Michael L. Vasquez

Michael L. Vasquez Professor
Northern Arizona University
Anthropology
Blg 98D Rm #101F
Phone: 928-523-9506

Interests

  • applied
  • indigenous agriculture
  • cultural ecology
  • globalization
  • agricultural development
  • community-based research
  • US Southwest, Central America

Education

BA, University of California-Berkeley 1970
MA, San Francisco State University 1980
MS, PhD, University of California-Davis 1989

Biography

Dr. Michael Vasquez is an applied anthropologist who has worked with Mayan, Latino, Native American, African American, and Southeast Asian refugee communities for more than 25 five years in the areas of globalization and its impacts, traditional ecological knowledge, community-based participatory research, and rapid qualitative assessment techniques.

He has provided consultation for the Hopi Tribe, the Havasupai Tribe, the National Park Service, the World Health Organization, and the US Department of Health and Human Services.   He has served on the Executive Committee of the Society for Applied Anthropology, the International Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture, the Arizona Association of Chicanos in Higher Education, and the Board of Trustees of the Museum of Northern Arizona.

Vasquez’s work at NAU has focused on community-based ethnography and applied anthropology with both local indigenous groups and minority communities across the country.

Vasquez’s work in Arizona has emphasized reciprocity between the NAU, the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office (HCPO), and diverse projects, to strengthen both local community cultural assets and the educational experience for both native and non-native students.

The NAU-HCPO Memoran­dum of Agreement exists as an outgrowth of this work. Collaboration between villagers and NAU anthropologists began with the Bacavi Terrace Project, which involved physical restoration of 700 year old terrace gardens, as well as documentation and education of local youth in traditional ecological knowledge.

The project has given rise to several other Hopi agricultural projects and annual planting and harvesting with elderly Hopi farmers. As ties between the department and the HCPO have developed, so have other projects. Together with other NAU faculty, the HCPO, the National Park Service, and the Hopi Foundation, Vasquez helped to develop a Ruins Preservation Training Workshop for unemployed Hopi youth, which has generated careers in cultural preservation and a new interest in the relevance of anthropology for the Hopi.

NAU students in collaboration with the HCPO, have transcribed tapes for tribal archives, developed a cultural curriculum with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, conducted research in cultural affiliation, developed media materials on health and nutrition for the Hopi Health Center, and created the HCPO site, which won the national student award of the Society for Applied Anthropology. Most recently, he has served as a consultant for the NEH-funded Hopi Foot prints Project to develop K-8 cultural curriculum with several reservation schools.

Another focus of his work in the past few years has been as Trainer, Evaluator, or Project Analyst for different programs of the RARE (Rapid Assessment Response and Evaluation) Project, working with minority communities in 15 U.S. cities to reduce HIV/AIDS risk factors. This work, sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, has helped to significantly reduce the number of new HIV/AIDS in African American and Latino communities.

Current research and applied projects

RARE Projects

In the past few years Dr. Vasquez has been a Trainer, Evaluator, and Project Analyst for different programs of the RARE (Rapid Assessment Response and Evaluation) Project, working with minority communities in 15 U.S. cities to reduce HIV/AIDS risk factors.   

This work, sponsored by the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, has helped to significantly reduce the number of new HIV/AIDS in African American and Latino communities.

Applied cultural research with Hopi

As an applied anthropologist at NAU, Dr. Miguel Vasquez has emphasized reciprocity between NAU and the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office (HCPO) to strengthen both local community cultural assets and the educational experience for both native and non-native students. The NAU-HCPO Memoran­dum of Agreement exists as an outgrowth of this work.

Collaboration between villagers and NAU anthropologists began with the Bacavi Terrace Project, which involved physical restoration of 700 year old terrace gardens, as well as documentation and education of local youth in traditional ecological knowledge.   The project has given rise to several other Hopi agricultural projects and annual planting and harvesting with elderly Hopi farmers. As ties between the department and the HCPO have developed, so have other projects. 

Together with other NAU faculty, the HCPO, the National Park Service, and the Hopi Foundation, Vasquez helped to develop a Ruins Preservation Training Workshop for unemployed Hopi youth, which has generated careers in cultural preservation and a new interest in the relevance of anthropology for the Hopi.

NAU students in collaboration with the HCPO, have transcribed tapes for tribal archives, developed a cultural curriculum with the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals, conducted research in cultural affiliation, developed media materials on health and nutrition for the Hopi Health Center, and created the HCPO web site, which won the national student award of the Society for Applied Anthropology.