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Dr Jennifer R. Pournelle

Jennifer Pournelle

Visiting Academic (2013)

Dr. Jennifer R. Pournelle is a landscape archaeologist, cultural ecologist, and anthropologist. She uses satellite imagery, air photography, ethnoarchaeology, and paleoenvironmental data to study the relationship of ancient cities to their natural environments, particularly those social and environmental processes affecting millennial-scale urban sustainability. Her current book project focuses on the environmental dimensions of social and cultural change in the Mesopotamian delta.

A Research Fellow in the University of South Carolina’s  Environment and Sustainability Program and Rule of Law Collaborative, and  past Mesopotamian Fellow of the American School of Oriental Research, her work in Turkey, Iraq, and the Caucasus has been featured by the National Science Foundation, in The New York Times and Science magazine, and on The Discovery Channel and National Geographic Television. In a former life, she received numerous decorations for service as a United States Army intelligence officer and arms control negotiator, and directed reconstruction work in Iraq as a civilian.

Her research has been generously financed by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, Google, the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the University of California Office of Research, and the University of South Carolina College of Arts and Science.

Pournelle is also the author of Outies, a work of science fiction, and the 2010 recipient of the South Carolina Poetry Initiative Book Prize, for Excavations, A City Cycle. 

Selected Publications

In Prep Deltaic Resilience and the Origen of Cities. (Contract expected 2014). To be completed as University of London – Qatar Visiting Scholar, Fall 2013.

In Press (With Carrie Hritz). 2014 (anticipated). "Feeding History: Deltaic Resilience, Inherited Practice, and Millennial-Scale Sustainability in an Urbanized Landscape." In: From Field to Table: Historical Ecology of Regional Subsistence Strategies, edited by David Goldstein. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.

In Press (With Guillermo Algaze). 2014 (anticipated). “Travels in Edin: Deltaic Resilience and Early Urbanism in Greater Mesopotamia.” In: Preludes to Urbanism: Studies in the Late Chalcolithic of Mesopotamia in Honour of Joan Oates, ed. by H. Crawford, A. McMahon, and J. N. Postgate. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

2013 Hritz, C, J. R. Pournelle, and J. Smith. 2013. Revisiting the Sealands: Report of Preliminary Ground Reconnaissance in ihe Hammar District, Dhi Qar and Basra Governorates, Iraq. Iraq LXXIV.

2012 Physical Geography. In: The Sumerian World, ed. by H. Crawford. Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics. Oxford: Routledge, pp. 13–32.

2012 Hritz, C, J. R. Pournelle, and J. Smith. 2012. Mid-Holocene Dates for Organic-Rich Sediment, Palustrine Shell, and Charcoal, Southern Iraq. Radiocarbon. 54(1): 6579. Tucson: University of Arizona.

2007 From KLM to Corona: Using satellite photography toward a new understanding of 5th/4th millennium BC landscapes in southern Mesopotamia. In: Settlement and Society: Ecology, Urbanism, Trade and Technology in Ancient Mesopotamia, ed. E. Stone. UCLA: Cotsen Institute.

2004 (With Guillermo Algaze). Climatic change, environmental change, and social change at Early Bronze Age Titriş Höyük: Can correlation and causation be untangled? In: From Primary Villages to Cities: Ufuk Esin Festschrift, ed. Mehmet Ozdogan. Istanbul: ASY.

2003 Marshland of Cities: Deltaic Landscapes and Mesopotamian Civilization. Evaluates the millennium-scale role of Iraq’s wetlands in promoting and sustaining small-scale urbanization, in contrast to twentieth-century attitudes regarding wetlands management. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, San Diego.

Research: http://www.sealands.org/

Downloadable Publications: http://sc.academia.edu/JenniferPournelle

Home Institution: http://www.environ.sc.edu/people/pournelle