Andrew Tarter is an anthropologist whose research in Haiti is funded by the National Science Foundation, Fulbright, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.

Note: I no longer maintain this page. It exists here as a record of my academic activities while pursing a PhD (2008-2015) in the department of anthropology, at the University of Florida. My current and up-to-date web site is:



Andrew Tarter

Inaugural Fulbright Public Policy Fellow* (2012-2013)
National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellow (2010-2015)
US Department of Education Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) Fellow (2008-2010)

*Since renamed the Fulbright-Clinton Fellowship.

academic advisors: Gerald F. Murray (chair); H. Russell Bernard; Christopher McCarty; Michael Bannister

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I am a PhD candidate (ABD) in sociocultural anthropology at the University of Florida. My MA research, generously funded through 2 fellowships from the US Department of Education Foreign Area and Language Studies program, was an anthropological outcome-evaluation of a previous tree-planting project in Haiti, some 30 years after the first seedlings were planted.

My PhD coursework has been generously funded for 3 years by the National Science Foundation (NSF), through the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. My dissertation research has been jointly-funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation and the National Science Foundation. Some of my research peripheral to my dissertation is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

From 2012-2013 I took a break from the PhD to fulfill a Fulbright placement as a special assistant in the cabinet of the Prime Minister, at the Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation, in the Government of Haiti. I spent 2013-2014 in rural Haiti finishing my dissertation research (find out more here and here). I am currently writing my dissertation and will defend in spring 2015. For future updates visit:

research interests/areas of experience

Haiti, Haitians, Haitian Creole, the Caribbean, Latin America, NGOs, Development Anthropology, Anthropology of Development, Ecological Anthropology, Environmental Anthropology, Political Ecology, Caribbean Archeology, Vodou (voodoo), Visual Anthropology; ethnographic film, agriculture, agroforestry, farmers, forestry, deforestation, reforestation, trees, charcoal, restoration ecology, remote sensing, GIS, GPS, statistical analysis, science, Social Network Analysis, public policy creation and implementation, anthropological theory, research methods, research design


* language translation (Haitian Creole to English/English to Haitian Creole)

* research (data collection and analysis)

* consulting (project monitoring and evaluation, project consulting, research design)

* guide services (travel in Haiti)

* video services (ethnographic film and documentary film production)


2014 - I am currently writing up my dissertation. I no longer maintain this web site. Please visit, instead:


2014 - Check out the first installation of a four-part guest blog I wrote for the Wenner Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research.


2014 - Check out a guest blog I did for the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association.


2014 - Here is a new profile of my research on the University of Florida anthropology department page.


11/2013 - The workshop Dr. Gonzalez-Tennant and I organized entitled Geospatial Analysis & Cultural Anthropology: An Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) As a Method and an Application in Anthropological Research was a success at the annual American Anthropological Association meetings in Chicago. Read about it here and here. The workshop was sponsored by the Culture and Agriculture section of the AAA, where I have just completed 2 years as student representative.


10/2013 - I hosted and introduced my research to the Regional Coordinator for The World Agroforestry Center (ICRAF), a member of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). They are weighing the possibility of an eventual permanent presence in Haiti.


8/2013 - A short piece I wrote about my Fulbright experience is published in the Haitian Studies Association newsletter.


7/2013 - Check out my research award abstract, featured on and on The other half of the research is funded by the Wenner Gren Foundation, and that abstract can be viewed here.


6/2013 - I am president-elect for the National Association of Student Anthropologists (NASA). I hope to benefit in this new position from my experiences as chair and vice-chair of the Student Committee of the Society of Applied Anthropology.


5/2013 - I provided pro bono consulting to the executive director and managing director of Trees for the Future, about the future of their tree-planting program in Haiti. I will be working collaboratively with them on grant applications to boost their Haiti program.


4/2013 - I provided pro bono consulting to the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program. My recommendations will be used to help prospective future applicants prepare more competitive applications, and future reference writers to write more effective letters.


3/2013 - My two years of service (vice-chair, followed by chair) on the Student Committee of the Society for Applied Anthropology has come to an end. Read about it and the new leadership here.


