Jessica Cattelino studies and teaches about sociocultural life in the contemporary United States. She is currently a PI in the Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS).
Her research focuses on economy, nature, indigeneity, and settler colonialism. Her first book, High Stakes: Florida Seminole Gaming and Sovereignty (Duke University Press, 2008; winner of the Delmos Jones and Jagna Sharff Memorial Book Prize from the Society for the Anthropology of North America), examines the cultural, political, and economic stakes of tribal casinos for Florida Seminoles. Currently, she is writing an ethnography about the cultural value of water in the Florida Everglades, with a focus on the Seminole Big Cypress Reservation and the nearby agricultural town of Clewiston. She also is collaborating with photographer Adam Nadel on a museum exhibition about the inextricability of people and nature in the Everglades.
Her current research is funded by the National Science Foundation (Law and Social Sciences), the Wenner-Gren Foundation, and the Howard Foundation. Additionally, she is funded through participation in a National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Network on the Florida Coastal Everglades, for which she is undertaking wildly interdisciplinary collaboration as a co-author of a paper on phosphorus and will conduct ethnographic research on the social life of a stormwater treatment area.