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SHESC News





Official Launch of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change
November 8th marked the launch of the new School of Human Evolution & Social Change (SHESC), which was created to transform ASU’s top-ranked anthropology department into a world-renowned transdisciplinary research and teaching environment. Read about the School’s new Vision.


Unprecedented Number of Honors bestowed on ASU’s Archaeology Professors
The School of Human Evolution & Social Change is proud to announce that four of its Archaeology faculty members were honored with highly prestigious awards this year, both for their outstanding work in the field and their excellence in teaching at ASU. We applaud them for their well-deserved recognition, and for their role in making ASU’s Archaeology program one of the top-ranked in the nation.

Prof. George Cowgill: American Anthropological Association’s Kidder Award (see below)
Prof. Keith Kintigh: ASU Graduate Mentor of the Year
Prof. Margaret Nelson: ASU Parents’ Association Professor of the Year
Prof. Katherine Spielmann: American Anthropological Association’s Willey Award


George Cowgill receives Alfred Vincent Kidder Award
George Cowgill won the 2004 Alfred Vincent Kidder Award for Eminence in the field of American archeology by the American Anthropological Association. The award recognizes his achievements in mapping and analyzing the ancient city of Teotihuacan, Mexico, which he did in collaboration with Rene Millon, co-winner of the award, as well as his impacts on quantitative methods in archaeology and his innovative studies of paleodemography. Named for the award in 2004, Cowgill was presented the award in 2005 (view medal).


Professor Maurice Godelier Public Lecture Series
Eminent French anthropologist Professor Maurice Godelier was the guest of the new School fo Human Evolution & Social Change for the month of November, during which he offered a series of lectures on the state of anthropology today. For more information, click here.


SHESC Welcomes Ten New Faculty—Three More to Arrive in Spring!
John “Marty” Anderies, Assistant Professor
Holds a shared position with the International Institute of Sustainability. Joins SHESC from SoLS. Anderies is a Mathematical Bioeconomist specializing in formal mathematical modeling and analysis.
Bob Bolin, Professor
Previously with ASU’s Department of Sociology. Specializes in natural and anthropogenic hazards, political ecology and environmental justice issues.
Jane Buikstra, Professor and Director, Center for Bioarchaeological Research
Renowned biological anthropologist and archaeologist. Elected to National Academy of Sciences in 1987.
Ed Hackett, Professor
Previously with ASU’s Department of Sociology. Specializes in scientific collaboration and science policy.
Sharon Harlan, Assoc. Professor
Previously with ASU’s Department of Sociology. Specializes in the relationships between social, economic, and environment in urban neighborhoods.
Marco Janssen, Asst. Professor
Joins SHESC from Indiana University, Bloomingdale. Shares appointment with Computer Science. Specializes in computer simulation in the social sciences.
Kelly Knudson, Asst. Professor
Part of Prof. Buikstra’s team in the new Center for Bioarchaeological Research. Specializes in archaeological chemistry and bioarchaeology.
Charles Perrings, Professor
Renowned Professor of Environmental Economics and Environmental Management. Joins SHESC from the University of York. Shares an appointment with the International Institute of Sustainability.
Michael Smith, Professor
Professor of Archaeology of Mesoamerican Urbanism. Previously with SUNY Albany. Specializes in ancient and comparative urban studies.
Christopher Stojanowski, Assistant Professor
Part of Prof. Buikstra’s research team in the new Center for Bioarchaeological Research. Specializes in biological distance approaches in the study of human microevolution.

Joining us this Spring:
Christopher Boone, Assoc. Professor
Specializes in urban and environmental geography and GIS.
Alexandra Brewis-Slade, Professor
Specializes in Medical Anthropology
Takeyuki “Gaku” Tsuda, Assoc. Professor
Specializes in urban studies and immigrant ethnic minorities.


Latest Faculty Publications
Jonsson, Hjorleifur (2005). Mien Relations: Mountain People and State Control in Thailand, Cornell University Press, 240 pp. (2005).

