Ben Wilder
Javier Duran, Christian Ruvalcaba
Cuéntame Más Phase Two: Digging deeper into the connection between people and place
Community gathering spaces that appeal to a full cross-section of an areas inhabitants are rare. Scarcer yet are public sites that engender a deep personal connection between an individual and a specific place. Tumamoc Hill, or Cemamagi Du’ag, the “hill of the horned lizard”, is one of those places. Nestled on the edge of Tucson’s birthplace and within two miles of Downtown, Tumamoc receives about 1,000 daily visitors. The current work builds on and is guided by a year of data attained through open ended surveys and a focused questionnaire that has identified salient themes of people’s connection to this place. Yet, many voices remain underrepresented and additional characteristics that underpin neutral community gathering spaces are to be identified. To fills these gaps this second phase of Cuéntame Más will reach out into underrepresented Latinx and indigenous communities and dig deeper to understand generalizable core elements that create a space for personal, community, and natural connections.
Project type
Projet OHM
OHM(s) involved
  • Pima County
Anthropologie, Socio-anthropologie
Image (put here just a single image)EN DEV


Dr. Benjamin T. Wilder
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Office (campus): (520) 626-3987
Cell: (520) 971–2486
Director, Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, 1675 W. Anklam Road, Tucson, AZ 85745
Research Scientist, University of Arizona, Consortium for Arizona-Mexico Arid Environments (CAZMEX)
ERN2 Building, room 542 (NE side)
Director and co-founder, Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers, www.nextgensd.com


Javier,Christian,Benjamin Duran,Ruvalcaba,Wilder
Research interests: U.S.-Mexico Border Studies, critical theory, cultural studies, modern and contemporary Latin American narrative, Latin American women writers. Professor Javier Duran is a specialist in cultural and interdisciplinary studies along the U.S.-Mexico border. He is a native of the Arizona-Sonora desert region. Dr. Duran, a three-time UA alumnus, received his Ph.D. in Hispanic Literatures from Spanish and Portuguese at the University of Arizona, an M.A. in Latin American Studies, and a B.S. in Plant Sciences from the UA. Dr. Duran’s areas of teaching and research include U.S.-Mexican border studies, Latin American Cultural Studies, Mexican women’s literature and culture, and Chicana/Chicano-Latina/Latino narrative. He has received several research grants from state and federal agencies to conduct research and implement institutional programs during his career. He is the author of the book José Revueltas. Una poética de la disidencia, published by the Universidad...
Javier,Christian,Benjamin Duran,Ruvalcaba,Wilder
Research interests: Linguistics and grammar, linguistic landscapes, heritage languages, participatory action research and pedagogy, place-meaning research, language teaching, place-based learning. Dr. Ruvalcaba received a Ph.D. in Second Language Acquisition and Teaching from the University of Arizona in 2018 and a BA in Linguistics in 2008. He is from Cananea, Sonora, and Sierra Vista, Arizona. His teaching and research focus on the role of language in place-meaning and place-making for communities of color. He also researches how languages express location/place and how the grammar of these expressions overlap with other notions, such as possession and experience. He is the co-founder of the Language Capital Project, an ongoing project that investigates multilingual spaces in Tucson, Arizona. He is also a member of the Language Society of America’s Committee on Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics. Currently, he is a research coordinator for the Confluencenter for Creative Inquiry.
Javier,Christian,Benjamin Duran,Ruvalcaba,Wilder
My research is broadly focused in desert ecology and botany. I utilize multiple approaches and time scales to establish baselines to better understand modern biodiversity and connect science to conservation.

Since October 2016 I have been the director of the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill. I also work with Dr. Christopher Scott in the administration of CAZMEX, the Consortium for Arizona-Mexico Arid Environments.

I received my PhD in 2014 from the University of California, Riverside under the guidance of Dr. Exequiel Ezcurra for my dissertation research, "Historical Biogeography of the Midriff Islands, Gulf of California." From 2014–2015 I was a Visiting Scholar in the lab of Dr. Rodolfo Dirzo at Stanford University focusing on ecological education for indigenous communities.

I increasingly value the incorporation of diverse perspectives and the powerful results made possible via collaboration. In my role as director of the Next Generation Sonoran Desert Researchers...