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John V. Magistro's Homepage

by Stanzin Tonyot last modified Jan 10, 2013 08:49 AM

Associate Research Social Scientist,
Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology

Ph.D., 1994, Anthropology, State University New York
M.A., 1988, Anthropology, State University New York
B.A., 1974, History, Miami University

Phone: (520) 621-6282
FAX: (520) 621-9608

Anthropology Building Room 316
P.O. Box 210030
University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 85721-0030

Curriculum Vitae


Born into a first generation family of southern Italian immigrants of good Puglia peasant stock, I developed an acute sense of ethnicity as a toddler from my portly miniature grandmother (‘nonon’) at the annual family gathering. Grabbing me firmly by the cheek at the evening dinner table, she would resolutely bark her marching orders of ‘mangia, mangia, mangia’ for fear that I would forever remain frail and lean from a severe carbohydrate deficiency in rigatoni, abundantly saturated in garlic, meatballs, and parmesan. Today, I stand a strapping 5’6”; my large and medium-size brothers stole all the pasta.

My life’s ambition as a young man was to get out of the blue-collar Midwest steel town of Mansfield, Ohio. A few aborted twists and turns, including a lumbar-inflicted year of ‘sommer hytte’ cabin building in the fjords of southwest Norway, finally landed me in the Peace Corps in Benin, West Africa (1980-84). Well anointed in the realities of p falciparum and pounded yams, and profoundly transformed by the stark global incongruities of ‘feast or famine’, I then embarked on a prolonged exercise of self-inflicted intellectual flagellation by pursuing my doctorate in sociocultural anthropology, with theoretical concentrations in political economy and ecology, at the State University of New York – Binghamton (PhD 1994).

My professional musings have included post-doctoral work on structural adjustment policy in the Africa Bureau at USAID, biodiversity conservation in central, eastern and southern Africa, post-doctoral research on human dimensions of climate change (climate vulnerability and variability) in Senegal, West Africa, and program management, monitoring and evaluation of micro-enterprise development programs (value chain analysis) with a US-based NGO working in South and Southeast Asia. My primary passion remains allied to my doctoral research on the political economy and ecology of riparian communities impacted by the hydrological impoundment of large dams. I remain forever a devotee of good pasta and pounded yams with an unbridled passion for all that is good in life.

Selected Publications

2005 (with Michael Roberts, Steve Haagblade et al.) A Model for Pro-Poor Wealth Creation through Small-Plot Irrigation and Integrated Service Provision. Conference Proceedings, IWMI Regional Workshop and Policy Roundtable on “Pro-Poor Intervention Strategies in Irrigated Agriculture in Asia.” 25-27 August, 2004. Colombo, Sri Lanka. In Irrigation and Drainage, Issue no. 54.5.

2001 (with Medou Lo) “Historical and Human Dimensions of Climate Variability and Water Resource Constraint in the Senegal River Valley.” In Climate Research, 19:133-147.

2001 (with Carla Roncoli) “Anthropological Perspectives and Policy Implications of Climate Change Research.” In Climate Research, 19:91-96.

1999 "The Politics of Ethnic Conflict in a Transboundary Context, the Senegal River Valley." In Deadly Developments: Capitalism, States and War. Stephen P. Reyna and R. E. Downs, eds. The Netherlands: Gordon and Breach, pp. 177-211.

1997 " The Ecology of Food Security in the Northern Senegal Wetlands." In The Ecology of Practice: Studies of Food Crop Production in Sub-Saharan West Africa. A. Endre Nyerges, ed. The Netherlands: Gordon and Breach, pp. 97-133.

1995 (with Muneera Salem-Murdock, Madiodio Niasse, et al.) Les Barrages de la Controverse: Aménagement de la Vallée du Fleuve Sénégal. Paris: Harmattan.

1993 "Crossing Over: Ethnicity and Transboundary Conflict in the Senegal River Valley." Cahiers d'Etudes Africaines, 130, XXXIII-2:201-232.

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