 months of multi-sited ethnographic research with fishing communities, coastal residents, environmental activists, and bureaucrats in Chennai, India as they face twin crises of sea-level rise and massive industrial infrastructure building on the coast. My research was funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation and intramural grants at UCI; my university profiled some of my work here.
I spend much of my time reading and writing about how people think about and respond to environmental and economic uncertainty and flux. I was drawn to anthropology because I enjoy meeting people and value learning about diverse meanings they hold on any phenomenon. I experiment with storytelling and public writing to convey complex social phenomena in evocative ways.
Before this, I got an Integrated Masters in Development Studies at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras. I have also worked at development and policy research organizations.
Email me at ogovinda at uci dot edu.
My LinkedIn profile is here.