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Environmental Anthropology

Faculty are conducting research in a variety of contexts, including study of disaster impacts (specifically the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami: Michele Gamburd); using archaeological, paleoenvironmental, and contemporary records to inform modern resource management decisions and goals (Shelby Anderson, Virginia Butler, Natalie Vasey); political ecology, ethnoecology, and environmental justice of land use, conservation, and sustainability regimes; perceptions and cultural constructions of environment, space, and place; the status of primates as endangered species (Vasey); and the evolution of anthropogenic landscapes and faunal assemblages during the Quaternary (Butler, Vasey). Our research relies on evolutionary ecology models and quantitative methods as well as traditional knowledge in addressing human-environmental relationships. Our work takes us to Sri Lanka, Madagascar, the Great Basin, the Pacific Northwest (including coastal Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and the interior Plateau), and the Arctic.

Faculty and students draw heavily on research, field, and classroom experience from other departments on campus including Geography and Geology (for GIS, climatology, dendrochronology, geomorphology, human-environmental relationships), and Biology (vertebrate zoology, evolutionary ecology, conservation biology).