Staff Profiles

Katherine Careaga

Research Assistant

Dr. Katie Careaga is a Research Assistant for the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation looking at biocultural approaches to conservation and environmental resilience across scales. Dr. Careaga holds a B.A. in Anthropology and an M.P.H. in Cultural and Behavioral Dimensions of Health from the University of Arizona, where she also worked on border and binational health projects as a Research Assistant and Research Specialist. She is the co-author of Working Beyond Borders: A Handbook for Transborder Projects in Health. She earned her Doctorate of Social Science with a concentration in Sociocultural Epidemiology from El Colegio de Sonora in Mexico sponsored by Fulbright-Garcia Robles. She has supported collaborative initiatives for community development and health with the Tohono O’odham in Arizona and Mexico, and with the Menominee Indian Tribe’s Collective Impact efforts in Wisconsin. She enjoys applying her diverse qualitative and quantitative research skills and analytical abilities to support marginalized communities in understanding, organizing, and addressing the drivers of health disparities. She has worked to help increase access to healthy, local, and culturally significant foods (food sovereignty) for Native American and Latin American indigenous groups and is currently teaching an “Anthropology of Food” course at Caldwell University. She defines health holistically, encompassing cultural definitions of wellbeing that include physical, emotional, mental, environmental, spiritual, and social health. As an anthropologist, she is interested in local, culturally-grounded conceptions of wellbeing and appropriate ways to measure it.