Cornell Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Global Development
Maia is a Cornell Atkinson Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Global Development. Working with university-based, community, and non-profit partners, her research project for the fellowship addresses past and present climate change and agricultural decision-making in Yucatán, Mexico. This work builds on her previous research into ancient through contemporary gardening practices as well as the daily lives and livelihoods of farmers who resided in the same region during the colonial period (ca. AD 1540-1821). Through her current research project, and drawing on affiliations with the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability and Department of Global Development, Maia has the opportunity to explore the potential that archaeological studies and local partnerships have for generating solutions to major sustainability issues today—namely deforestation and agricultural adaptations to climate change and other pressing challenges.
In her previous role at Cornell, Maia served as Hirsch Postdoctoral Associate within the Cornell Institute of Archaeology & Material Studies (CIAMS) and the Department of Anthropology. During this time, she taught the courses: Archaeology of Colonialism and Cultural Entanglement, Paleoethnobotany, Histories of Food Insecurity, and Community Engagement in Archaeology. Maia remains involved in CIAMS activities as project paleoethnobotanist (plant researcher) for the St. James AME Zion Church Community Excavations and as a member of the Antiracism and Anti-Colonialism Interest Group (ARCO). Overall, Maia’s involvements reflect her interest in the possibilities of archaeological practice for community building and socioenvironmental change.
- “Community-Engaged Archaeology and the Question of Rigor.” 2021. The Mayanist. Vol. 3, Number 1.
- “Influential landscapes: Temporal trends in the agricultural use of rejolladas at Tahcabo, Yucatán, Mexico.” 2020. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology. Vol 59.
- “Photovoice as a method for the development of collaborative archaeological practice.” 2018. Journal of Community Archaeology & Heritage. Vol 5, Issue 2.
Recent Grant-Funded Research
- Team Leader, “The Deep History of Biodiversity Conservation and Agricultural Practices at Tahcabo, Yucatán” ($79,880), National Geographic Society, Enduring Impacts Grant, Archaeology of Sustainability, 2021.
- “Collaboratively-Designed Archaeological Exhibit for the Community Museum of Tahcabo, Yucatán, Mexico” ($5,000), Wenner Gren Foundation, Engaged Anthropology Grant, 2019.
- “Livelihood Strategies at Classic and Colonial Period Tahcabo, Yucatan, Mexico” ($16,169), National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant, 2017.
- M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
- Graduate Certificate in Participatory Research, UNC-Chapel Hill
- B.A. in Anthropology and Classical Archaeology, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor
Participatory Action Research
Colonialism, Heritage & Community-Based Knowledge
Rural Livelihoods & Environmental Justice
maia.dedrick [at] cornell.edu