Reviewed by: Anthropology and Environment Society
Of interest to: Students, Those Involved in Mentoring Activities
Primary Theme: Teaching
Secondary Theme: Environment and Environmental Inequality
For nearly a century the field of environmental anthropology and archaeology has been investigating interactions between humans and their environment. We now realize 'natural' environments may be more of a reflection of ourselves than was ever envisioned. The Anthropocene, second nature, changing climates, and coupled human and natural systems have made understanding human effects on the planet a cause célèbre in anthropology and beyond, yet these topics have long been our focus, if by other names. Many now recognize that most environmental problems, past, present, and future, are human problems, and therefore the human dimension is critical in understanding these environmental problems. In this pursuit, environmental anthropologists and archaeologists have long engaged other disciplines for inspiration, insight, and methodologies. Given the history of our field, we ask, what is the changing role of anthropology in large-scale interdisciplinary research that will be required to enhance society's resilience and adaptation to the world's most pressing problems? How has anthropology traditionally used, adopted, and adapted methods and theory from other disciplines? How - and how well - have we trained our students to reach beyond a core set of skills normally taught in anthropology departments and to integrate the epistemologies of different disciplines? Are our traditional approaches and specializations still viable as the depth of knowledge and technical expertise required increases? Or do we need to adopt new models for integrated, interdisciplinary undergraduate and graduate education? What roles should anthropologists play in interdisciplinary projects, and what are the implication for students' future careers? Further, addressing most critical human and environmental problems will require diverse, and often international, teams. How successful is our field in fostering diversity in our students and our faculty and how can we keep our interdisciplinary science attuned to inclusiveness? In this round-table we will discuss old and new models for conducting interdisciplinary research and for training student to conduct interdisciplinary research as part of collaborative, international teams. We invite you to join the discussion with a panel of experts.