Andrea Marston
Andrea Marston

Andrea Marston, a doctoral student in the Department of Geography, has been granted the 2014 Trudeau Scholarship, the most prestigious doctoral award for the social sciences and humanities in Canada.

“I was absolutely thrilled when I found out that I had been awarded the Trudeau Scholarship,” says Marston, “I literally started jumping up and down. It took me several days to be able to get back into my normal work rhythm.”

Marston’s research interests lie at the intersection of political economy, natural resource extraction, and land-based identities. For her doctoral research, she is employing ethnographic and archival methods to explore the rise of cooperative mining in highland Bolivia.

Prior to starting at UC Berkeley, Marston obtained an M.A. in geography from the University of British Columbia, where she studied with the support of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Councilof Canada award. She engaged with the politics and practices of community water management in Cochabamba, Bolivia.

During this time, she became increasingly intrigued by the prevalence of calls for community auto-gestión (self-governance) and autonomía (autonomy) in everyday Bolivian politics, particularly in relation to questions of land, nature, and resources. These themes remain prevalent in her current research, which aims to develop critical understandings of small-scale resource extraction.

In various configurations, these are interests that Marston has pursued since she was an undergraduate at Duke University, where she matriculated with a full scholarship for interdisciplinary excellence and graduated with a joint degree in international comparative studies and environmental science and policy.

In addition to her studies, Marston has worked with fair trade and environmental nongovernmental organizations and community groups in Argentina, Ecuador, and Panama. Her earlier research examined the efficacy of fair trade handicraft certification systems. She has also worked as a coordinator for community-based research programs at Duke University’s Hart Leadership Center, part of the Sanford School of Public Policy.

Her work has appeared in Geoforum, where she co-edited a special issue about resource management trends in Latin America, in Water Alternatives, and in The Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies.Born and raised in the Canadian province of Alberta, it might appear that Marston has spent most of her adult life trying to escape the cold, but she insists that the Bolivian highlands can be surprisingly chilly.

Currently residing in Berkeley, she spends her free time enjoying the sunshine and participating in the fight to keep Berkeley’s heart left-of-center.

Established in 2001, the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation supports outstanding doctoral students who are committed to solving issues of critical importance to Canada and the world. The Foundation gave the scholarships to 14 students this year.

In addition to an annual grant of up to $60,000 for a three-year period, Trudeau Foundation scholars benefit from the expertise and knowledge of the network of Foundation fellows and mentors.

For more information please visit the Trudeau Foundation website.