Maria Perez

Maria Perez

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR OF GEOGRAPHY

The goal of my research is to document and assess the historical and present role of field science activity, such as speleology, in the shaping of regional and national geographies and identities, with a focus on the Americas. I have two ongoing projects on this topic. The first, titled Field Studies of Karst Environments: A Case Study of International Scientific Collaborations and Network Building, focuses on the history and present activity of collaborations and network building between US and Cuban speleologists, or cave scientists. The second project, Exploring Appalachia Underground, examines the history and practice of cave exploration and science and its impact on regional human and physical geographies.

The goal of my research is to document and assess the historical and present role of field science activity, such as speleology, in the shaping of regional and national geographies and identities, with a focus on the Americas. I have two ongoing projects on this topic. The first, titled Field Studies of Karst Environments: A Case Study of International Scientific Collaborations and Network Building, focuses on the history and present activity of collaborations and network building between US and Cuban speleologists, or cave scientists. The second project, Exploring Appalachia Underground, examines the history and practice of cave exploration and science and its impact on regional human and physical geographies.

These projects build on my previous work in Venezuela, which focused on the activities of the Venezuelan Speleological Society. Using ethnographic and archival methods, this research investigated the ways this organization both contributed to and challenged a broader state-run national project of geographical knowledge and territory-making. Exploring human-cave relations, from a historical, phenomenological, and political perspective provided broader context to speleological practices.

http://pages.geo.wvu.edu/~mperez/

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