Baker, Brenda J.., Tosha L. Dupras, Matthew W. Tocheri, and Sandra M. Wheeler (2005)
The Osteology of Infants and Children. Texas A&M University Press.

Nora Haenn (2005) Fields of Power, Forests of Discontent: Culture, Conservation and the State in Mexico (University of Arizona Press), 272 pp.

Wooding, Stephen, Anne C. Stone, Diane M. Dunn, Srinivas Mummidi, Lynn B. Jorde, Robert K. Weiss, Sunil Ahuja, and Michael J. Bamshad (2005)
Contrasting Effects of Natural Selection on Human and Chimpanzee CC Chemokine Receptor 5. American Journal of Human Genetics 76:291-301.

Clark, Geoffrey A. (2005)
Modern approaches to Paleolithic archaeology in Europe: A sampler of research traditions. American Antiquity 70L376-384.

Drapeau, M.S.M., C.V. Ward, W.H. Kimbel, D.C. Johanson, Y. Rak. (2005)
Associated cranial and forelimb remains attributed to Australopithecus afarensis from Hadar, Ethiopia. Journal of Human Evolution 48(6): 593-642.

Michelle Hegmon (2005)
“No more theory wars: a response to Moss”, American Antiquity 70:588-590.

Goldstone, R.L. and M.A. Janssen (2005).
Computational models of collective behaviour, Trends in Cognitive Science 9(9): 424-430.


Latest Faculty Grant Awards
Curtis Marean has received the first HOMINID grant offered by the a National Science Foundation, titled Paleoclimatic and Paleoenvironmental Context of the Origins of Modern Humans in South Africa: Constructing a detailed record from 400,000–30,000 years ago. This five-year research project employs international researchers from a multitude of disciplines to document and synthesize important data to jump-start the development of a detailed paleoeclimatic and paleoenvironmental record in Africa, the region where modern humans likely first evolved. The end result of this project will be an understanding of the relation between global climate change and its regional expression in South Africa. This will broaden our understanding of the origins of modern humans by furthering our ability to examine the ecological context for this evolution.
Amount: $2,500,000

Steve Falconer and Patricia Fall (Geography) received a grant from the National Geographic Society that provides the first funds for a new ASU project on Bronze Age agricultural intensification and landscape modification on Cyprus. During fall 2004 and summer 2005 they started fieldwork at the locality of Politiko Troulia, 25 km southwest of Nicosia by mapping the 20 ha site, surveying surface evidence and using soil resistivity to reveal several concentrations of buried Bronze Age structures. Expanded fieldwork is planned for the years to come.
Amount: $24,991

Margaret Nelson and a team of archaeologists, ecologists , mathematical modelers and other environmental scientists (David Abbott, John Anderies, Michelle Hegmon, Marco Janssen, Keith Kintigh, Ann Kinzig, Ben Nelson, Charles Redman, Arleyn Simon, Katherine Spielmann, Sander van der Leeuw) were awarded a National Science Foundation Biocomplexity grant titled Long-Term Coupled Socioecological Change in Northern Mexico and the American Southwest. The project will look at cycles of human interaction and ecological processes and their dynamics over the lifespan of societies in selected case studies in the American Southwest and Northern Mexico. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the group will apply mathematical models, and archaeological and ecological analysis to gain a better understanding of the social and environmental interactions underlying important episodes in human history. This study will promote awareness of some of the human strategies for dealing with uncertainty and change as well as awareness of how human actions leave legacies of resilience or degradation.
Amount: $540,955

Thomas J. Hudak, SHESC Professor of Linguistics, was recently awarded a National Science Foundation grant aimed at preserving endangered languages. An expert in Southeast Asian language, Dr. will produce a detailed grammatical description of five endangered Tai languages. In the second phase of work, rare audio recordings and field notes from 14 languages and dialects in this group will be digitized. The project outcome—a series of published grammars, audio recordings, texts, translations, as well as reproductions of the original hand-written texts (which will be available in print and online for easy public access)—will provide an invaluable cultural resource for speakers of these languages, as well as a sound model and important archival resource for future linguistics researchers and teachers to utilize.
Amount: $75,000.