Faculty Candidate Seminar - Isabel Rivera-Collazo

01/13/2016 - 10:30am
Hubbs Hall 4500
Event Description: 

DATE:    January 13th

LOCATION:  Hubbs Hall 4500 at 10:30am (SIO)
(2nd seminar - 1/14 at 3:00pm Social Sciences Building, Room 107 with reception to follow in SSB269 - main campus)
SPEAKER:  Isabel Rivera-Collazo, Ph.D.
 University of Puerto Rico

TITLE:  Long durée, archaeology and social resilience: articulating research, teaching and practice in a quest for human adaptation to climate change

Even when some scientists invite us to link climate change with social collapse, cultural systems are resilient and do not collapse as a simple stimulus–response to climate change. Studying human response to climate change demands interdisciplinary collaboration for the development of research, and the inclusion of multiple sectors concerned with change and adaptation in order to enrich outcomes. In this presentation I discuss my perspective as an Environmental Archaeologist for the development of an inclusive practice in the study of climate change and social responses. My research combines anthropology to understand people, sediments to study geomorphological change, mollusks to measure coastal ecosystem change, speleothems for climate reconstruction, and phytoliths to investigate plants in social contexts. All this work calls for collaboration between specialists. Aside of multidisciplinary collaboration, making our research relevant requires active work to increase awareness in the public and in our students. My work in Puerto Rico includes undergraduate students, members of the communities, and grassroots organizations. This approach has made it possible to blur the boundaries between multiple stakeholders, allowing me to identify pressing issues that still need to be researched, to have access to knowledge beyond the academia, and to contribute to the formation of future professionals in archaeology and in environmental sciences. In the last part of the presentation, I will present my future research plans to analyze social vulnerability to sea level rise, measuring the magnitude of past human impact over landscapes and marine ecosystems, and articulating research and teaching to stimulate the development of environmentally- and community-conscious archaeology. Science, and the development of affirmative actions, requires equality and inclusion, going beyond race, gender, and academic background in order to encourage democratization of, and accessibility to, knowledge. An anthropological perspective helps develop a clear plan to these ends.

Faculty Host:    Tom Levy (tlevy@ucsd.edu)
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