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Emily McKee

Emily McKee Photo


Grant Towers 517
*For current publication and grant information

Environmental Focus

Dr. McKee specializes in environmental and Middle East anthropology. Past research examined land conflict and socio-environmental movements in the Negev/Naqab region of Israel. Current research investigates cross-border Palestinian, Jordanian, and Israeli waterscapes. It considers how trilateral water conservationists negotiate physical borders, a flowing resource, and nationalist conflict, and how local residents react to water scarcity, resource competition, and conservation campaigns. Dr. McKee’s next field season will probe the impacts of desalination on these groups and their waterscapes. Closer to home, Dr. McKee examines small-scale agriculture and local food systems in the American Midwest, with plans for future comparative studies in the United States. Across these field sites, she is interested in the drawing and policing of group boundaries; experiences of agriculture, urbanization, and environmental change; and environmental sustainability activism.

Current Student Research Opportunities

Students interested in gaining research experience in water conservation, international water disputes, Middle East studies, and alternative agriculture are encouraged to contact Dr. McKee. English-only speakers, as well as those with Hebrew or Arabic proficiency, are welcome. Research opportunities include the following, as well as additional projects tailored to students’ skill sets:

  • Assist in coordinating and hosting research workshop with Northern IL farmers
  • Collection of data on farmers’ market sales and CSA memberships
  • Literature review of desalination research

Past Student Research Projects

  • Survey of Rockford area food buyers
  • Participant observation with organic and sustainable farmers; coding of interview data
  • Survey of Northern Illinois farmers
  • Transcription and qualitative coding of interviews regarding cross-border water use in Israel, Palestine, and Jordan