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Shauna BurnSilver

Assistant Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Senior Sustainability Scientist
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Asst Professor
Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 2402
Biography

I am an environmental anthropologist who studies how global climate and economic changes are transforming relationships between modern pastoral and hunter/fisher communities and the natural resources they have depended on for centuries. My recent work focuses on how people make a living in mixed economies, i.e. through combining subsistence activities, sharing and cooperation, and wage labor.  I am also interested in how people express connections to landscapes and places even as subsistence is combined with cash activities.  My work is sited in the Alaskan Arctic with modern Iñupiaq hunters/fishers and East and West Africa, with Maasai (Kenya) and Tuareg (Mali) pastoralists.  A new research initiative in China (Fall 2017) will examine emerging cultural models of economic and cultural development in a rural (agricultural) region that is experimenting with sustainable green growth.  I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Mali, West Africa and myresearch resume strongly reflects the abiding values of community engagement, empowerment and interdisciplinary collaboration. My research questions lie at the intersection of local communities' priorities and cutting edge social-ecological science.  

The responses of households and communities tightly connected to landscapes, to resources and to each other are compelling to study from a social-ecological systems perspective.  Hunter - gatherers and pastoralists represent iconic examples of groups who historically possessed a highly-cohesive set of cultural and ecological adaptations to cope with extreme environments.  They now face new sources of risk and uncertainty, such as climate change, market integration, conservation initiatives, governance and property rights transformations.  

At the core of my research is the broad question of how households and communities respond to these changes. More specifically, how do people combine new and old (economic and social) strategies in the face of significant risks to human livelihoods?  Who is most and least vulnerable to ongoing changes?  How do social relationships act as sources of flexibility and adaptation amidst change?  Are existing cooperation networks flexibile through time?  What new definitions of well-being and sense(s) of place are emerging and how do these ideas subsequently drive future choices and community dynamics?  The answers to these questions are relevant to ongoing discussions of sustainability, resilience and ideas about human progress.

 

Education

Ph.D, Human Ecology, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University

M.S., Resource Interpretation, Colorado State Univerity

B. A., International Relations, Scripps College

Research Interests

Environmental, Ecological and Economic Anthropology; Vulnerability; Resilience; Social-ecological Systems; Cooperation; Food Sharing; Social Networks, Mixed Economies; Well-being; Sense of Place; Maasai (Kenya) and Tuareg pastoralists (Mali); Iñupiaq (Alaska).

 

 

 

Publications

16     Baggio, J. A., S. B. BurnSilver, S. B., A. Arenas, J.S. Magdanz, G.P. Kofinas, and M. De Domenico (2016). Multiplex social ecological network analysis reveals how social changes affect community robustness more than resource depletion. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 113(48), 13708-13713.

15     Brinkman, T., W. Hansen*, F.S. Chapin III, G. Kofinas, S. BurnSilver, and T.S. Rupp (2016). Arctic communities perceive climate impacts on access as a critical challenge to availability of subsistence resources. Climatic Change 139 (3):413-427.

 

14     Petrov, A., S.B. BurnSilver, F.S. Chapin III, G. Fondahl, J. Graybill, K. Keil, A. Nilsson, R. Riedlsperger* and P. Schweitzer. Arctic sustainability research: toward a new agenda (2016). Polar Geography. Aug:165-178. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/1088937X.2016.1217095

 

13       BurnSilver, S. B., J. Magdanz, R. Stotts*, M. Berman and G. Kofinas (2016).  Are Mixed Economies Persistent or Transitional?  Evidence using social networks from Arctic Alaska. American Anthropologist.  118(1):121-129.

 

12       BurnSilver, S.B. (2016).  Representing Wealth in a Changing Pastoral Economy:  A comparison of traditional and new metrics in Maasailand, Kenya. Nomadic Peoples. 20(1):8-34.

