I am a first generation student that comes from an economically disadvantage family. I am also product of the public education system and English is my second language -I learned it during my Masters-. 

I found my identity as researcher during summer internships in University of Minnesota and Tufts University were I started to be interested in cognitive and social processes. As part of the requirements for my research program (NIH/COR – Career Opportunity in Research), I worked in an independent project about discrimination based on skin color in Puerto Rico. As part of my advisors’ projects I also worked in the early stages of a research studying stigma against HIV patients that had has a goal the development of a curriculum for future physicians. Although I had good research experience in different fields of Psychology (parenting methods, psychotherapy and physiological psychology), my passion for Geography persuaded me. 
After graduating from UPR, I decided to pursue graduate studies in the Geography - the best decision I have ever made!-. I obtained my Masters in Multicultural Geography from SUNY Binghamton. My thesis project was about the recognition of place as an important variable when developing a racial identity in Puerto Rico. This project also included how the denial of Blackness and/or Whitening’s patterns changed by places in the San Juan Metropolitan Area and how these attitudes were key when identifying xenophobic attitudes against Dominicans living in the Island. 
Currently, I am a third year PhD student in the Geography Department – specialization in Human Dimensions of social change-. I am recipient of one of the 2013 Flagship Fellowships and Dean’s Fellowships. Teaching assistant in Geography courses: "Developing Counties", "Physical Geography" and "Society and Sustainability


  • BA
    Geography, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras
  • BA
    Psychology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras
  • MA
    Ethnic and Multicultural Geography, State University of New York-Binghamton
Course Name Course Title Semester Syllabus
GEOG331 Introduction to Human Dimensions of Global Change Spring 2017 Syllabus

Research Topics

  • Human Dimensions of Global Change - Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Ana Sanchez-Rivera
LeFrak Building 2134
Department of Geographical Sciences
asanche5 [at] umd.edu