PEOPLE 3000 scientific goals

Four core questions

Four core interdisciplinary questions motivate our research:

1. What climate patterns correlate with changes in human population between 3000 and 800 years ago?
2. Why does population change vary from region-to-region between 3000 and 800 BP?
3. How did ecosystem, subsistence and social diversity change over time in relationship with population changes in each region?
4. Does and how can variation in ecosystem, subsistence and social diversity explain the variation in population decline and social-ecological reorganization among case studies between 800 and 400 BP from region-to-region?


Our working group will accomplish the following goals:

1. Finish synthesizing archaeological and paleocological from five core case studies: CW Argentina, N. Chile, SW Wyoming, E. Utah and Central Texas. These five case studies will serve as a template for expanding our project.
2. Expand our regional coverage. We expect to expand the number of regional case studies in the working group. Our core case studies are currently all in the Western Hemisphere. We are keen to expand the number of case studies to include cases from SE Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa.
3. Become an International Education Network in integrated Human and Paleosciences. This is an educational network that would create opportunities for students from all of the countries involved in PEOPLE 3000).
4. Compare the population ecology of human societies, in particular, how ecological and social infrastructure mediate the effects of climate on human populations and, in turn, how human populations transform ecological systems through social development and reorganization.
5. Model the interactions of climate, ecosystem diversity, subsistence diversity, social diversity and population change. We will integrate climate parameters and social/economic practices into simple population ecology models to investigate potential tipping points, as well as the potential for overshoot and collapse dynamics in SES.