"Just Move On": Lessons from the Career of Dr. Betsy Reitz

Author(s): Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman

Year: 2016


Betsy Reitz is universally admired as a scholar, mentor, and colleague, and known for her prodigious production of high-quality, interdisciplinary, and rigorous scholarship. She taught her many students that research should be question-driven, anthropologically significant but not disciplinary confined, and multiscalar, with an emphasis on the long view. Betsy has long crossed the traditional divide between pre- and post-Columbian archaeology, exploring long-term trends in fisheries exploitation in the Southeast, change and continuity in Native American subsistence strategies, and global climate change. She also trained a generation of environmental archaeologists interested in anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic ecological change, pushing us toward interdisciplinarity. She taught us to be judicious in our use of technology; archaeological science is question-, not machine-, driven. I strive to live up to Betsy’s superb model of scholarship and mentoring. In my research on the colonial experiences of Native peoples, I attempt to answer “big” questions, like the colonial origins of the modern global economy. My students and I also seek to better understand the impacts, and mitigation, of introduced Eurasian livestock on Sonoran Desert environments. The shadow of Betsy’s career is long, as her own students train another generation of zooarchaeologists to produce rigorous, contextualized, and interdisciplinary research.

Cite this Record

"Just Move On": Lessons from the Career of Dr. Betsy Reitz. Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403052)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -115.532; min lat: 30.676 ; max long: -102.349; max lat: 42.033 ;