Aimee Leon PhD
Academic Focus Area: Ecological Food and Farming Systems; Animal Studies
Advisor: Wynne Wright
Aimee Swenson is pursuing her PhD in the Department of Community Sustainability. She is a C.S. Mott PreDoctoral Fellow in Sustainable Agriculture, and works at the intersections of human-animal relationships (specifically livestock), indigeneity, and land appropriation. She is completing the Ecological Food and Farming, and the Social Science and Humanities Perspectives in Animal Studies specializations. Working broadly within traditional and contemporary shepherding populations, she hopes to continue her work with assessing the cultural importance of livestock in indigenous and isolated communities, and how that interfaces with governmental regulations and shifting demands in land use.
She comes to the department with a Masters in Interdisciplinary Studies (Geography & Agricultural History), and a Graduate Gender Certificate from Arizona State, where her work focused on the governmentally ordered livestock seizures on Navajo reservations as a tool to reclaim land for corporate mineral extraction. She also has an MFA in Intermedia from Arizona State, is an internationally exhibiting artist and works creatively through performance, social practice, and community engagement - often as a tool for research dissemination. She has an undergraduate degree from Evergreen State College in Geography and Environmental Science with a focus on water resource management. Aimee has worked in both the public and private sectors, and both scientifically and creatively, but her passion is in community facilitation, engagement, and empowerment.