Date(s) - February 1, 2019
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
LSC 372-374, Lory Student Center
Living with Fire: Archaeological Lessons of Coexistence with Fire-Prone Forests
Department of Anthropology, Southern Methodist University
In the Southwest US, a century of fire suppression has turned old growth forests into tinderboxes that burn in increasingly destructive ways as the climate warms. But do all fire-climate-society relationships conform to this story? Southwestern pine forests have been home to American Indian communities for millennia. How did these communities cope with – and impact – these flammable forests through variable climates? What lessons might we learn from these experiences? Dr. Christopher Roos brings archaeological, dendrochronological, paleoecological, and modeling information together to weave a story of human and climatic impacts on Southwest US forests over the last millennium. Coexisting with fire in the past, ancient Native American communities illustrate sustainable pathways for living with fire.
About the Speaker:
Christopher Roos is an environmental archaeologist and Associate Professor of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University (SMU). With primary interest and expertise in human pyrogeography, Dr. Roos has spent more than a decade directing interdisciplinary research projects on the long-term interactions of human societies, climate, and wildfire in the Southwest US. More recently, he has expanded his fire work to include collaborative research projects in Montana and Fiji. Dr. Roos’s research has been supported by the International Arid Lands Consortium and the National Science Foundation’s Dynamics of Coupled Natural-Human Systems and Archaeology programs and his work has been published in Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, and elsewhere.