Integrated History and Future of People on Earth Mon, 20 Dec 2021 22:02:24 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 32 32 New book by Larsson & Sjaunja – Self-governance and Sami Communities Mon, 20 Dec 2021 22:02:24 +0000

This open access book uses an interdisciplinary approach that not only focuses on social organization but also analyzes how societies and ecological settings were interwoven. How did early modern indigenous Sami inhabitants in interior northwest Fennoscandia build institutions for governance of natural resources? The book answers this question by exploring how they made decisions regarding natural resource management, mainly with regard to wild game, fish, and grazing land and illuminate how Sami users, in a changing economy, altered the long-term rules for use of land and water in a self-governance context. The early modern period was a transforming phase of property rights due to fundamental changes in Sami economy: from an economy based on fishing and hunting to an economy where reindeer pastoralism became the main occupation for many Sami. The book gives a new portrayal of how proficiently and systematically indigenous inhabitants organized and governed natural assets and how capable they were in building highly functioning institutions for governance.

You can find the book in the link below:

The Amazon we want: new report Fri, 10 Dec 2021 12:37:20 +0000 See the recent assessment of the Amazon based on historical and current knowledge, developed from an interdisciplinary team of more than 200 scholars and other stakeholder groups.
From the report text: This is a first-of-its-kind Report which provides a comprehensive, objective, open, transparent, systematic, and rigorous scientific assessment of the state of the Amazon’s ecosystems, current trends, and their implications for the long-term well-being of the region, as well as opportunities and policy relevant options for conservation and sustainable development. 
The Science Panel for the Amazon is onvened under the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). TheSPA is composed of over 200  scientists and researchers from the eight Amazonian countries, FrenchGuiana, and global partners. These experts came together todebate, analyze, and assemble the accumulated knowledge of the scientic community, Indigenous peoples, and other stakeholders that live and work in the Amazon.The Panel is inspired by the Leticia Pact for the Amazon.
Read the summary and full report here.
Joel Gunn on the impacts of the 536 CE Crisis around the North Atlantic Fri, 19 Nov 2021 13:27:21 +0000

New paper – Urban infrastructure, climate change, disaster and risk: lessons from the past for the future Sun, 07 Nov 2021 20:21:36 +0000 Robin Coningham and Lisa J. Luceros’ article ‘Urban infrastructure, climate change, disaster and risk: lessons from the past for the future’ was recently published in The British Academy. Click the link below to find the article:

IHOPE & Future Earth Session at EGU22 (Vienna, Austria 3-8 April) Sat, 16 Oct 2021 16:27:26 +0000

Climate change is now widely recognised as a clear and present challenge to society at multiple spatial and temporal scales. In addition to climate change per se, climate extremes and natural hazards – some independent of climate, others increasing in frequency and intensity due to climate change – further aggravate these challenges. Our ability to interrogate past climates and natural hazards has increased dramatically in the last decades, as has our ability to model their states forward into the future. Yet, our understanding of how human social systems would interact with these future climates remains incomplete. Organised jointly by IHOPE ( and Future Earth’s Knowledge-Action-Network on Extreme Events and Emergent Risks (, this session showcases research that is situated at the interface between Earth System Science and the Human Sciences (e.g. anthropology, archaeology, history) with a particular focus on innovative ways of modelling the impacts of climate change, extreme events and natural hazards on societies of the past. Equipped with the insights generated by these combined interdisciplinary palaeo-perspectives, the session will then ask how and what we can learn from intersecting the archives of nature and society. The session also seeks out novel and pioneering approaches to modelling possible future scenarios for society-environment interactions, as we move forward into the rapidly changing and increasingly extreme climates of the Anthropocene.

For the full programme, follow the links below:

Vernon Scarborough and Eduardo Neves – 2021 Earth Archive Virtual Congress Video Sat, 16 Oct 2021 16:07:44 +0000 ]]> Kristina Douglass & Teams’ New Guinea Cassowary research featured on LIVESCIENCE Sun, 10 Oct 2021 14:29:09 +0000 Recently featured on LiveScience is IHOPE SSC member Douglass research team with new findings on the history of cassowary hunting and egg harvesting. With data reaching back 18 000 years to the late Pleistocene, this may present the earliest known example of bird breeding.

For the LiveScience article, visit:

For the full PNAS article, visit:

Ecosystem interaction on the Laikipia Plateau, Kenya – New paper from Paul Lane Thu, 17 Jun 2021 17:23:07 +0000 Abstract:

East African ecosystems have been shaped by long-term socio-ecological–environmental interactions. Although much previous work on human–environment interrelationships have emphasised the negative impacts of human interventions, a growing body of work shows that there have also often been strong beneficial connections between people and ecosystems, especially in savanna environments. However, limited information and understanding of past interactions between humans and ecosystems of periods longer than a century hampers effective management of contemporary environments. Here, we present a late Holocene study of pollen, fern spore, fungal spore, and charcoal analyses from radiocarbon-dated sediment sequences and assess this record against archaeological and historical data to describe socio-ecological changes on the Laikipia Plateau in Rift Valley Province, Kenya. The results suggest a landscape characterised by closed forests between 2268 years before present (cal year BP) and 1615 cal year BP when there was a significant change to a more open woodland/grassland mosaic that continues to prevail across the study area. Increased amounts of charcoal in the sediment are observed for this same period, becoming particularly common from around 900 cal year BP associated with fungal spores commonly linked to the presence of herbivores. It is likely these trends reflect changes in land use management as pastoral populations improved and extended pasture, using fire to eradicate disease-prone habitats. Implications for contemporary land use management are discussed in the light of these findings.


Read the full paper here:

SSC member Douglass named Carniege Fellow Sat, 08 May 2021 13:04:53 +0000 Kristina Guild Douglass, archeologist and IHOPE SSC member, is one of only 26 scholars nationwide selected for this honor in 2021. The Carnegie Corporation launched its Andrew Carnegie Fellows Program in 2015 to reinforce the importance of the social sciences and humanities in academia. The fellowship advances research focused on important and enduring issues confronting society, including U.S. democracy, the environment, technological and cultural evolution, and international relations.

“I believe that the next frontier in climate studies and the key to developing effective and equitable solutions to climate change is fully engaging stakeholder communities in all aspects of research.”

Full article here:

Crowdfunding effort to LiDAR scan the Amazon Sun, 25 Apr 2021 19:37:02 +0000 A new crowdfunding effort has been launched on Kickstarter with the purpose of LiDAR scanning the entire planet, starting with vulnerable areas, such as the Amazon. The Earth Archive project says they could use this data to:

“We could map trees and document their size, height, width — maybe even their species — and calculate how much carbon they contain.

We’d discover where water moves through the landscape.

We’d learn about the rich history and prehistory of this region, find unknown archaeological sites, ancient road networks, and ecological treasures.”

They also state that “In just 45 minutes, the LIDAR scan collected the same amount of data as what would’ve taken decades by hand!

The crowdfunding can be visited here:

Chris Fischer has also produced a TED Talk on the topic: