Maddie Melton is the Program Manager for Humanity in Action’s Mapping Democracy Fellowship. In addition to this work, they are a current Master’s student in the Environmental Humanities at the University of Utah. Their work focuses on the environment as actant in the politics of immigration along the US/Mexico border through an ethnographic lens. This research was motivated by several years of work in outdoor & experiential education with Where There Be Dragons in Southwest China and the Southwest United States that asked questions of place, identity, water, social & environmental justice, and sovereignty of all kinds. They hold a BA from Rhodes University and a BA Honours in Anthropology from the University of Cape Town, both in South Africa. After ten years overseas, they are glad to be back in the United States for the time being to understand their country of origin anew through a lens informed by the nuance of all of the experiences and learning that shaped their past decade in China, the Netherlands, and South Africa.
Outside of work and study, Maddie has hiked more than 4000 miles on long-distance trails across the western United States and spends most nights in a tent. They are a passionate scuba diver in Utah’s desert lakes as well as the ocean. They also dabble in creative non-fiction that considers the relationship between outdoor recreation, identity, and issues of social and environmental concern.
Updated March 2022