Beach Reports on Resource Management among Ancient Mayas

Posted: December 3, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Fran Rensbarger

Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, professor in the School of Computational Sciences, presents her lecture today on “Geoarchaeology: Exploring Ancient Maya Land and Water Use in Mesoamerica.” The presentation, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Johnson Center, Room 237, is the fourth in the Topics in Global Affairs brown bag series.

Luzzadder-Beach combines work in several sciences in her geoarchaeological field research in the Maya lowlands of Central America, where for the last decade she has studied ancient Maya land and water use. Her research focuses on the natural resources available to ancient Maya farmers and city dwellers, on reconstructing the environmental history surrounding these archaeology sites, and on what people may learn about ancient methods of resource management and human response to environmental change in this tropical area.

Luzzadder-Beach joined the George Mason faculty in 1993 with a Ph.D. in geography from the University of Minnesota. She served as associate provost for general education from 2000 to 2003 and is currently on study leave to pursue her research. She will be returning to the Maya world in the spring to conduct fieldwork on ancient Maya land and water use in wetlands, funded by a National Geographic Society grant. Her field research in hydrology and geoarchaeology includes an area that reaches from California to Mexico and Belize in the Americas, and also from Turkey to Syria in the Mediterranean and Near East; her published work appears in refereed journals in geography, geology, archaeology, and environmental science, and in several book chapters.

The Global Affairs Program sponsors the monthly brown bag lectures as an opportunity for faculty to present their research on any global, international, or regional topic. The university community is invited to attend. An RSVP to Marcy Glover at (703) 993-8770 is requested, as beverages will be provided.

Write to at