National Space Society Board of Directors
Dr. Orellana is currently a Professor at California State University, Dominguez Hills, where she has served for 14 years as Chair of the Anthropology Department. She is a former faculty adviser for MEChA, a Mexican student organization. Orellana also maintains a close relationship with the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), where she has served in many roles. Currently she is a Research Associate at UCLA’s Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. Her main area of research has been the Maya of Central America. She has participated in 19 excavations and other types of fieldwork including the UCLA Guatemala Project. Orellana has received over 25 fellowships, grants and awards including the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Her publications include three books, 17 articles and at least 36 presentations.
While the past has been the main focus of her research to date, she has also long been interested in future oriented topics dear to the NSS cause. She has been a member of NSS and its precursor organizations for over 25 years. Starting in 1975 Orellana has made presentations at various conferences and meetings on such topics as “Anthropology: A Way Of Understanding the Future”, “Space Colonization”, “Summary of Space Industrialization”, “Automated Cultures: A Twenty-First Century Perspective” and “Beyond Tomorrow, Beyond the Planet: Visions of a New Future.”
She is currently shifting the focus of her research to be more about the future of humanity in space. Her mostly completed book is titled Machines and Prime Movers: Technological Change From Hellenistic Greece to the End of the Twenty-First Century. In this she examines the past several thousand years of history and extrapolates to the end of the Twenty-First Century, dealing with such topics as Space Industrialization.