an NSF supported program

Village Ecodynamics Project

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Project Role: Research Associate

Sarah Cole's picture

Sarah Cole is currently a Principal Investigator for URS Corporation in Dallas, Texas.  She earned her master's degree at Washington State University in 2007 with Tim Kohler as her chair.  Her master's thesis focused on the dynamic relationship between population size and warfare in the Mesa Verde region.

In addition to archaeology of the Mesa Verde region, her current research interests also include historic archaeology (primarily the adaptive strategies of the Cherokee and Choctaw after their forced removal to Indian Territory) and the Woodland to Late Prehistoric periods of eastern Oklahoma (such as the Caddoan influence in the region, population dynamics, and sociopolitical organization).

Kurt F. Anschuetz's picture

Kurt F. Anschuetz (Ph.D. University of Michigan, 1998) works as a consulting anthropologist and archaeologist out of his home in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  The Tewa Basin of north-central New Mexico is the principal landscape of both his archaeological and ethnographic research, which is often conducted in collaboration with residents of the locality's traditional and historic communities. 

Kurt has worked as an archaeologist and anthropologist in the northern U.S. Southwest for more than 30 years. He currently is a consultant to the U.S. Department of Justice, various Pueblos in the State of New Mexico, and the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.  Kurt is also the Program Director of the Rio Grande Foundation for Communities and Cultural Landscapes in Santa Fe.

Samuel Duwe's picture

Samuel Duwe is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology and Applied Archaeology of Eastern New Mexico University. He also directs the Tewa Basin Archaeological Research Project (TewaBasin.org).

Sam began research in the northern Rio Grande region of New Mexico as an undergraduate at the University of Michigan, and has also worked in east-central and northern Arizona on Ancestral Pueblo sites. When not in the Southwest, Sam is involved with research at Early Copper Age sites in Hungary.

Sam's University of Arizona dissertation examined the social and religious consequences of population coalescence among ancestral Pueblo populations in the Tewa Basin of northern New Mexico during the Coalition (A.D. 1150-1325) and Classic Periods (A.D. 1325-1600). The purpose of his research is to understand how population interactions and religious identities changed as a result of population coalescence among possibly culturally disparate prehistoric Tewa populations, and how coalescence contributed to the formation of the historic Tewa identity encountered by the Spanish colonists in the sixteenth century.

Stephen Nash's picture

Stephen E. Nash is Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Curator of Archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where his research focuses on tree-ring dating archaeological sites in Mesa Verde National Park and on the history of archaeological research in the American Southwest. He earned his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1991 and 1997, respectively. Nash has published four books on the history of anthropology and archaeological dating. He is author of Time, Trees, and Prehistory: Tree-Ring Dating and the Development of North American Anthropology 1914 – 1950 (1999), and editor of It’s About Time: A History of Archaeological Dating in North America (2000), Curators, Collections, and Contexts: Anthropology at The Field Museum 1893 – 2002 (2003) and Readings in Archaeological Chronometry (2009).

 Stephen E. Nash is Chair of the Department of Anthropology and Curator of Archaeology at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, where his research focuses on tree-ring dating archaeological sites in Mesa Verde National Park and on the history of archaeological research in the American Southwest. He earned his Master’s and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Arizona in Tucson in 1991 and 1997, respectively. Nash has published four books on the history of anthropology and archaeological dating. He is author of Time, Trees, and Prehistory: Tree-Ring Dating and the Development of North American Anthropology 1914 – 1950 (1999), and editor of It’s About Time: A History of Archaeological Dating in North America (2000), Curators, Collections, and Contexts: Anthropology at The Field Museum 1893 – 2002 (2003) andReadings in Archaeological Chronometry (2009).

C. David Johnson's picture

C. David Johnson is now the archaeologist and tribal liaison for the Bureau of Land Management in the Arcata Field Office on California's north coast.

Dave's interest in the VEP remains strong and he continues to contribute as a part-time consultant in the on-going project.

Dr. Johnson is an alumnus of the Village Project, having served as research assistant in the Department of Anthropology, Washington State University while working towards his Ph.D. He came to the project after earning an M.A. in archaeology, using GIS and remote sensing to research possible functions of Mesa Verde region tower structures within the Village Project study area. His dissertation project incorporated the influences of critical natural resources in the agent-based simulation of prehispanic household settlement patterns in the VEP study area.

Sam Bowles's picture

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Steven A. LeBlanc's picture

Steven A. LeBlanc is an archaeologist at Harvard’s Peabody Museum and an accomplished author.

Steven A. LeBlanc is an archaeologist at Harvard’s Peabody Museum. He attended Pomona College, the University of California Santa Barbara, and Washington University in St. Louis, and did post-doctoral work in human genetics at the University of Michigan. He has used his genetics background to investigate ancient DNA as seen in his jointly authored papers “Genetic Relationships Based on Discrete Dental Traits: Basketmaker II and Mimbres” in the International Journal of Osteoarchaeology 18:109-130 (2008) and “Quids and aprons: Ancient DNA from artifacts from the American Southwest” in the Journal of Field Archaeology 32(2):161-175 (2007). He has done field work in the Middle East and the American Southwest with a focus on the Mimbres culture of southwestern New Mexico. This work has resulted in several books including The Mimbres People, Painted by a Distant Hand, The Galaz Ruin, and Early Pithouse Villages of the Mimbres Valley and Beyond. He also directed a project on the late PIII/early PIV period in the Zuni region. His interest in warfare in the past has led to his books Prehistoric Warfare in the American Southwest and he extended that interest to the entire world in Constant Battles.

A Diverse Team

The Village Ecodynamics Project seeks to understand ancient Pueblo peoples in their social and environmental contexts, a task that benefits from close collaboration among researchers from diverse disciplines. Alongside archaeology, computer science, ecology and geology, biomolecular science and economics play important roles. In the long run we hope that projects such as this will help the social sciences to overcome their historic isolation from biology, the earth sciences, and mathematics.

In the shorter term our agent-based models provide mechanisms for integrating insights from paleoclimatology, anthropology, and ecology, and provide expectations against which we can compare the always-surprising richness and variability of the actual historical contexts that we study in southwestern Colorado and north-central New Mexico.

Department of Anthropology, PO Box 644910, Washington State University, Pullman WA 99164-4910, 509-335-3441, Contact Us