Students Continue Field Research in Fiji
Four anthropology and geography students accompanied Professor Dawn Neill to Fiji to conduct an undergraduate research project this summer.
The students — Melissa Anderson, Camilla Greenbach, Kathleen Palmer and Mikaela Vournas (above) — conducted ethnographic fieldwork exploring the transition from a traditional agricultural diet of root crops and fish to a more urbanized diet. In addition to researching food choice, the students accompanied villagers to farms and on foraging and fishing excursions to map food production locations using GIS technology. In doing so, the students combined the skills they acquired in anthropology and geography to create accurate, meaningful and informative spatial descriptions of food production in highland Fiji.
The summer pilot data will be used by three of the students for their senior projects and will serve as the foundation for a National Science Foundation grant proposal to explore diet transition in Fiji over the next three years.
The pilot research was funded by grants from the College of Liberal Arts Circle of Giving and the Cal Poly Extramural Funding Initiative.