Melissa F. Baird

Melissa F. Baird


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Assistant Professor of Anthropology

  • Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Anthropology, Stanford Archaeology Center, and Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, 2011-2013
  • PhD, Anthropology, University of Oregon, 2009
  • BA Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley, 1998


Melissa’s work engages multi-sited and comparative and ethnographic approaches to examine how multi-national corporations, the State, private sector, heritage experts, and other decision-makers draw on the rhetoric of heritage, rights, and sustainability in environmental decisions and management. Through the lens of resource frontiers, her research seeks to broaden our understanding of global heritage and environmental politics, especially how heritage intersects with indigenous rights and environmental protections. 

Melissa employs diverse methods and draws on a broad range of research experiences to examine the ecological, social, and political impacts of resource extraction. Her book manuscript, Critical Heritage Landscapes, in the Cultural Heritage Series, is under review with University Press of Florida. She asks: What are the implications of cultural landscapes as heritage? What are the political and historical realities interpreting and ‘making landscapes’?

Research Interests

  • Critical heritage studies
  • Heritage landscapes
  • Indigenous and expert knowledge
  • Extractive industries
  • Ethnographic methods
  • Politics of archaeology