Building resilience and sustainability through collaboration and community research
Author(s): Rebecca Boger
The island of Barbuda, West Indies has a relatively unique history, land tenure and geography. Despite its arid climate and thin soils, the enslaved and eventually free people of Barbuda developed a complex herding ecology and built historic wells that are strategically located around the island to support their sustainably resilient agricultural practices. Now, these wells are largely abandoned and people are increasingly dependent on external food and water. An interdisciplinary team of archaeologists, anthropologists, and geoscientists are working closely with US undergraduate and graduate students, along with Barbudan experts and high school students to document these historic wells and assess the state of food and water resources on the island. Our research approach integrates traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) with western science to take a long-term perspective and assessment of the present situation. The methods used for data collection are varied and include kite and unmanned flight air photography, GPS mapping, water and soil testing, surveys and focus group discussions. Together, this collaboration is building a robust dataset while enhancing the capacity of people to address the challenges being brought about by climate change.
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Building resilience and sustainability through collaboration and community research. Rebecca Boger. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 395885)
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