3/2013 - I accompanied Haitian Studies professor Dr. Benjamin Hebblethwaite to Gonaives to collect data during important annual Vodou (voodoo) ceremonies. These data will be stored in the Digital Vodou Archive. This research is possible thanks to a grant entitled The Archive of Haitian Religion and Culture: Collaborative Research and Scholarship on Haiti and the Haitian Diaspora, funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). I am a research associate of the UF research team on this NEH grant.


3/2013 - My entry on the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) is now available in the just-published Encyclopedia of Crisis Management, from SAGE Publications.


3/2013 - I met with and consulted study abroad students from Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies about agroforestry in Haiti.


2/2013 - I provided brief, pro bono consulting on tree-planting for Portland State University Architecture School project in Haiti.


2/2013 - The Society for Applied Anthropology Podcasts (SfAAPodcasts) is featuring a roundtable on The Role of Anthropology in Post-earthquake Haiti that I organized in 2010, as part of their Flashback Friday podcast series.


1/2013 - My paper Reflections of a Fulbright Public Policy Fellow in the Service of the Haitian Government has been accepted to the 2013 Annual Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting in Denver, Colorado. The preliminary program can be found here.


1/2013 - My book review is publish in Environment and Society: Advances in Research, Volume 3, Number 1, 2012 , pp. 123-150(28) (access it here and here)


12/2012 - My dissertation research (joint-funded by the National Science Foundation and the Wenner Gren Foundation) is featured here.


12/2012 - My Fulbright placement featured here.


11/2012 - Check out my colleague Dr. Edward Gonzalez-Tennant's blog post on the Culture and Agriculture-sponsored GIS workshop we co-organized and facilitated at this year's AAA conference in San Francisco.


10/2012 - I have submitted an abstract for an upcoming paper entitled Reflections of a Fulbright Public Policy Fellow in the Service of the Haitian Government for the 2013 Annual Society for Applied Anthropology Meeting in Denver.


10/2012 - My research mentioned in our departmental newsletter.


9/2012 - As part of my Fulbright placement in the government of Haiti, I am proposing a social network analysis between health-based NGOs, the Ministry of Public Health and Population, The Ministry of Planning and External Cooperation and its Unit for the Coordination of NGO Activities.


8/2012 - Meeting Hilary Clinton at the State Department.


8/2012 - My chapter When the Last Tree is Cut, is published by University of New Mexico Press, in Environmental Health Narratives: A Reader for Youth.


8/2012 - My Fulbright Public Policy Program placement page at the Department of State.


7/2012 - My: (1) paper panel (BORDERS AND CROSSINGS BY LAND, SEA, AND AIR: GEOSPATIAL ADVANCES IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH SESSION*); (2) workshop (Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Cultural Anthropology: An Introduction to GIS As Method and Application In Anthropological Research*) and; (3) paper submission (Vodou and Trees: An (Arbori)Cultural Exploration*) have all been accepted for the annual American Anthropology Association meetings in San Francisco.
Note: *You will need to click view session at the left to see the abstracts for the panel, workshop, and paper.
Note: #1 and #2 co-organized and facilitated with Dr. Edward Gonzalez-Tennant (website).


6/2012 - My research is highlighted in the Tropical Conservation and Development quarterly newsletter.


6/20120 - There is still room in my Haitian Creole language course. Please email me for details on registration.


5/2012 - I have been selected as an inaugural fellow for the new Fulbright Public Policy Program (learn more here, and here), in Haiti.


5/2012 - I am leading a team of 4 students from the University of Florida (2 undergraduates, a graduate, and a doctoral candidate) to Haiti, to collect plant species (and local names and uses) for the university Herbarium. We will be collecting on the southern peninsula.


04/2012 - My doctoral dissertation research has also been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation. I am working on a cost-sharing budget between NSF and Wenner-Gren.


04/2012 - My dissertation research in Haiti has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF), through their Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants.


04/2012 - The working trailer of Hands that Feed, for which I served as a research associate, is now online.


04/2012 - I will be teaching The Anthropology of Religion at the University of Florida, this summer. Contact me for syllabus and registration details.


04/2012 - I have received sectional sponsorship from the National Association for the Practice of Anthropology, for a panel I will be chairing at the AAA meetings in San Francisco. The paper panel is entitled BORDERS AND CROSSINGS BY LAND, SEA, AND AIR: GEOSPATIAL ADVANCES IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH SESSION.


