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I was raised in the northern New Mexican village of Truchas on land passed down through many generations of women. Here, we have a word — querencia — which means love of homeland. This querencia is why I weave  histories of place, identity and land use into nearly all of my writing, including on the nuclear industry. As a staff writer for Searchlight New Mexico, a small non-profit news outlet based in Santa Fe, I have spent the last year working as as nuclear reporter, covering the expansion of the weapons industry at Los Alamos National Laboratory. This has been a particularly significant beat for me. I grew up thirty miles as the crow flies from Los Alamos and have borne witness to its Janus-faced presence. On the one hand, it’s allowed local Indigenous and Nuevomexicano

families a chance at the good life. On the other hand, it has reaped devastating harms on both people and place. I hold Ph.D. in visual and cultural studies from the University of Rochester in New York and currently live in Santa Fe.

 

My writing can be found in Searchlight NM, The Nation, The Guardian and Rolling Stone. Awards include a 2017 Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant, a 2021 Society for Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi award for excellence in journalism and 2023 MOLLY National Journalism prize in investigative journalism.

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photo by Ungelbah Davila
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