Since the 1980s, Dr. Markowitz has worked in small communities in Andean South America. In particular, her interests in the rural side of global commodity flows drew her to the high-elevation alpaca-raising regions of southern Peru. Upon coming to Kentucky in the mid-1990s and discovering that farmers were diversifying out of tobacco, she became interested in the various social movements aimed at reshaping agricultural in the U.S. Subsequently, as both an activist and researcher, she has been involved with efforts to create a more equitable and sustainable food system in here in Louisville. Her latest activity in this vein has been a two-year collaboration with Louisville Metro Government, supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to look at the use of SNAP (formerly food stamps) at farmers’ markets. Her research and publications have also addressed food justice, rural development in Latin America, and agrarian social activism. During her sabbatical leave (2016-17), she has returned to writing about the Andes in her current book project:Spinning Connections: Alpacas, Rural Livelihood, and the Global Market.