CIMMAR - Center for Interdisciplinary Marine and Maritime Research


CIMMAR seminar/mixer February 22, 16:00

Dear CIMMAR participant,

You are cordially invited to a special seminar event on Friday, February 22 at 16:00, in the Rektorat basement.  Visiting Fulbright Scholar Gregory Zaro from the University of Maine, USA, will be speaking on the subject: The Archaeology of Environmental Change: Current challenges and opportunities in the interdisciplinary study of the human-environment relationship.  See the abstract and bio below.

Please make a point of attending this special seminar, and feel free to pass the word to anybody who might be interested.  We would like a good attendance for Dr. Zaro.

We hope to see you there!
Best regards,
Stewart Schultz

The Archaeology of Environmental Change:
Current challenges and opportunities in the interdisciplinary study of the human-environment relationship.

Dr. Gregory Zaro
University of Maine, USA

Successful management of our planet’s resources—both terrestrial and marine—is one of the most pressing issues for the future of many communities, states, and nations across the globe. Of paramount importance is the recognition that humans and the environment are not dichotomous entities, but rather integrated components of a complex whole. To effectively understand and measure the historical role of humans in landscape change and biodiversity requires the collective efforts of scholars from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, geography, history, and the environmental sciences.While this relationship is often assessed in post-industrial era contexts, in reality the human stamp on the physical world can be identified thousands of years into the past. These “land use legacies,” whether deemed to be acts of improvement, degradation, or simply alteration, transform the physical world with which subsequent peoples are left to interact. Consequently, archaeology is in a position to make real contributions to contemporary discussions of environmental change, resource management, and biodiversity. Here, I present a glimpse of our research in southern Peru concerning environmental change and human society over the past millennium and offer insights into current challenges and opportunities for the interdisciplinary study of humans and the environment.

Gregory Zaro is an associate professor at the University of Maine, with a joint position in the Department of Anthropology and the Climate Change Institute. Zaro’s interests broadly relate to the interplay between humans and the environment, primarily conceptualized through historical ecology, subsistence economies, agriculture, and urbanism. His primary area of specialization is Andean South America with strong secondary interests in Mesoamerica, and more recently, the Eastern Adriatic. His research in South America focuses on long-term human-environment dynamics in southern Peru, with a principal interest in agricultural landscape evolution. He is particularly interested in assessing the role human groups over the past several thousand years have played in shaping the environmental conditions experienced today. Zaro is currently a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Zadar for the Summer 2013 term.