Politics professor continues research through AAUW American Fellowship

Politics professor Megan Ybarra has been awarded a $6,000 research publication grant from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) to complete her book, “Living on Scorched Earth.”

“I am grateful to receive the AAUW American Fellowship, which provides the crucial funding for sustained writing,” says Ybarra, whose book delves into the politics of conservation and development in post-war Guatemala.

“The grant makes it possible for me to complete my book manuscript…which seeks to explain to U.S. donors the local consequences of their global conservation projects.”
Ybarra’s research explores how Mayan genocide survivors negotiate their land claims, war reparations and identities through ecotourism and climate-change mitigation projects.

As a professor, Ybarra says she incorporates the research into her classes, with the goal of grounding theories in real-world global politics.

“I bring my research together with course readings to help students think through theory to help them develop as global citizens,” she says.

“The best part of my research is the people I get to work with — from Mayan genocide survivors negotiating land claims to development professionals promoting reforestation. I am privileged to learn about the politics of race, citizenship and nation with some amazing folks who generously share their perspectives with me.”

AAUW American Fellowships fund women university faculty and independent researchers as they prepare research for publication.

Ybarra is the second Willamette faculty member in the past three years to receive the fellowship.