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Faculty Image Kimber, Haddix McKay
Office: Social Sciences 213
Phone: (406) 243-4106


Current Position:

Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Montana


Kimber Haddix McKay is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in demography and human behavioral ecology. Her research focuses on the interplay between marriage systems and fertility, and on demographic patterns in African and South Asian societies. She is also interested in the ways in which anthropology can be useful in fields outside of academia, and has worked both full time and as a consulting anthropologist designing studies of health conditions and evolving attitudes toward health and treatment of illness in remote areas of Nepal and Uganda. She has assisted in the design of locally appropriate development schemes aimed at improving health conditions, particularly in the use of sustainable energy technologies (solar photo voltaic, pico- and micro-hydroelectric systems) and in public health-related interventions such as latrine design, improved/smokeless cookstoves, lighting schemes, community based health training, and drama programs with specific health-related messages.

Office Hours:

Tuesday 9-11am

Field Of Study:

Demographic anthropology, applied medical anthropology, international development, human evolutionary ecology.


Peoples of Africa (U)

Social Change (UG)

Population and Culture (U)

Social Anthropology (UG)

Seminar in Ethnology (G)

Applied Anthropology and International Health (G)

Anthropological and Clinical Perspectives on Global Health (UG)

Quantitative Ethnographic Field Methods (UG)


University of California at Berkeley

Post-doctoral Fellow in Demographic Anthropology 1998-2000

University of California at Davis

Ph.D. Anthropology 1998

M.A. Anthropology 1994

Mount Holyoke College

B.A. Anthropology and Philosophy of Science 1990

Specialized Skills:

Sociocultural Anthropology; Demographic Anthropology; International Development

Professional Experience:

1997– present, anthropological consultant to The ISIS Foundation, conducting baseline and longitudinal studies of rural health care conditions in Humla District, Nepal and Nakaseke District, Uganda; currently Research, Monitoring and Evaluation Director for The ISIS Foundation

2001-2002 Country Manager, Nepal—The ISIS Foundation. Project director and manager and lead researcher on various health-related development projects in both Nepal and Uganda (on leave from University of Montana)

2000-present Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Montana

1998-2000 Andrew Mellon post-doctoral fellow in demographic anthropology, University of California at Berkeley, Program in Population Research, under the supervision of Gene Hammel

International Experience:

Current Research Sites:




Other Research Sites:






Selected Publications:

2005 Zahnd, A. and Haddix McKay, K.  Renewable energy resources for improved, sustainable livelihood: A case study of a holistic community development project with a remote and poor mountain village in the Nepal Himalayas, Invited refereed paper, Proceedings, 6th Asia Pacific Roundtable for Sustainable Production and Consumption, Melbourne, 10-12 October 2005.

2005 Zahnd, A. and Haddix McKay, K. A simple, optimized PV system for a remote Himalayan village, Invited refereed paper, Proceedings of the 43rd annual conference of the Australian and New Zealand Solar Energy Society, Dunedin, 28-30 November 2005.

2006 Zahnd, A., Haddix McKay, K., and Komp, R. Renewable energy village power systems for remote and impoverished Himalayan villages in Nepal, Proceedings of the International Conference on Renewable Energy for Developing Countries, Washington D.C. April 6-7 2006.

2006 Fissel, A. and Haddix McKay, K. Action!  Why people engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS should take note of traditional healer organizations in Uganda, Practicing Anthropology, 28(4): 22-25.

Other Publications:

2001 Haddix, K.

Leaving your wife and your brothers: When polyandrous marriages fall apart, Evolution and Human Behavior, 22(1):47-61.

2002 Haddix McKay, K.

Health needs in two ethnic communities of Northwestern Nepal, Contributions to Nepalese Studies, 29(2): 241-273.

2003 Haddix McKay, K.

Challenges to health care access in Maoist Nepal, Himalaya, XXII(2): 43-46.

2004 Tanner, R., Brown, P., Freimund, W. and Haddix McKay, K. 

Transfrontier conservation areas of Southern Africa and international law in the context of community involvement.  Journal of South African Environmental Law and Policy, 11: 167-182.

2006 Fissel, A. and Haddix McKay, K.

Action!  Why people engaged in the fight against HIV/AIDS should take note of traditional healer organizations in Uganda, Practicing Anthropology, 28(4): 22-25.

2007 Haddix McKay, K., Zahnd, A., Sanders, C. and Nepali, G.

Responses to innovation in an insecure environment in rural Nepal, Mountain Research and Development, 27(4): 302–307.

2007 Zahnd, A. and McKay, K.H.

Quatre piliers pour un développement holistique, Traces 24(12): 7-9.

2007 Zahnd, A. and McKay, K.H.

Eclairage sur mesure au Népal, Traces 24(12): 11-13.

2007 Pickering A. and Haddix McKay, K.   

Old and new barriers to family planning in Humla, Nepal: How the urban/rural divide has widened, Contributions to Nepalese Studies, 34(1): 229-245.

2008 Zahnd, A. and McKay, K.H.

A mountain to climb? How pico-hydro helps rural development in the Himalayas, Renewable Energy World, 11(2): 118-123.

2009 Zahnd, A. and McKay, K.H.

Benefits from a renewable energy village electrification system, Renewable Energy, 34:362-368.

2010 McKay, K.H.

Socio-Cultural Dimensions of Cluster vs. Single Home Photovoltaic Solar Energy Systems in Rural Nepal

Sustainability, 2010(2): 494-504.

2012 Sanders, C. and McKay K.H.

Love is Cheap: Democratic Rise of Love Marriage among Hindu Maoists in Nepal. Anthropology News,

2013 Sanders, C. and McKay K.H

The Search for “Strong Medicine”: Pathways to healthcare development in remote Nepal using GIS, Technology and Innovation, 15(2):125-129.

Under review. Sanders, C. and McKay K.H.

Revolutionary Ideas: An Exploration of the Role of Kinship in Decision Making in Post-Conflict Nepal, Human Organization

Under review. Sanders, C. and McKay K.H.

A People’s War? Joining the Maoists in Mountain Nepal. Cultural Anthropology