On March 1, 2016, Christopher Roos (Southern Methodist University) will present “Fire, Climate, and Society—Past, Present, and Future.”
In the Southwest U.S., a century of fire suppression has turned old growth forests into tinderboxes that burn in increasingly destructive ways as the climate warms. But do all fire-climate-society relationships conform to this story? Southwestern pine forests have been home to American Indian communities for millennia. How did these communities cope with—and impact—these flammable forests through variable climates? What lessons might we learn from these experiences?
I will bring archaeological, dendrochronological, and paleoecological information together to weave a story of human and climatic impacts on Arizona’s fire-prone forests over the last millennium. My account will illuminate pathways towards stainable fire-climate-society relationships.