Brett’s role at Archaeology Southwest is to develop and manage the Coalescent Communities Database, a Geographic Information System (GIS) incorporating a variety of archaeological and environmental data from the southwestern U.S. and northwestern Mexico. The goal of the GIS project is to assist Archaeology Southwest’s staff and partners in integrating our growing archaeological knowledge of the region with recent computer advances in the analysis of attributes such as terrain, hydrology, and land-ownership. Integrating these data in a regional GIS provides a valuable tool for Archaeology Southwest’s goals of improving management of our archaeological heritage, and understanding how people in the past lived and used the landscapes around them.
Brett’s archaeological interests have included research in the southwestern U.S., Cyprus, England, France, Israel, and Jordan. He completed his B.A. in Anthropology at the University of Colorado in 1984. He completed his M.A. in 1995 and Ph.D. in 2002, both in Anthropology at Arizona State University. His recent research interests have focused especially on human/environment relations, including how ecology structures economic processes, and the ways that people impact their environments and cope with the consequences of those impacts. He has previously developed GIS databases to address these questions in the Wadi al-Hasa of Jordan, as well as the Rio Grande, Salinas, and Galisteo Basin areas of New Mexico.
In addition to his research in the Southwest, Brett is part of the research team for “Landuse and Landscape Socioecology in the Mediterranean Basin,” an international, interdisciplinary research project studying the long-term interaction of human and natural systems in eastern Spain and western Jordan. The project is led by researchers from the Arizona State University, and supported by the National Science Foundation’s Biocomplexity in the Environment Program.
Brett is currently Assistant Professor of Anthropology at Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. In this capacity he directs an archaeological field school that brings Hendrix students to Mule Creek, New Mexico, where they contribute to Archaeology Southwest’s research in the region.