Postdoc Fellows

Rob Cuthrell - NSF SEES Fellows

An Integrative Approach to Developing Sustainable Land Use Plans to Serve Diverse Stakeholders through Traditional Resource and Environmental Management Practices

Rob Cuthrell (Ph.D. Anthropology, UC Berkeley) was recently awarded an NSF Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability (SEES) postdoctoral fellowship. Partnering with the Archaeological Research Facility at UC Berkeley and the San Francisco Estuary Institute, Cuthrell will work with archaeologists, environmental scientists, biologists, and others to explore how Native peoples of California managed landscapes through burning. This data will be used to create conservation and restoration plans that will incorporate traditional resource and environmental management practices in Bay Area public lands management. Cuthrell will also work with researchers developing the Berkeley Ecoinformatics Engine to integrate archaeobiological data into the database, improving access to information about the distribution and human use of biological resources in California during the Holocene.

This three-year project will build on research sponsored by the BIGCB through the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation (Co-P.I.s Kent Lightfoot and David Ackerly) that examined how archaeological, paleo-ecological, genetic, and climate/vegetation/fire modeling approaches may be integrated to explore indigenous landscape management practices in California.

Quiroste Valley Cultural Preserve, San Mateo County, California. Working with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band and California State Parks, Cuthrell will work to develop and implement a management plan to restore the Cultural Preserve landscape, bringing back the grasslands that would have been the majority of landscape cover during the time Native peoples inhabited the valley.