          

 

11       Galvin, K.A., T. Beeton*, R. Boone, and S. B. BurnSilver (2015). Health and Nutritional Status of Maasai Pastoralists under Change. Human Ecology 43(3):411-424. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10745-015-9749 x?wt_mc=email.event.1.SEM.ArticleAuthorOnlineFirst

 

10       Risvoll, C.*, G. Fedreheim, A. Sandberg and S. BurnSilver (2014).  Does Pastoralists' Participation in the Management of National Parks in Northern Norway Contribute to Adaptive Governance? Ecology and Society 19(2): 71. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol19/iss2/art71/ 

 

9       R. Biggs, M. Schlüter, D. Biggs, E.L. Bohensky, S.B. BurnSilver, G. Cundill, V. Dakos, T.M. Daw, L.S. Evans, K. Kotschy, A. Leitch, C. Meek, A. Quinlan, C. Raudsepp-Hearne, M.D. Robards, M.L. Schoon, L. Schultz, P.C. West (2011). Toward Principles for Enhancing the Resilience of Ecosystem Services.  Annual Review of Environment and Resources. 37:421-448. 

 

8       Boone, R. B., K. A. Galvin, S. B. BurnSilver, P. K. Thornton, D. S. Ojima, and J.R. Jawson (2011). Using coupled simulation models to link pastoral decision making and ecosystem services. Ecology and Society, 16(2), 6. 

 

7       Kofinas G.P., F.S. Chapin III, S.B. BurnSilver, K. Kielland, J. Schmidt and A. Springsteen (2010) Resilience in the face of Climate Change: Forests, Fire, Moose Hunting, and Subsistence in Interior Alaska. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 40(7): 1347-1359.

 

6       Reid, R.S., D. Nkadienye, M. Y. Said, D. Kaelo, M. Neselle, O. Makui, L. Onetu, S. Kiruswa, N. Ole Kamuaro, P. Kristjanson, J. Ogutu, S.B. BurnSilver, M. J. Goldman, R. B. Boone, K. A. Galvin, N. M. Dickson, and W. C. Clark (2009).  Knowledge Systems for Sustainable Development Special Feature Sackler Colloquium.  Evolution of models to support communities and policy action with science: Balancing pastoral livelihoods and wildlife conservation in savannas of East Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 113(17):4579-4584. www.pnas.org_cgi_doi_10.1073_pnas.0900313106 

 

5       Boone, R. B., S. B. BurnSilver, J. S. Worden, K. A. Galvin, and N.T. Hobbs (2008). Large-Scale Movements of Large Herbivores Livestock following changes in seasonal forage supply. Resource Ecology, 187-206.

 

4       Thornton, P.K., R.B. Boone, K.A. Galvin, S.B. BurnSilver, M.M. Waithaka, J. Kuyiah, S. Karanja, E. González-Estrada and M. Herrero (2007).  Coping strategies in livestock-dependent households in East and southern Africa: a synthesis of four case studies. Human Ecology 35(4): 461-476. 20%

3       Christensen L., S.B. BurnSilver and M. Coughenour. (2006). Integrated Assessment of the Dynamics, Stability and Resilience of Inner Mongolian Grazing Ecosystems.  Nomadic Peoples.  9.1: 131-146. 

 

2       Thornton, P.K., S.B. BurnSilver, R.B. Boone, and K.A. Galvin (2006). Modeling the impacts of group ranch subdivision on agro-pastoral households in Kajiado, Kenya. Agricultural Systems.  87:331-356.  

 

1       Boone, R.B., S.B. BurnSilver, P.K. Thornton, J.S. Worden, and K.A. Galvin. (2005). Quantifying declines in livestock due to land subdivision.  Rangeland Ecology & Management.  58:523-532. 

 

BOOK CHAPTERS (10 total)

 

10     BurnSilver, S.B., R. Boone, G. Kofinas, and T. Brinkman (2017). Tradeoffs in the mixed economies of village Alaska:  Hunting, working and sharing in the context of change.  In: The Give and Take of Sustainability: Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives. M. Hegmon, ed. New Directions in Sustainability and Society Series. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 52-83.

