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Rachel Odhner


Rachel’s research explores how rivers, lakes, wetlands, and different people’s relationships with these bodies of water have made, remade, and unmade the Nicaragua/Costa Rica border through time. Her project looks at how despite state border-making projects, local residents’ crossborder mobilizations over water, as well as the flows and stops of water, disrupt and destabilize the border, challenging the notion of a fixed or fixable boundary.

Rachel received her bachelor’s degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Rochester in 2010. Prior to beginning graduate school, she spent two years traveling and working in rural South America, and then volunteered as a Peace Corps Volunteer in northern Nicaragua. There she became interested in water issues amid seasonal cycles of food availability and the everyday realities of farmers in a drought-prone community in a country abundant with water.

Her research is supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, the US Student Fulbright program, and the National Geographic Society. 




environment; agriculture; water



  • Anthropology


Fall 2021