Dr. Rebecca Austin
Professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies
Area of Expertise: Environmental anthropology
Dr. Austin is an applied environmental anthropologist with over ten years of experience working alongside tribal governments in the southwestern United States, and with various water-related issues, including acequias (traditional irrigation systems) in New Mexico as well as teaching about Puebloan farming and gathering techniques. Some examples of her research on human-environment relationships include studies of: social impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska; traditional places on the Navajo Nation; and public perceptions of lawns and landscapes; as well as a current National Park Service Project on the ethnohistory of African American homesteaders in the Mojave Desert. Dr. Austin’s integration of anthropology and human ecology has lead to a variety of teaching and applied projects, and she teaches a wide range of courses, including ethnobotany of the Southwest, and traditional ecological knowledge.
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