Reflections on anthropology and environment: Implications of Crumley’s holistic approach

Author(s): Eric Poncelet

Year: 2016


One of the benefits of anthropology’s four-field approach is that it invites reflecting on and applying insights, perspectives, and learnings from one field to another. Such was my experience with Carole Crumley. Although Carole was an archeologist and I was a cultural anthropologist, I asked her to serve as my faculty advisor at UNC-Chapel Hill primarily because she deeply believed in the importance of my research interest. I wanted to study multistakeholder environmental collaboration in industrialized societies. Carole’s holistic approach to the complex relationship between humans and the environment is well represented by her 2001 edited volume, New Directions in Anthropology and Environment, of which I was a contributor. The book explored the physical and mental dimensions of the human-environment relationship, across time and cultures, and across disciplines and professions. This paper describes how my research on the cultural dimensions of collaborative environmental problem solving (as expressed through the study of partnerships among governmental, business, and environmental community stakeholders in the European Union and US) and my subsequent 17 year-career as an environmental conflict resolution practitioner have been inspired by Carole’s inquisitive and inclusive approach to the study of human-environment relationships.

Cite this Record

Reflections on anthropology and environment: Implications of Crumley’s holistic approach. Eric Poncelet. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403715)


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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;