Laura Popova (PhD in Anthropology, University of Chicago, 2006) has been at ASU since 2006 and specializes in the archaeology and paleoecology of Russia. She is affiliated with the School of Human Evolution and Social Change (http://shesc.asu.edu/) and the Melikian Center of Russian, Eurasian, and Eastern European Studies (http://melikian.asu.edu/).
Dr. Popova’s research focuses on the politics of pastoral land use, past and present, highlighting the ways in which the socio-political, ecological, and cultural orders of pastoral societies shape and restructure global and local environments. Currently, she is an area coordinator for LandUse 6k (http://landuse.uchicago.edu/), which is part of the LandCover 6K (http://www.pages-igbp.org/ini/wg/landcover6k/intro) project. The goal of this project is to make a digital, integrative map of land cover change in the world that is linked to detailed archaeological and historical data. This map will provide policy makers and scientists a better understanding of exactly how humans have changed the world over time and how that links to climate change. In spring semester (2017), Dr. Popova will be teaching an upper division honors course based on this project that will involve honors students in the research (HON 394: LandUse 6K).
In addition to “The Human Event,” Dr. Popova teaches the honors section of ASB 222: Buried Cities and Lost Tribes, which offers students a broad overview of archaeology as an anthropological disciple by examining both well-known sites and new discoveries in the Old World. This course differs from the regular section of ASB 222 in that the class is capped at 25 students and is a discussion based seminar. She also teaches an upper-division honors course (HON394) on political ecology that considers the conceptual underpinnings of contemporary western notions of ecology, environment, and balance, as well as examines specific historical trajectories of anthropogenic landscape change. She has taught many one credit HON 394 courses including: The Silk Road during the Tang Dynasty, Short Stories of Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov’s Short Stories, Dostoevsky’s Shorter Works, and Anthropology and Science Fiction.