04/2012 - I have received Culture and Agriculture (a section of the American Anthropological Association) sponsorship for a workshop I organized entitled GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (GIS) & CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY: AN INTRODUCTION TO GIS AS METHOD AND APPLICATION IN ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH SESSION. This all-day workshop will take place at the 2012 AAA meetings in San Francisco. I will be co-instructing with Edward Gonzalez-Tennant. Please contact me regarding workshop registration.


03/2012 - I am headed to Baltimore to chair a 2-part panel I organized, entitled Boundaries and Borders: GIS, GPS, and Remote

Sensing in Anthropological Research, at the 2012 Society for Applied Anthropology annual meetings.


02/2012 - I will be teaching an introductory level language course in Haitian Creole at the University of Florida, this summer, 2012. The course is entitled Haitian Creole for Disaster Relief, Humanitarian Aid and Development, and is perfect for beginning and intermediate speakers.
Email for more details.


02/2012 - UF International Engagement in Haiti and Beyond announced.


02/2012 - My in-coming role as Student President of the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA) is featured in the monthly newsletter (here and here).


02/2012 - SAVE THE DATE: April 18: Vodou and Santeria: an Anthropological Overview, by Dr. Gerald Murray

Dr. Murray is Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Florida. He has over three decades of field work in fifteen different countries. His most extensive research experience has been in Haiti and the Dominican Republic where he planned and directed major agroforestry projects, analyzed land tenure patterns and explored agrarian, ritual, and healing systems. Dr. Murray has written three books, 27 articles and book chapters, and 59 applied anthropological reports. He also has studied fifteen languages (some extinct) and has interviewed and/or conversed in eight.

Venue: This presentation will occur at the Santa Fe College campus. All Spring 2012 lectures will take place from 3:30-5:00 p.m. in P-260

02/2012 - I will be presenting my post-earthquake Haiti research at the 59th Annual Meeting of the Southeastern Council of Latin American Studies (SECOLAS), The Struggle for Democracy in Latin America. Panel moderated by anthropologist Dr. Gerald Murray.

02/2012 - I have been elected as student board member (2012-2014) to the Society for Anthropological Sciences.

01/2012 - I will be co-hosting the annual Club Creole (Haitian Student Association) Gala event, on January 27th.

11/2011 - I will be premiering my new mini-ethnographic film on Vodou and trees at the Plants and Religion symposium this December (link).

10/2011 - Some photos (here, and here) from my research have been entered in an AAA photo contest.

10/2011 - Submitted a 2-part panel entitled GIS, GPS, and Remote Sensing in Anthropological Research to the annual Society for Applied Anthropology meetings in Baltimore.

10/2011 - I will be contributing a short film and some photos on Vodou and trees, through the Vodou Archive Project in the Digital Library of the Caribbean at University of Florida.

9/2011 - Check out my new mini-documentary about Haitian Creole Scrabble.

9/2011 - Elected as the graduate student representative to the Research and Scholarship Council, in the University of Florida faculty senate. The council's area encompasses University policies and procedures relating to research and scholarship, including university-wide research and scholarship initiatives and strategies; research grants and contracts; research infrastructure; and other matters relating to funding or producing scholarship.

8/2011 - Elected as graduate student representative to the Culture and Agriculture section of the American Anthropological Association.

8/2011 - My paper was accepted for the American Anthropological Association annual meeting in Montreal. PAPER: History, Energy, and the Earthquake: The Shaping of the Rural Haitian Energyscape, and the Effects of the Earthquake On Energy Imaginaries (Panel: COME HELL OR HIGH WATER: LEGACIES AND LANDMARKS IN THE CULTURES OF ENERGY). Read the paper abstract here (note: you will need to click the link in the upper-left hand corner).

7/2011 - Vodou Songs in Haitian Creole and English, to which I contributed, is now available from Temple.

6/2011 - Our team received funding through the Innovation through Institutional Integration (I-Cubed) program--a joint venture of the University of Florida and the National Science Foundation (NSF). This funding will allow us to travel to Haiti with a team of 2 undergraduates and 2 doctoral students to Haiti next summer, to conduct research related to plant diversity and plant use. Learn more about I-Cubed here, and here.

