Graduate Directory

Karen Crespo Triveno
  • Title
    • PhD Student
  • Division Social Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Environmental Studies Department
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Nat Sci 2 Main Building, 485
  • Mail Stop Environmental Studies

Research Interests


My research inquires about Indigenous Food and Seed Sovereignty in the Quechua Andean highlands and Chiquitano Amazonian lowlands of Bolivia. I seek to learn about the commodification of Indigenous food sources in Bolivia, and whether and how Indigenous governance systems (such as Ayllu systems) act as resistance against wide-spreading agro-industrialization. Within this inquiry, I ask whether and how de/re-peasantization and dynamic migration(s) erode traditional agroecological knowledge in Bolivia's Quechua Andean highlands and Chiquitano Amazonian lowlands, and what types of Indigenous knowledge, memories, agrobiodiverse plants, sustain and/or revive agroecological farming practices.


My research interests include Indigenous food and seed sovereignty, decolonization, critical environmental justice, youth-led environmental activism, agroecology, political ecology and economy, critical race, feminist, and ethnic studies.

Biography, Education and Training

Imaynalla Kashanki? Karen (she/ella/pay) is a reconnecting Quechua warmi with ancestral lineages from Cochabamba, Bolivia. Her lineage holds histories of migration and cultural perseverance through her father's Andean music and her budding reconnection to ancestral foodways, seed keeping, and Land stewardship. She centers decolonial, feminist, and critical auto-ethnographic methodologies through practices of relationality (minka) and reciprocity (ayni) with Quechua, Chiquitano, and more-than-human autonomy, oral histories, reclamation, and memories. 


B.A. International Studies, Urban Agriculture, Latin American Studies, University of San Francisco, 2020.

Honors, Awards and Grants

2023. National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (NSF GRFP)

2023. Heller Agroecology Graduate Student Research Grant, UCSC    

2022. CONCUR Inc. Scholarship, UCSC

2022. Environmental Studies Summer Research Grant, UCSC

2022. Gliessman Fellowship in Water Resources and Food System Sustainability, UCSC

2022. Heller Agroecology Graduate Student Research Grant, UCSC     

2022. Catalyst Grant, Women's Earth Alliance

2021. Cota Robles Fellowship, UCSC



Selected Publications

Grewe, H; Crespo Triveño, K; Castro, F. (2022) “Combating Rising Sea Level in East Palo Alto: Green Infrastructure, Community Awareness, and Recommendations from residents”. Nuestra Casa Article


Crespo Triveño, Karen, "Can Food Sovereignty Practice Intersect with Bolivia’s Process of Decolonizing its Plurinational State? The Politics of Decolonizing Food Systems" (2020). Undergraduate Honors Theses. 31.

Selected Recordings


Crespo Triveño, K. (2018). “La Conservación del Medio Ambiente entre la Alimentación: Una Perspectiva cochabambina y cruceña”  SIT Spring 2018 Independent Study Project .