Ben Nelson

  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
  • Professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

School of Human Evolution and Social Change
Arizona State University
PO Box 872402
Tempe, AZ 85287-2402
USA
480-965-7983
Email: bnelson@asu.edu

Biography

Dr. Nelson's research interests center on cycles of social complexity and connectivity among the ancient cultures of northwestern Mexico and the American Southwest (A.D. 200-1540) on the human roles in and responses to the desertification of grasslands in those regions and on relating archaeology to indigenous cultures of the present day. He has worked for such organizations as the American Anthropological Association, the Society for American Archaeology and the National Science Foundation.

He has taught at the University of New Mexico and the State University of New York at Buffalo, and today, currently teaches anthropology at Arizona State University.

Expertise

archaeology; complex societies; ethnoarchaeology; political economics; land use change; landscape studies; urban social-ecological systems

Education

    Ph.D., Anthropology, Southern Illinois University Carnondale, 1980

    M.A., Anthropology, Florida State University, 1976

    B.A., Anthropology, Florida State University, 1971

Journal Articles

2010

Elliott, M., C. Fisher, B. A. Nelson, R. Molina-Garza, S. Collins and D. Pearsall. 2010. Climate, agriculture, and cycles of human occupation over the last 4000 years in southern Zacatecas, Mexico. Quaternary Research 74(1):26-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.yqres.2010.04.001.

2008

Anderies, J. M., B. A. Nelson and A. P. Kinzig. 2008. Analyzing the impact of agave cultivation on famine risk in arid pre-Hispanic northern Mexico. Human Ecology 36(3):409-422. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-008-9162-9. (link)

2002

Mata-Gonazles, B., R. Molina-Garza, C. Fisher, M. Elliott and B. A. Nelson. 2002. Evidencia de cambio climatico-ambiental reciente en la Mesa Central, Zacatecas: Geomorfologia, estratigrafia del Cuaternario y Magnetismo de Rocas. GEOS 2(22):1100-1101. DOI: http://www.ugm.org.mx/publicaciones/geos/pdf/geos02-2/GC02-2.pdf.

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Book Chapters

2012

Nelson, M. C., M. Hegmon, K. W. Kintigh, A. P. Kinzig, B. A. Nelson, J. M. Anderies, D. A. Abbott, K. A. Spielmann, S. E. Ingram, M. A. Peeples, S. A. Kulow, C. A. Strawhacker and C. A. Meegan. 2012. Long-term vulnerability and resilience: Three examples from archaeological study in the Southwestern U.S. and Northern Mexico. In: Cooper, J. and P. Sheets eds., Learning to Live with Climate Change: Understanding Hazards, Mitigating Impacts, Avoiding Disasters.

Posters

2011

Cleland, R. and B. A. Nelson. 2011. Resource depletion and food supply at La Quemada: A zooarchaeological approach Quemada: A zooarchaeological approach. Poster presentation March 31 at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Sacramento, CA.

2003

Elliott, M., C. Fisher, R. S. Molina-Garza, B. Mata and B. A. Nelson. 2003. An interdisciplinary approach to landscape evolution in the Malpaso Valley, Zacatecas, Mexico. Poster presented April 9-13 at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Milwaukee, WI.

2002

Mata-Gonzales, B., R. Molina-Garza, C. Fisher, M. Elliott and B. A. Nelson. 2002. Evidencia de cambio climatico-ambiental reciente en la Mesa Central, Zacatecas: Geomorfologia, estratigrafia del Cuaternario y Magnetismo de Rocas. Poster presented at the 3rd Annual Union Geofisica Mexicana, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Presentations

2006

Elliott, M., P. Turkon, J. Riel-Salvatore and B. A. Nelson. 2006. Understanding the social organization of maguey processing in the Malpaso Valley, Zacatecas, Mexico, AD 500-900. Presentation April 26-30 at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Fisher, C. T., M. Elliott, H. Pollard and B. A. Nelson. 2006. A comparison of conquest era landscape transformation in the Lake Patzcuaro Basin, Mexico, and the Malpaso Valley, Mexico. Presentation April 26-30 at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Juan, Puerto Rico.

2005

Anderies, J. M. and B. A. Nelson. 2005. Agave as infrastructure: Vulnerability and crop diversity in northern Mexico. Invited presentation at December 2005 in Transformation and Stability in Socioecological Systems: Archaeological Perspectives on Resilience Theory, Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C.