Toward effective cyber-infrastructure support of socio-environmental research


Understanding coupled human and natural systems is a major research focus for the social and natural sciences. Scholars interested in historic environmental conditions (including those of deep pre-history) cannot simply extrapolate the past from the present. Instead, they need environmental knowledge specific to their spatial-temporal problem contexts. However, in accounting for environmental change they are likely to find that state-of-the-art data on past environments are difficult to discover and even more difficult to integrate, process, and interpret.

Here we introduce our ongoing effort to design and prototype SKOPE—Synthesized Knowledge Of Past Environments—a cybertool that, for a given location and temporal interval, integrates contemporary, historical, and paleoenvironmental data from federated data sources on the Web and returns a synthesis of key environmental parameters relevant to humans. The proffered environmental data are documented with record of their provenance and, to the extent possible, assessments of their accuracy and spatial and temporal resolution. While the tool is designed to be extensible, our initial efforts address the US Southwest over the last two millennia.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Toward effective cyber-infrastructure support of socio-environmental research. Keith Kintigh, R. Kyle Bocinsky, Timothy A. Kohler, Margaret C. Nelson. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396677)