 

9       Berman, M., G. Kofinas and BurnSilver, S.B. (2016). Community scale Vulnerability In: Northern Sustainabilities: Understanding and Addressing Change in the Circumpolar World. Fondahl, G. and G. Wilson, eds.  New York: Springer Verlag. Pp. 59-75.

 

8       Dakos, V., A. Quinlan, J. Baggio, E. Bennett, O. Bodin, and S.B. BurnSilver (2015). Connectivity. In: Principles for Enhancing the Resilience of Ecosystem Services. R. Biggs, M. Schlueter and M. Schoon eds. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 80-104.

 

7       BurnSilver S.B. (2009).  Pathways of Change and Continuity:  Maasai Livelihoods in Amboseli, Kajiado District, Kenya.  InChanging Land use and Livelihoods in Tanzania and Kenya Maasailand.  K. Homewood, P. Kristjanson, P. Trench and M. Radeny, eds.  New York: Verlag Publishers. Pp 161-201.

 

6       Serneels, S., M. Herrero, S.B. BurnSilver, P.C. Trench, K. Cochrane, K. Homewood, P. Kristjanson, F. Nelson, M. Radeny, M. Thompson, and M.Y. Said (2009). Methods in the Analysis of Maasai Livelihoods. InChanging Land use and Livelihoods in Tanzania and Kenya Maasailand.  K. Homewood, P. Kristjanson, P. Trench and M. Radeny, eds.  New York: Verlag Publishers. Pp. 43-62. 

 

5       Galvin, K. A., R. B. Boone, S.B. BurnSilver, and P.K. Thornton (2008). Humans and wildlife as ecosystem components in integrated assessments. In: Wildlife and Society:  The Science of Human Dimensions. Manfredo, M., Vaske, J., Brown, P., Decker, D. and E. Duke, eds. Washington, D.C.: Island Press. Pp. 129-142. 

 

4       BurnSilver, S.B. and J.S. Worden (2008).  Processes of Fragmentation in the Amboseli Ecosystem.  InFragmentation of Semi-Arid and Arid Landscapes:  Consequences for Human and Natural Systems.  K. Galvin, R. Reid, R. Behnke and T. Hobbs, eds.  New York: Verlag Publishers. Pp. 225-244.

 

3       Boone, R.B., S.B. BurnSilver, and R. Kruska. (2008). Comparing Landscape and Infrastructural Heterogeneity Within and Between Ecosystems.  InFragmentation of Semi-Arid and Arid Landscapes:  Consequences for Human and Natural Systems.  K. Galvin, R. Reid, R. Behnke and T. Hobbs, eds.  New York: Verlag Publishers. Pp. 341-368.

 

2       Boone, R.B., S.B. BurnSilver, J.S. Worden, K.A. Galvin, and T. Hobbs. (2008). Large Scale Movements of Large Herbivores:  Livestock Following Changes in food Supply.  In:  Spatial Ecology of Large Herbivores and Pastoralists.  H.H.T. Prins and F. van Langevelde, eds.  New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Pp. 187-206. 

 

1       BurnSilver, S.B. , R.B. Boone, and K.A. Galvin. (2003). Linking pastoralists to a heterogeneous landscape: The case of four Maasai Group Ranches in Kajiado District, Kenya.  In: Linking household and remotely sensed data: Methodological and practical problems.  Fox, J., V. Mishra, R. Rindfuss, and S. Walsh, eds. New York: Kluwer Academic Publishers. Pp. 173-199.  

 

Research Activity
  • RESEARCH FUNDING

    EXTERNAL FUNDING – COMPETITIVELY AWARDED (3 total)

    3       Modeling harvesting behavior to understand adaptation, mitigation, and transformation in northern subsistence systems. National Science Foundation, Arctic Social Sciences. PIs: B. Valcic and G. Kofinas. $316,779.  University of Alaska Fairbanks, Colorado State University and ASU, Role: Project Personnel, ($30,000) (2013-2014).

