Lisa Nagaoka

Lisa Nagaoka
University of North Texas | UNT · Department of Geography and the Environment

Ph.D. Anthropology, University of Washington

About

41
Publications
7,787
Reads
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949
Citations
Citations since 2017
11 Research Items
303 Citations
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Introduction
I am a zooarchaeologist with broad interests in the study of human-environment interactions. My research focuses on archaeological method and theory, philosophy of science, conservation biology, and biogeography, also encompassing sustainability, transportation, and women in science. As an archaeologist, I have worked in New Zealand, American Samoa, Cook Islands and Hawaii. I have also participated in projects in the Great Basin, the southwestern U.S., and western Argentina.
Additional affiliations
July 1999 - March 2020
University of North Texas
Position
  • Professor (Full)

Publications

Publications (41)
Chapter
Full-text available
This book chapter examines how part of the argument surrounding the overkill hypothesis/model (megafauna were driven to extinction by people) is structured. It evaluates the validity of the island analogy as appropriate for explaining megafaunal extinction in continental settings, as well as the philosophical implications of the model for conservat...
Article
Seal populations in New Zealand declined dramatically during the prehistoric period. The loss of this important resource significantly affected the foraging practices at the Shag River Mouth site. Previous research documented substantial changes to the diet with the decline of seals and the corresponding decline in foraging efficiency. In this stud...
Article
The application of foraging theory to understanding carcass exploitation is a relatively recent development. The methodology developed by archaeological and ethnoarchaeological research on butchery/transport studies has been integrated into a behavioral ecological framework to create models that can be used to understand archaeological carcass expl...
Article
Zooarchaeologists have relied upon various approaches to study the impacts of harvest pressure and environmental change on ungulate populations, such as analysis of prey mortality patterns and morphometrics. Analysis of ancient DNA from ungulate bones and bone fragments from archaeological sites provides an additional means for studying prey popula...
Article
Full-text available
A constrained stochastic weather generator (CSWG) for producing daily mean air temperature and precipitation based on annual mean air temperature and precipitation from tree-ring records is developed and tested in this paper. The principle for stochastically generating daily mean air temperature assumes that temperatures in any year can be approxim...
Article
Frameworks derived from evolutionary ecology are often applied to hunter-gatherers but less often to societies representing the transition to agriculture. Our case study of Mesa Verde subsistence utilizes optimal foraging theory models from evolutionary ecology to study small animal resource use during the Pueblo II to Terminal Pueblo III periods....
Article
Full-text available
Prehistoric peoples chose farming locations based on environmental conditions, such as soil moisture, which plays a crucial role in crop production. Ancestral Pueblo communities of the central Mesa Verde region became increasingly reliant on maize agriculture for their subsistence needs by AD 900. Prehistoric agriculturalists (e.g., Ancestral Puebl...
Article
Full-text available
Research on human‐environment interactions that informs ecological practices and guides conservation and restoration has become increasingly interdisciplinary over the last few decades. Fueled in part by the debate over defining a start date for the Anthropocene, historical disciplines like archeology, paleontology, geology, and history are playing...
Article
Full-text available
Zooarchaeology is the study of animal remains (bone, shell, antler, and other organic tissues) from archaeological sites, which can provide conservation biologists with data on human–environmental interactions with greater time depth than historical records. Such data are of interest because they can be used to study whether or not contemporary ani...
Book
Full-text available
http://www.amazon.com/Applied-Zooarchaeology-Studies-Principles-Archaeology/dp/0989824969/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1456275232&sr=8-1&keywords=applied+zooarchaeology
Article
Full-text available
Zooarchaeological data are increasingly important for establishing late Holocene conservation baselines for species of concern. The blue sucker (Cycleptus elongatus) is experiencing range reduction and is endangered in the State of New Mexico. The early historic (ca. AD 1540) distribution of blue sucker is poorly understood, and the extent of habit...
Poster
Full-text available
Soil moisture can have profound impacts on crop success and failure. Here we present the results of a soil moisture model that is used as a proxy for potential farming locations. We then use the farming locations to understand changes in settlement patterns leading up to the depopulation of the central Mesa Verde region.
Article
Zooarchaeological freshwater mussel remains provide information about past environments, faunal communities, and human behaviors. However, one challenge of using archaeological assemblages of animal remains is differential preservation such that bones and shells of some taxa are more vulnerable to processes that destroy or remove them from the reco...
Poster
Full-text available
During the late Mississippian period, there was significant annual and intra-annual variability in precipitation, which may have had a major impact on agricultural productivity. If precipitation is significantly high, soil can become saturated; if significantly low, crops will reach wilting point. Both scenarios result in crop failure. Using hydrol...
Article
Full-text available
Carnivore damage is typically documented in faunal assemblages to understand if attrition of elements or element portions has occurred. Thus, the amount of carnivore damage often is used to simply reflect how “complete” the assemblage is. However, gnawing is a means for carnivores to extract within bone nutrients. Thus, according to the marginal va...
Poster
Full-text available
The abandonment of the Mesa Verde region at the end of the Pueblo III (PIII) period (AD 1150 to 1300) represents a complex synergy of causal processes, such as inter-village conflict, drought induced water and food resource stress, and high population density. Decisions to abandon a place, however, occurred at the scale of human interaction, that o...
Book
Full-text available
Why is it that, while women in the United States have generally made great strides in establishing parity with their male counterparts in educational attainment, they remain substantially underrepresented in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)? Why is it that, in proportion to the PhDs they obtain in STEM, they at...
Article
Behavioral depression is a decline in prey availability because of enhanced alert response, movement away from areas, increased social behavior, and other responses to predators. This form of resource depression is an alternative hypothesis to be contrasted to over-exploitation that potentially explains a decrease in hunting efficiency over time sh...
Article
Full-text available
Zooarchaeological research in New Zealand has a particularly long history, dating from the 1870s. Over the last century, it has both followed larger trends in the discipline and developed innovative approaches. Three types of research that reflect these broader movements and novel approaches are identified in this historical review of New Zealand a...
Article
Full-text available
Human population size and density increased in many areas of eastern North America after the mid-Holocene. As predators, human foragers relied heavily on ungulate prey for food in many areas of the world during prehistory. In southeast Texas, changes in foraging adaptations relate to broader subsistence and population trends. Analysis of a large, w...
Article
Full-text available
This is a short paper in the Society for American Archaeology, Archaeological Record, that describes the strategy I used to assess my impact within the field of archaeology during tenure review. As archaeology is a relatively small field, using typical measures to identify impact is insuffcient.
Article
The effects of differential recovery have been documented and discussed for almost a century. Screening experiments using comparative collections are one avenue for understanding recovery bias because they develop expectations about what is likely to be recovered. In this study, modern reference specimens of Pacific Island fish were screened throug...
Chapter
Full-text available
A review of 130 years of faunal analysis in Aotearoa New Zealand, highlighting parallels with global trends in the methods and theories of zooarchaeology and archaeology in general.
Article
While many studies have examined human impacts on prehistoric environments, few have explicitly examined how foragers adapt to the changing environmental situations that they have created. The goal of this analysis is to study the relationship between human foraging economies and human-related environmental change in southern New Zealand. Foraging...
Article
Full-text available
New Zealand provides one of the earliest examples of foraging theory applications to archaeological situations (Anderson 1981). Since this landmark study, significant developments over the last twenty years have led to an increasing number of detailed analyses examining the effects of resource depression on human foraging. In particular, foraging t...
Article
As in the rest of Polynesia, human colonization of New Zealand marked the beginning of tremendous change for the native flora and fauna resulting in significant habitat destruction and numerous extinctions. The loss of numerous native vertebrates, especially economically impor-tant taxa such as moas and seals, must have greatly affected the foragin...
Article
Full-text available
Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Washington, 2000 Humans have been modifying their environment throughout prehistory. While many studies have examined the human impact on the environment, few have explicitly examined how foragers adapt to the changing environmental situations that they have created. The goal of this analysis is to study the relations...
Article
Full-text available
Effects of differential recovery on faunal remains from archaeological sites have been documented by numerous researchers in Europe and North America. However, similar research is lacking for Pacific Island fish assemblages. Here, the fish assemblage from the Moturakau rockshelter in the Cook Islands is analyzed to determine effects of recovery bia...
Article
Excavations in a deeply stratified coastal site at To'aga, Ofu Island, in the Manu'a group of American Samoa, yielded evidence of human occupation spanning the entire Samoan cultural sequence. The earliest deposits, dated to 3700–3300 BP, may represent a Lapita Period occupation, although the present sample is very limited. An Ancestral Polynesian...

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Projects (2)
Project
Over the last decade our group has published a number of studies in conservation zooarchaeology as well as ecology of freshwater mussels in Texas. These studies use zooarchaeological datasets to develop explore late Holocene biogeography and taphonomy of unionids.
Project
The research team will study the relationship between climate change, water availability, and dryland agricultural productivity. Previous archaeological research on this topic has focused on modeling crop yield at the regional scale, which requires numerous assumptions about variables such as soil quality that are difficult to measure in a prehistoric context. In this study, the research team will focus on the effects of soil moisture on the potential for crop failure at the local scale of farmland around large pueblo villages by documenting the wilting point of dryland soils, a known level of soil moisture at which no water can be extracted by plants. The research will be conducted in the Mesa Verde region of southwestern Colorado, where prehistoric culture change is often used as a cautionary tale of societal collapse. The numerous large multi-storied pueblos speak to the large population that once lived in the region. Yet, by the late AD 1200s, these communities were all abandoned. A prolonged and severe drought is often cited as a cause for the collapse. However, there were several periods of drought during the previous thousand years that did not lead to collapse indicating that there is more to learn about what factors lead to failure or sustainability of dryland farming over the long term. The team of researchers has backgrounds in archaeology, environmental science, hydrology, remote sensing, and geographic information systems, which they will use to understand how the likelihood of crop failure varied at large pueblo villages depending on soil type, topographic features, and vegetation, and how these varied across time during periods of higher precipitation and during drought. The team will generate new methods for studying agricultural productivity that can be applied in other areas of the world where dryland farming is important, and the interdisciplinary emphasis of the project will also provide unique educational and training opportunities for students.