Human Networks and Sustainable Development

The Coalition’s latest project, which integrates settlement, ecological, climatic, and population health data, got underway this past week with a kick-off meeting at the Center for New Mexico Archaeology in Santa Fe. With funding from the Human Networks and Data Science program at NSF, this project brings together a team of researchers from multiple universities, not-for-profit organizations, and tribal communities to investigate relationships between spatial patterns of social interaction and the quality of life using the archaeological record of the southwestern United States. The team’s goal is to combine information currently held in cyberSW and SKOPE with bio-archaeological studies. The result will be used to examine how spatial properties of human networks influence other aspects of human development, using archaeological correlates of UN Sustainable Development Goals as the basis for assessment. Understanding how social networks grew and changed in the past can lead to a better understanding of how people today can work together for increased prosperity, inclusiveness, environmental sustainability, and peace. 

Over the next two years, the team will work to integrate these distinct research infrastructures, producing canonical data products that are suitable for a range of research questions, while retaining the confidentiality of sensitive geographical and human subject information. The next meeting will involve a working group of bio-archaeologists who will meet this spring at CCSA to determine the most effective way to synthesize the bio-archaeological record of the study area. Stay tuned for more from this exciting project!

Project Team: Barbara Mills, Keith Kintigh, Kyle Bocinsky, Allen Lee, Bill Doelle, Sarah Oas, Josh Watts, Andre Takagi, Jeff Clark, Blake Vernon, Scott Ortman, Ann Lucy Stodder, Mary Weahkee, Shamsi Berry

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