    2       Hydrology, Ecology and Pastoralism, Agoufou, Mali, West Africa. National Science Foundation, Coupled Natural and Human Systems Grant, PI: Niall Hanan. 1,300,000 Role: Co-PI: $149,000. (2011-2016 with no-cost extension due to Coup in Mali, West Africa, project year 2)

    1       The Study of Sharing Networks in Alaska. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean, Energy and Management (BOEM). $783,000 Project PI: Gary Kofinas. Role: Co-PI $50,583 (2012-2014).

    EXTERNAL FUNDING – PENDING (1 total)

    1       Social Networks, Subsistence Harvests, Adaptation, Resilience and Environmental Change in Arctic Mixed Economies (SHARE) National Science Foundation, Collaborative Research Proposal, Arctic Social Science PIs: S. BurnSilver and D. Gerkey (Oregon State University) $1,060,671 Role: Co-PI  $642,089 (2017-2022).

    INTERNAL FUNDING – COMPETITIVELY AWARDED (2 total)

    2       Workshop to support re-submission of Arctic Social Science proposal.  Seed Grant - Institute for Social Science Research Role PI: $4,500 (2016).

    1       Collaboration Laboratory (Co-Lab): A Solution Space for Development Thinking. ASU Global Institute of Sustainability. Walton Initiative - NextGen Proposal. Project PIs: E. Hackett and H. Eakin. $348,000 Role: Faculty (2013-2014).

Fall 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 300Food and Culture
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
SOS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Spring 2017
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 530Ecological Anthropology
SOS 553Ecological Anthropology
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
SOS 596Scientific Paper
ASB 790Reading and Conference
SOS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 375Humans and the Environment
SOS 375Humans and the Environment
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Spring 2016
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
SOS 596Scientific Paper
SOS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 300Food and Culture
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
SOS 596Scientific Paper
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 792Research
ASB 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Spring 2015
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 300Food and Culture
ASB 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ESS 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 792Research
ASB 792Research
ESS 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Fall 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 375Environmental Anthropology
SOS 375Environmental Anthropology
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Spring 2014
Course NumberCourse Title
SOS 375Environmental Anthropology
ASB 375Environmental Anthropology
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 580Practicum
ESS 590Reading and Conference
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Fall 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 492Honors Directed Study
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 530Ecological Anthropology
SOS 553Ecological Anthropology
ASB 580Practicum
ASB 584Internship
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ESS 590Reading and Conference
ESS 592Research
ASB 592Research
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 792Research
ESS 792Research
ASB 799Dissertation
ESS 799Dissertation
Spring 2013
Course NumberCourse Title
ASB 484Internship
ASB 493Honors Thesis
ASB 499Individualized Instruction
ASB 590Reading and Conference
ASB 592Research
ESS 592Research
ESS 790Reading and Conference
ASB 790Reading and Conference
ESS 792Research
ESS 799Dissertation
ASB 799Dissertation
Presentations
  • S.B. BurnSilver, J. Magdanz and R. Boone. Operationalizing Resilience within Alaskan Mixed Economies: Patterns, Processes and Dynamics. AAAs (Dec 2014).
  • S. BurnSilver and T. McCabe (Organizers) M. Nelson, D. Gerkey, K. Galvin, M. Bollig. Operationalizing Resilience Theory within Anthropology. AAA Annual Conference (Dec 2014).
  • BurnSilver S.B. From East Africa to the Arctic: Comparative Livelihood Analyses to Explore Arctic Sustainabilities. Sustainability and Sustainable Development in the Arctic: Arctic FROST (Sep 2014).
  • S.B. BurnSilver, J. Ziker and D. Gerkey. Using Social Network Analysis to Understand Arctic Sustainability. the 4th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS IV) (Jun 2014).
  • S. B. BurnSilver, J. Baggio, J. Magdanz, A. Arenas, M. De Domenico, and G. Kofinas. Ties that bind us together: Sharing, Cooperation and Vulnerability in the Alaskan North. The 4th International Congress of Arctic Social Sciences (ICASS IV) (Jun 2014).
  • S.B. BurnSilver. Proposition: Social Institutions Contribute to Resilience within SESs at the Margins. Third International Science and policy Conference on the resilience of social & ecological systems (May 2014).
  • S. B. BurnSilver, J. Baggio, J. Magdanz, A. Arenas, M. De Domenico, and G. Kofinas. Ties that bind us together: Sharing, Cooperation and Vulnerability in the Alaskan North. Third International Science and policy Conference on the resilience of social & ecological systems (May 2014).
  • S.B. BurnSilver and J. Baggio. Networks and Cooperation: Are social network characteristics generalizable in thinking about Resilience?. Third International Science and policy Conference on the resilience of social & ecological systems (May 2014).
  • S.B. BurnSilver, J. Baggio and J. Magdanz. Session Title: How do social relationships offset household vulnerability in the context of rapid change? Paper Title: What does observed multiplexity in food sharing and cooperative networks suggest for household vulnerability in the Alaskan North?. 112th American Anthropological Association - Annual Meeting (Nov 2013).
  • BurnSilver, S. Role of Sharing and Cooperation in Offsetting Household Vulnerability. Colloquium - Seminar Series, Institute for Social and Economic Research, University of Alaska Anch (Jun 2013).
  • S. B. BurnSilver, Kofinas, G. and J. Magdanz. Superhunters, Superhouseholds and Superproviders. Society for Applied Anthropology Annual Meeting (Mar 2013).
  • BurnSilver, S. Sharing and Cooperation in the Far North: Old social mechanisms under evolving economic and climatic conditions in village Alaska. Stanford University Ecology and Environment - Winter Colloquium Series (Mar 2013).
  • S. BurnSilver. Sharing and Cooperation in 3 Northern Communities. Research Roundtable - see notes (Jul 2012).
  • S. BurnSilver. Pastoral Land Use Change 1994 to 2012: Agoufou, Mali. HEP-SAHEL NSF Project Workshop (Jun 2012).
  • S. BurnSilver. Thinking about Household Vulnerability in Pastoral and Arctic Social-Ecological Systems. Resilience and Adaptation Seminar Series - University of Alaska Fairbanks (May 2012).
  • S. BurnSilver. COMPETE - Bioenergy and Sustainability in Subsaharan Africa. ICSS 2012: Sustainability Science in Action. The 3rd International Conference on Sustainability Sc (Feb 2012).
Honors / Awards

