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Archaeological Science Group Lecture: Kristina Douglass

Tuesday, May 18, 2021 at 4:30pm to 6:00pm

Virtual Event
Talk Title: "Toward an Engaged Science of Human Environment Interaction"

Speaker Biography: Kristina Douglass is an archaeologist, whose current work investigates human-environment interaction in Madagascar. She integrates archaeological, paleoecological, ethnohistorical, ethnographic and biological data to understand the dynamic relationship between communities and their environment over time. In particular, she focuses on culture change and continuity, subsistence strategies and mobility in contexts of resource scarcity, plant and animal extinctions and unpredictable climatic conditions. For the last seven years she has directed the Morombe Archaeological Project (MAP) in southwest Madagascar. The project combines regional survey and excavations with gathering oral histories in the Velondriake Marine Protected Area, a locally managed marine protected area, and the nearby Mikea National Park. Through collaborations with conservationists, biologists, geneticists and other anthropologists, the MAP has begun to reconstruct the historical ecology of Velondriake and Mikea, offering a long-term view of changing human-environment dynamics, migration, settlement and faunal extinctions. Douglass’ work aims to bridge divides between anthropology, conservation and development, while critically addressing the role of archaeological narratives of human environmental impact in conservation and policy discourse. Her work contributes to current debates over conservation, extinction and sustainability in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots, with the view that archaeological data can help refine approaches to modern-day conservation issues and build more holistic understandings of human-environment dynamics.

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Event Type



Cornell Institute of Archaeology and Material Studies (CIAMS)

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Alice Wolff


Kristina Douglass

Speaker Affiliation

Penn State

Open To

free and open to the public

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