Maritime Anthropology

Course: CRD 15

Instructor: Dr. Laura Alice Watt

Course Catalog Description

About the Course

The course is about the social and cultural dimensions of coastal communities through the lens of anthropology. The course focuses on the relationship between humans and the marine environment in contemporary and historical human cultures.
The course includes an examination of archaeological records, histories of environmental change, cultural heritage and the record from submerged landscapes and coastal sites. Attention will be paid to the conflicts of development vs. conservation and current threats to the coastal zones. Students will learn about anthropological theories, traditional and local knowledge, maritime history and folklore.

Instructor

Laura Alice Watt is a professor of environmental history and policy at Sonoma State University, in Northern California.

She is in Ísafjörður with a Fulbright-NSF Arctic Scholar grant to conduct historical research in Iceland. Her project aims to document the environmental history of a remote corner of Iceland’s Westfjords, specifically the Árneshreppur municipality and surrounding region of the Strandir coast, where a hydropower plant proposal has generated recent controversy.

At Sonoma State, she teaches a number of courses in the Department of Geography, Environment, and Planning and is a  Graduate Coordinator for the Cultural Resource Management masters program.

Outside of school she is an avid photographer and sailor.