ACADEMIC DISTINCTIONS

             2017    SHESC Undergraduate Teaching Award

2012    Nominated for Zebulon Pearce Teaching Award, ASU.

2012    Ecological Society of America Sustainability Science Award. Annual award goes to a scholarly work making the greatest contribution to the emerging science of ecosystem and regional sustainability through the integration of ecological and social sciences.  Awarded to team of collaborators on the Reid et. al. (2009) PNAS Paper.

2011    Department of the Interior, Partners in Conservation Award given to the "Subsistence Sharing Project" - University of Alaska.  Annual award given in recognition of a collaborative social science effort on the North Slope of Alaska to advance scientific, institutional, and methodological progress in understanding and monitoring the sensitivity of Native subsistence activities to potential disruption by changing arctic conditions.

2008    Selected scholar for the Dissertations Initiative for the Advancement of Climate Change Research (DISCCRS IV). A National Science Foundation funded initiative. Saguaro Lake Ranch, AZ.  September 2008.

2007    Recipient of the Lourdes Arizpe Award (Student Category).  Award presented biennially through the Anthropology and Environment Section of the American Anthropological Association for outstanding achievement in the application of anthropology to environmental issues and discourse in international or domestic arenas across all ecological and policy applications.

 

Service
  • See innovation and impact - AEWC entry, Research Dissemination (2014 - Present)
  • Journal of Land Use Science, Reviewer (2013 - Present)
  • Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), ASU Representative (2013 - Present)
  • Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS), ASU Representative (2013 - Present)
  • Graduate Research Committee, Chair (2013 - 2015)
  • SHESC Search Committee - SW Borderland Search, Committee Member (2014 - 2014)
  • SHESC Archaeology Search Committee, Committee Member (2012 - 2013)