Profiles from the Peninsula: Michelle María Early Capistrán

Profiles from the Peninsula is a series dedicated to spotlighting the partners who make up the Baja Working Group, and their projects. This week’s profile is on Michelle María Early Capistrán, cultural anthropologist turned marine ecologist studying local ecological knowledge of sea turtles in the Gulf of California.



Puedes leer este blog en español aquí.

Profiles from the Peninsula is a series dedicated to spotlighting the partners who make up the Baja Working Group, and their projects. Each week, we will bring you a new profile in the form of a blog like this one. More information about the working group can be found here.


Michelle María Early Capistrán is a cultural anthropologist by training. More recently, though, she has found herself studying the world of marine biology, with a focus on marine historical ecology, through a doctorate program at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. Specifically, Michelle Maria’s work quantifies local ecological knowledge about sea turtles in the Gulf of California, to model long-term changes in their abundance. Through her sea turtle research, Michelle María has been able to tell stories about the turtle’s past ecology and relationships with humans, and how that knowledge can shed light on the future of sea turtles in the region.


Photographer: Michelle María Early Capistrán Site: Bahía de los Ángeles, Baja California


Michelle María’s hope is to keep seeing more projects in the region that focus on long-term (i.e. centuries to millennia) changes and that also incorporate human dimensions. Her interdisciplinary background influences her views on climate resilience for the Baja California region. As she puts it, “For climate resilience to exist, we need a more just society based on internationalism, cooperation, and respect for the environment. Ideally, I would love to see one eco-region where people cooperate, work together, and generate social conditions that allow for restoration and recovery in the context of climate change.”


Photographer: Michelle María Early Capistrán Site: Bahía de los Ángeles, Baja California


The Baja Working Group is a collaboration between the Climate Science Alliance and the International Community Foundation. Learn more here.


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