As an anthropologist, I have conducted field work in the Peruvian Andes since the 1970s and have also carried out research in East Africa, the Italian Alps, and Aboriginal Australia. My early work focused on agriculture, fisheries and rangelands. More recently I have studied climate change and glacier retreat, with an emphasis on water, natural hazards and the loss of iconic landscapes. In addition to numerous academic articles and books, I have published a memoir and a book of travel writing.
I teach in the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences Master&r's Program in Climate and Society, for which I also serve as Associate Director. I am also a Senior Research Scientist at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society, and one of the four co-directors of the Center for Research in Environmental Decisions.