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Research Expertise and Interest
I am a North American archaeologist who has worked in New England, the American Southwest, and the Pacific Coast of North America. I specialize in the study of coastal hunter-gatherer peoples, culture contact research, and the archaeology of colonialism. Since joining the Berkeley faculty in 1987, my research has focused on Native Californian peoples and their encounters with early European explorers and colonists. I work primarily in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. My recent research projects include field work at Fort Ross State Historic Park, where a collaborative team of scholars are considering the long-term implications of multi-ethnic interactions between Russians, Native Alaskans, and Native Californians (primarily Kashaya Pomo and Coast Miwok) at Colony Ross (1812-1841). I am also involved in the reanalysis of archaeological collections housed in the Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology from the impressive shell mounds of the bay area, which date back several thousand years. I am also participating in a collaborative research program at Año Nuevo State Park and Pinnacles National Park with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, California State Parks, and the National Park Service, the purpose of which is to evaluate archaeological and ecological evidence of indigenous landscape management practices, specifically the common use of prescribed burning to enhance the biodiversity and quantity of useful plants and animals in local habitats.
My recent publications include Indians, Missionaries, and Merchants: The Legacy of Colonial Encounters on the California Frontiers (2005, UC Press) and California Indians and their Environments: An Introduction (with Otis Parrish) (2009, UC Press).