- Senior Sustainability Scientist, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability
- Professor Emeritus, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
Ben A. Nelson is professor of anthropology at Arizona State University. He previously taught at the University of New Mexico and at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His research focuses on cycles of social complexity and connectivity among the ancient cultures of northwestern Mexico and the American Southwest, especially from A.D. 200-1540, on human roles in and responses to the desertification of grasslands in those regions and on relating archaeology to indigenous cultures of the present day.
His national service includes work for professional associations and agencies such as the American Anthropological Association, the Society for American Archaeology and the National Science Foundation.
- PhD, Anthropology, Southern Illinois University Carnondale, 1980
- MA, Anthropology, Florida State University, 1976
- BA, Anthropology, Florida State University, 1971
Freeman, J., J. M. Anderies, A. Torvinen and B. A. Nelson. 2014. Crop specialization, exchange and robustness in a semi-arid environment. Human Ecology 42(2):297-310. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-013-9638-0. (link )
Elliott, M., C. Fisher, B. A. Nelson, R. Molina-Garza, S. Collins and D. Pearsall. 2010. Climate, agriculture, and cycles of human occupation over the last 4000 years in southern Zacatecas, Mexico. Quaternary Research 74(1):26-35. DOI: 10.1016/j.yqres.2010.04.001.
Anderies, J. M., B. A. Nelson and A. P. Kinzig. 2008. Analyzing the impact of agave cultivation on famine risk in arid pre-Hispanic northern Mexico. Human Ecology 36(3):409-422. DOI: 10.1007/s10745-008-9162-9. (link )
Mata-Gonazles, B., R. Molina-Garza, C. Fisher, M. Elliott and B. A. Nelson. 2002. Evidencia de cambio climatico-ambiental reciente en la Mesa Central, Zacatecas: Geomorfologia, estratigrafia del Cuaternario y Magnetismo de Rocas. GEOS 2(22):1100-1101. DOI: http://www.ugm.org.mx/publicaciones/geos/pdf/geos02-2/GC02-2.pdf.
Elliott, M. 2001. Human impacts on the ancient environment. Archaeology Southwest 16(1):4. (link )
Freeman, J., A. Torvinen, B. A. Nelson and J. M. Anderies. 2017. Diversity, reciprocity, and the emergence of equity-inequity tradeoffs. Pp. 26-51 In: Hegmon, M. ed., The Give and Take of Sustainability: Archaeological and Anthropological Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. ISBN: 9781107078338.
Nelson, B. A., P. R. Fish and S. K. Fish. 2017. Mesoamerican connections. In: Mills, B. and S. Fowles eds., The Oxford Handbook of Southwest Archaeology. Oxford University Press. DOI: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780199978427.013.24. ISBN: 9780199978427.
Nelson, M. C., M. Hegmon, K. W. Kintigh, A. P. Kinzig, B. A. Nelson, J. M. Anderies, D. A. Abbott, K. A. Spielmann, S. E. Ingram, M. A. Peeples, S. A. Kulow, C. A. Strawhacker and C. A. Meegan. 2012. Long-term vulnerability and resilience: Three examples from archaeological study in the Southwestern U.S. and Northern Mexico. In: Cooper, J. and P. Sheets eds., Learning to Live with Climate Change: Understanding Hazards, Mitigating Impacts, Avoiding Disasters.
Cleland, R. and B. A. Nelson. 2011. Resource depletion and food supply at La Quemada: A zooarchaeological approach Quemada: A zooarchaeological approach. Poster presentation March 31 at the 76th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Sacramento, CA.
Elliott, M., C. Fisher, R. S. Molina-Garza, B. Mata and B. A. Nelson. 2003. An interdisciplinary approach to landscape evolution in the Malpaso Valley, Zacatecas, Mexico. Poster presented April 9-13 at the 68th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Milwaukee, WI.
Mata-Gonzales, B., R. Molina-Garza, C. Fisher, M. Elliott and B. A. Nelson. 2002. Evidencia de cambio climatico-ambiental reciente en la Mesa Central, Zacatecas: Geomorfologia, estratigrafia del Cuaternario y Magnetismo de Rocas. Poster presented at the 3rd Annual Union Geofisica Mexicana, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.
Elliott, M., P. Turkon, J. Riel-Salvatore and B. A. Nelson. 2006. Understanding the social organization of maguey processing in the Malpaso Valley, Zacatecas, Mexico, AD 500-900. Presentation April 26-30 at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Fisher, C. T., M. Elliott, H. Pollard and B. A. Nelson. 2006. A comparison of conquest era landscape transformation in the Lake Patzcuaro Basin, Mexico, and the Malpaso Valley, Mexico. Presentation April 26-30 at the 71st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Anderies, J. M. and B. A. Nelson. 2005. Agave as infrastructure: Vulnerability and crop diversity in northern Mexico. Invited presentation at December 2005 in Transformation and Stability in Socioecological Systems: Archaeological Perspectives on Resilience Theory, Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association, Washington, D.C.