Flora Lu, associate professor of environmental studies, has been named provost for College Nine and College Ten beginning in the fall.
Lu joined UC Santa Cruz in 2008 as part of the Latin American and Latino studies department. In 2010, she received the UCSC Division of Social Sciences "Golden Apple" Distinguished Teaching Award and the next year won the UCSC Committee on Teaching's Excellence in Teaching Award.
Since 1992, Lu has been conducting research with the Huaorani Indians of the Ecuadorian Amazon, a predominantly subsistence-based population of hunter-gatherer-horticulturalists. During 1996-1997, she conducted her doctoral fieldwork among two Huaorani villages along the Shiripuno River. Using interdisciplinary approaches, she examines changes in resource use, household economic patterns, and social organization among indigenous rainforest communities in a context of rapid cultural, demographic, economic and ecological change.
"It is clear that her research interests integrate closely with the two colleges’ twin foci on global perspectives and social justice," the provost search committee noted in its recommendation letter.
Lu received her A.B. in human biology with honors from Stanford University in 1993 and her Ph.D. in ecology from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1999.
She is the lead author of two books, Modos de Vivir y Sobrevivir: Un Estudio Transcultural de Cinco Etnias en la Amazonia Ecuatoriana (2012) and Integración al Mercado y Salud Indígena en el Nororiente Ecuatoriano (forthcoming), both published by Abya Yala, the top academic press in Ecuador.