Head shot of Nataya Friedan
  • Kinder Scholar
  • PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, Stanford University

Nataya Friedan is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Anthropology at Stanford University.

Her dissertation research examines flood infrastructure planning in Houston as a site of renegotiation between the promises of urban growth and the contingencies of nature in a changing environment. She will investigate how stakeholders from the public and private sector explain the causation of a series of recent disastrous flooding events and negotiate differently imagined environmental futures in the process of planning and paying for major flood infrastructure projects.

As a Kinder Scholar during the year of her dissertation fieldwork, she will bring the narratives she observes through the practice of ethnography into the spatial and historical context of land use, physical infrastructure and storm history in the watersheds around Houston through archival research and spatial analysis.  Her mixed-methods research has been awarded the Wenner-Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grant as well as a Lane Research Grant in the History of Science, Medicine and Technology.

Friedan received a B.A. in anthropology with a concentration in political science from Columbia University. Before her Ph.D., she worked as a program manager at the Roosevelt Institute in New York City. She also co-founded and continues to develop curriculum for Catalyst, an organization that builds structural violence framed curriculums and advocacy networks on pressing transnational policy issues with educators and high school students from across North and South America.