National Geographic grantee Kendra McSweeney explores how the illicit traffic of cocaine through Central America's most biodiverse forests is wreaking social and ecological havoc on the region.
Kendra McSweeney is a geographer specializing in the relationship between people and forests, drawing from the conceptual toolkit known as 'political ecology.' Trained at McGill University (Montreal), she has conducted research for
20 years in Honduras, where she has tracked the resilience of
forest-dependent native communities to climate-related and other exogenous shocks, including drug trafficking. She has also
studied the links between demographic change and struggles around territory in the Ecuadorian Amazon. More recently, she and colleagues at Ohio State are exploring the crucial role of poor smallholders in the recovery of forest in Appalachian Ohio.
At Ohio State, she teaches courses on Latin America, fieldwork, research and professionalization, demography, and environment.