Elise Arellano-Thompson

Ph.D. Student

I am a first-year PhD student broadly interested in human-environmental relations in Central America. My interests revolve around climate, hydrometeorological hazards, land change, and human migration. Methodologically, I am interested in mixed methods, integrating climate and spatial analyses with ethnographies and other qualitative methods.

Prior to the University of Arizona, I studied at Texas State University where I completed my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Geography. My master’s thesis focused on environmental factors (namely hydrometeorological hazards) and their contribution to migration decisions. Other projects I worked on during my master's include: analyzing racial changes in a historically Black neighborhood in San Marcos, TX using GIS, studying the impacts of changing asylum policies at the US-MX border, and an ethnographic/landscape analysis of indigenous identity and presence in San Marcos, TX.

Current projects I am collaborating on include: studying illicit infrastructure and deforestation attributed to narcotrafficking in Central America's protected areas through remote sensing, and the relationship between fire, climate change, and deforestation through analyzing climate data and remote sensing.