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Nancy Donald

Nancy is an environmental anthropologist, ethnographically examining rewilding projects– efforts to restore ecosystems via the reintroduction and stabilization of native fauna – in Chilean Patagonia. Her research situates these wildlife projects within larger processes of cultural and ecological change, tracing the transformation of the region from productive ranching estancias to protected ecosystems through national parks. By investigating the range of actors involved in such projects in Chile including philanthropists, state actors, scientists, and local residents, she plans to analyze how differentially-positioned actors implement and interpret the shifting scientific practices and spatial logics of large-scale conservation undertakings, particularly amidst the pressures of anthropogenic climate change. 

Prior to joining UCSD’s Anthropology department, Nancy completed a BA in English and Latin American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin (2015) and a MA in Latin American Studies at UC, San Diego (2018). At UCSD, Nancy is an active member in the Nature, Space, and Politics Working Group as well as a Graduate Student Representative for the Phi Beta Kappa Chapter at UCSD. She also serves as the Program Coordinator for the Anthropology Mentor- Protege Program (AMPP), which pairs graduate and undergraduate students together to offer mentorship and academic support.


Nancy Postero, Anthropology
Joe Hankins, Anthropology
Shirley Strum, Anthropology
Matthew Vitz, History
Matilde Córdoba Azcárate, Communication

Honors and Awards

2025-2026 University of California, San Diego Fellowship

2023 Judith and Neil Morgan Endowed Fellowship

2023 National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant (NSF-DDRIG)

2023 F.G. Bailey Dissertation Research Grant

2022 Fulbright-Hays Doctoral Dissertation Research Abroad (DDRA) Fellowship

2022 International Institute Graduate Research Award

2022 F.G. Bailey Dissertation Research Grant

2020 Tinker Field Research Grant

2017 Center for Iberian and Latin American Studies Research Travel Grant

2015 Phi Beta Kappa


July 2022. “Green Entrepreneurs and Environmental Infrastructures: On the Production of Utopian Time and Place.” Co-Presentation with Stephanie Y. Martínez. European Association of Social Anthropologists Biennial Conference, Belfast, Northern Ireland.

May 2022. “Marketing Monterrey’s Mineral Water: Resource Consolidation, Aztec Imagery, an the Modern Mexican State.” Annual Meeting of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS) and the Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), Athens,Georgia.

April 2022. “Scenic Routes, Rewilding and the Infrastructures of Conservation in the Chilean Patagonia.” Latin American Studies Conference, California State University, San Bernardino Virtual.

October 2021. “Carreteras y Corredores: Infrastructure and the Politics of Regeneration in Chilean Patagonia.” Royal Anthropological Institute Conference, Anthropology and Conservation, Virtual.

September 2019. “Myth-Making, Myth-Marketing: The Creation and Consumption of Monterrey’s Mineral Water.” Biannual Conference on Ethnicity, Race, and Indigenous Peoples in Latin America, Spokane, Washington.