UCSB Latin American and Iberian Studies Program

Anabel Ford and colleagues awarded five-year National Science Foundation grant

Congratulations to Dr. Anabel Ford and colleagues! Dr. Ford’s El Pilar Project has been awarded a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to investigate ancient Maya settlement patterns and human-environment interactions in the Maya Forest. A brief summary of the project, “Why Did the Late Classic Maya Live Where They Did? Settlement and Environmental Factors that Shaped Maya Civilization”, is below, but you can read more in the UCSB Current and on the National Science Foundation’s website.

Drs. Anabel Ford and Keith Clarke of UCSB, along with an interdisciplinary team of researchers and citizen scientists from Belize, Mexico, Guatemala, and the United States, will investigate past Maya adaptations to tropical forests and the environmental impacts of their ancient land-use strategies. By examining past settlement patterns and their relationship to the environment they will gain a better understanding of why the Maya lived where they did, as well as the social organization of Maya communities and how cultural forces sustained settlement growth.

The project will provide opportunities for students, professional colleagues, and volunteers from the United States, Belize, Guatemala, and Mexico to engage in the research. Any UCSB undergraduate or graduate students interested in participating in this interdisciplinary research should explore the El Pilar Project website and contact Dr. Ford (anabel.ford@ucsb.edu). Dr. Ford is especially interested in students who are curious about archaeology and history of Mesoamerica, community outreach, and seeking experience in GIS.