David Yetman is research social scientist and has been at the Southwest Center since 1992. He received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arizona in 1972.

Yetman’s research has been primarily directed towards the state of Sonora, its indigenous people, their history, and how they have incorporated native resources into their lives. His books include Sonora. An intimate geography (1996); Scattered Round Stones. A Mayo village in Sonora, Mexico (1998); Guarijíos of the Sierra Madre. Hidden people of northwest Mexico (2002); and The Ópatas. In search of a Sonoran people (2010). He has also written extensively on native uses of plants in Sonora. His Mayo Ethnobotany. Land, history, and traditional knowledge in northwest Mexico (2002, co-authored by Thomas R. Van Devender) combines ethnohistory and ethnobotany. His 2007 volume The great cacti. Ethnobotany and biogeography of columnar cacti documents columnar cacti throughout the Americas, while a smaller work The Organ Pipe Cactus (2006) describes the natural history of the remarkable plant for which a U.S. Park Service National Monument is named. In addition, Yetman is author of numerous journal articles and book chapters.

Yetman is a frequent present of lectures on deserts, their people and their natural history.In addition to his writing, Yetman served for nine years as host for the PBS documentary television series The Desert Speaks and currently hosts the PBS series In the Americas with David Yetman. Yetman received an Emmy Award in 2007 for his documentary television work.

David Yetman, Host In the Americas

Dan Duncan snorkels with the manta rays


Dan Duncan
Director/Producer Daniel Duncan, M.A. has won many major awards including twenty-four Rocky Mountain Emmy awards in directing, cinematography, editing, documentary, and feature categories. He has also been honored with four Arizona Press Club awards, an Associated Press International award, a Best of the West award, a gold Addy and in May of 2010 was inducted into the Silver Circle of the National Academy of Television and Arts. For 19 years he was the Director/Producer of The Desert Speaks, a PBS documentary series. He is currently the Producer/Director of the PBS distributed series: In The Americas with Dave Yetman. He is also an instructor/coordinator of HD video workshops in Oaxaca, Mexico and northeastern Brazil.Other nationally distributed productions he produced include:

  • The Greening of Eritrea-Salt Water Solutions Changing the World(Half-hour special)
  • When the Dust Settles-Profile of a Hall of Fame Female Rodeo Photographer
  • Arabian Horse: The Ancient Breed
  • Four Seasons: Horticulture Therapy for the Mentally Disabled
  • San Xavier Mission: A Christmas Story
  • Geronimo: The Final Campaign
  • Are We Killing America’s Forests
  • A Grand Canyon Flood: Putting the Wild back into the Colorado River

Client list includes: BBC, CBS, ABC,  PBS, George Lucas Educational Foundation, Real TV, Italian Television Network, The Learning Channel, The Discovery Channel, Natural History Museum of New York, Ford Motor Company, Woody Frasier Productions, MacNeil Lehrer News Hour, Entertainment Tonight, News Travel Network,  PBS’s American Experiences, Firestone, Farmer’s Almanac TV, Home and Garden Cable Network, John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, Canyon Ranch, Hughes, The US Forest Service, T.U.S.D., ESPN Sports, USA Foundation, Artisoft, JC Penny,  Naturally Women, Grapevine Inc., Dana Cooper Productions, Video Workshop, Micromed, Video Post Production, Resort Video, Carondolet Health Services, Roadside Productions, Anderson Advertising, Green Valley Pecans, Arizona Historical Society, Al-Marah Arabians, and The Nature Conservancy.

Jeanna French
Jeanna French has been a part of the In The Americas team since 2011. She graduated with honors from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor of Arts in Film/TV studies with a minor in philosophy. While acquiring her degree, she worked as an intern on In The Americas with David Yetman, also working on numerous student films as an editor and production assistant.

After graduation, French continued working on In The Americas, while also working as a freelance editor and production assistant for various productions, including Pre-post Productions, Soren Productions and AE’s Hoarders.

In the beginning of 2013, she began working as editor for documentary Brillo Box (3cents Off), which was showcased at Independent Film Week. She continues to work on this project, as well as In The Americas.

Hector Gonzalez is the newest member of the In the Americas with David Yetman team. He is responsible for graphics, motion graphics and the online presence of the series.

Gonzalez’ early interest in film led to a career in broadcast journalism; first at WKAR, the PBS affiliate at Michigan State University in East Lansing and later at KUAT, the PBS station at the University of Arizona. During his tenure in Public Television, Gonzalez produced various local weekly and weeknight newsmagazines in addition to a number of nationally distributed documentaries.

Gonzalez most recently was Director of Online and New Media responsible for developing, implementing and coordinating internet strategy and website operations for Arizona Public Media, the University of Arizona.