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Kimber Haddix McKay, Professor

Location: Social Sciences 213

Phone: (406) 243-4106


Kimber Haddix McKay is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in demography and applied medical anthropology. 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.


University of California, Berkeley

Post-doctoral Fellow in Demographic Anthropology 1998-2000

University of California, Davis

Ph.D. Anthropology 1998

M.A. Anthropology 1994

Mount Holyoke College

B.A. Anthropology and Philosophy of Science 1990

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

Selected Publications

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.


2013 McKay, K.H., and Sanders, C.

The Dual Collective Action Problem Facing a Pit Latrine Program in Nepal, Proceedings, The 3rd World Sustainability Forum, pp. 1-10,



2014 Sanders, C. and McKay K.H.

Where Have All the Young Men Gone? Social Fragmentation during Rapid Neoliberal Development in Nepal’s Himalayas, Human Organization, 17(1):25-37.

Specialized Skills

Demographic anthropology, applied medical anthropology, international development.

Field of Study

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

International Experience

Current Research Sites:



Other Research Sites:







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)


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.