5-6/2011 - Spent the summer in Haiti, researching the relationship between Vodou and trees.

4/19/2011 - Here is a preliminary look at my GIS analysis of forest cover related to proximity to major roads, in Aken, Haiti.

NEW - I am looking for partners and funding to help produce Espwa Fe Viv (Hope Makes Us Live): a documentary film about Haitians and trees. Please contact me if you would like to partner in this film production.

3/31/2011 - Elected to a two-year student leadership position in the Society for Applied Anthropology (SfAA): SfAA student vice-president (2011-2012); SfAA student president (2012-2013). Check out our student blog.

03/20/2011 - Received National Science Foundation (NSF) one-time international travel award to conduct research on Haitian symbolism and imbued meaning in trees, in rural Haiti this summer.

-The University of Florida is looking to hire 2 Haitian Creole TAs. Contact me for information

3/01/2011 - Dr. Louise Ivers (1, 2, 3), head of mission for Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health) and assistant professor at Harvard Medical School will be meeting with our own Haiti Working Group.

-Served as a research associate for a new documentary film about Haiti called Hands That Feed.

1/13/2011 - I am attending and serving as a Student Assistant for the annual Sunbelt Conference, hosted by the International Network for Social Network Analysis. Click here for the program.

12/22/2010 - I will be chairing a panel entitled, From Afghanistan Through Haiti to Katrina: Policy Lessons for Future Disasters at the 2011 Society for Applied Anthropology meeting, in Seattle, WA. Preliminary program here.

11/2010 - I have created a blog to document my text analysis adventures in MAXQDA, for Dr. Lance Gravlee s course.

10/27/2010 - Interviewed by the Gainesville Sun for an article about the affect of the cholera outbreak on research at UF. Article re-posted here on the Florida State University System.

10/15/2010 - Submitted a paper entitled, After the Earthquake, New Mouths to Feed: How Rural Haitians Shouldered an Unprecedented Urban Out-migration, for presentation at the Society for Applied Anthropology annual meeting, in Seattle, Washington.

10/11/2010 - I will be presenting a paper at the Haitian Studies Association annual meeting, entitled, 30 Years After a Tree-planting Project: A Political Ecology Perspective on Behavior and Land Changes in Rural Haiti, at Brown University. Program schedule here.

07/18/2010 - I am headed to the NSF sponsored Summer Institute in Research Design (SIRD), with H. Russell Bernard, Jeff Johnson, and Susan Weller.

06/15/2010 - I am headed to Haiti in a couple of weeks to do research on earthquake induced changes to household compositions and livelihood strategies.

04/07/2010 - I have been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship to continue my research on Haiti through the PhD. See the University of Florida announcement of other 2010 NSF GRF winners here.

03/28/2010 - I will be presenting a paper entitled, Ecological Development in Haiti: Trends of the Early 21st Century, at the annual Society for Applied Anthropology meeting in Merida, Mexico. Schedule [pdf]

03/24/2010 - I will be moderating a round table entitled, The Role of Anthropology in Post-earthquake Haiti, at the annual Society for Applied Anthropology meeting in Merida, Mexico. UPDATE: This round-table is now available as a podcast here.

02/09/2010 - I will be speaking about my research in Haiti and the earthquake at the Civic Media Center on Tuesday, February 9th. Details.

01/19/2010 - My research referenced at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies conference, in Panama.

01/14/2010 - Interviewed by ABC News about missing film student in Haiti, after the earthquake. See their film Bound by Haiti here.

2009 (summer) - I (in collaboration with another graduate student) worked on assembling the largest glossary of Haitian Creole words in the world. We then traveled to Haiti with Dr. Benjamin Hebblethwaite to promote his Scrabble as a Tool for Haitian Creole Literacy Project (read about it here, and about the same project in earlier years here). This project is an applied extension of Hebblethwaite scholarly research on that very topic. Finally we expanded on the Haitian Vodou (Voodoo) terms in this glossary for inclusion in Dr. Hebblethwaite s upcoming book (in press) entitled Vodou Songs and Texts in Haitian Creole and English, from Temple University Press, Philadelphia.