Julia Sizek is the Content Curator for Social Science Matrix and the host of the Matrix Podcast. She earned a PhD from the UC Berkeley Department of Anthropology. Her dissertation, “The Checkerboarded Desert,” examined how land fails to become property in the California desert. Drawing on political ecology, legal geography, and Native American and Indigenous Studies, her research shows the complexities of practicing sacred site protection and environmental conservation in a region often considered to be a wasteland. Her other writing on California history and environment has been featured in Boom!, KCET, and Bay Nature.