Chris Destiche

MDP Student

Before coming to the MDP program, Chris’s early career has been marked by service-work devoted to furthering social and environmental causes. Directly after receiving his degree in Anthropology with a focus on Latin American Studies from the University of Georgia, Chris worked on a food security campaign with the Public Interest Network. He then transitioned into conservation-work with the National Park Service, working on a native seed initiative in the Grand Canyon and exotic species removal in Yellowstone. He later joined the Peace Corps as an agriculture volunteer, where he worked cooperatively with Indigenous Mayan farmers to promote sustainable agriculture. Seeing first-hand the disastrous effects of climate change on rural Guatemalan communities and their connection to migration inspired him to pursue a degree in Development Practices.

Chris was drawn to the University of Arizona because of its preeminence in climate change research as well as the MDP program’s connection to the Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology, bringing the potential for an interdisciplinary approach that centers the needs of marginalized communities in climate change mitigation practices. Beyond gaining the practical skills to become a more effective development worker, he is also interested in exploring how indigenous cultural patrimony and agricultural knowledge relate to sustainability and climate resilience. He aims to focus his research on environmental justice and the effects of climate-induced natural disasters on migration.

Upon graduation, Chris hopes to work with an international aid organization to promote development practices and policies that have social equity at their heart.