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Melissa Beresford is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at San José State University and affiliated faculty in the Center of Global Health in School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. She received her Ph.D. in Anthropology at Arizona State University, her M.A. in Social Science from the University of Chicago, and her B.A. in Urban Studies and Planning from the University of California, San Diego.

As an economic anthropologist, Dr. Beresford's research investigates how people create alternative economies in response to economic inquality and resource insecurity (with a focus on water insecurity).  As an anthropological methodologist, Dr. Beresford also conducts research on and innovates methods for ethnographic research and qualitative data anlaysis. She conducts her field work in urban areas of high inequality, including in the U.S. San Francisco Bay Area and Cape Town, South Africa. She also collaborates on research in Latin America and in cross-cultural context.

As an enthusiastic and experienced teacher, Dr. Beresford's primary teaching foci include supporting diverse students; research methods training; pedagogy and practice of diverse teaching modalities (including online); experiential learning (undergraduate research experiences, study abroad); and citizen science projects. She also teaches workshops on Qualitative Data Analysis for the NSF Cultural Anthropology Methods Program (CAMP) and Arizona State University's Institute for Social Science Research.


Research Interests

Economic and ecological anthropology; socio-economic inequality; water/resource insecurity; entrepreneurship, markets, and alternative (non-market & hybrid) economies; ethnographic research methods; qualitative data analysis