During the 1970s, I lived for two years in a farming community of Quechua-speakers who had migrated from the Andes to the Amazon Basin. I studied the adaptiveness of their move in terms of morbidity and mortality, economic status, and environmental impact. I continue to do research on Amazonian "development," coca farming and the international cocaine trade, and the implications of migration for health. During the 1980s, I also carried out fieldwork in several ecological zones in Bolivia to try to characterize groups of people and places in terms of childhood mortality; experience and understanding of diarrhea; and knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to oral rehydration therapy, an inexpensive and effective way to prevent death from dehydration produced by diarrhea. In 1993-94, I did twelve months of fieldwork in the dry tropics of northwestern Costa Rica. I investigated the observable and perceived accessibility and utilization of health care from the perspectives of health professionals working at different levels (from national to local) and of the residents of two rural communities. I had a chance to do some follow-up research in both communities for a few weeks in 1998 and 1999.
My research has provided me with opportunities to travel, to live with people whose circumstances are very different from my own, and to do a lot of reading -- all of which I cherish. Teaching has forced me to think more clearly about what I am doing and why it is worth doing, and I enjoy working with students. Visit my course Web sites at http://www.geog.edu/courses/4211/ and 5211/.