Settlement Patterns on California's Northern Channel Islands

Assistant Professor Christopher Jazwa, Ph.D., has been involved in fieldwork on California's northern Channel Islands since 2004 and has led an ongoing field project on Santa Rosa Island since 2012. This work is largely focused on understanding past environments and patterns of human settlement and subsistence. Jazwa's recent research uses a combination of hydrology and human behavioral ecology models to understand the establishment, expansion and contraction of human settlement on the islands through time. This also involves the use of stable isotopic signatures to reconstruct environmental change on both long-term (climate change) and short-term (ENSO, interannual variation, seasonality) scales and the effects on patterns of human mobility. Zooarchaeological analysis of marine invertebrates and vertebrates is an important component of these projects. Potential graduate students interested in this work are encouraged to email Chris Jazwa.

Past and ongoing field research

  • Excavation of coastal shell midden sites
  • Survey of coastal terraces, inland ridgetops and drainage bottoms
  • Sourcing island lithic resources
  • Isotopic analysis of modern and archaeological shell