Faculty & Staff

Joel D. Gunn

Joel GunnLecturer
Ethology and Archaeology
Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh, 1974
Email: jdgunn@uncg.edu
Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

  • Global Climate Change Impacts on Local Cultures and Hydrology
  • Sustainability in Maya Lowlands
  • Regional Landscape Studies
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Lithic Analysis
  • Complex Systems Theory

Courses Taught

  • FMS 171 The Hungry Coyote: Anthropologists Look at Megacities, Freshman Seminar
  • ATY-212 How to Human
  • ATY-153 The Human Species
  • ATY-230 Cultures of Native North Americans
  • ATY 235 Cultures of Africa
  • SSC-400 BLS Capstone
  • ATY 363 History of Anthropological Theory
  • ATY-434 Archaeology of South America

Personal Statement

My background includes teaching at major universities, administration, pure research, and applied anthropology/archaeology.  My field experience encompasses cultures in the southeastern United States, Mesoamerica, Southern Europe and Cyprus.  Special areas of emphasis include global climate change as it affects local cultures, ecologies, and landscapes.   I am especially interested in complex systems modeling of cultural change processes.  I have undertaken the study of modern global climate in order to support anthropological investigations of local environments and to apply knowledge of current and past climates to the future of global environmental policy, especially as it relates to sustainability issues.


  • Tracing A.D. 536 and Its Aftermath: The Years Without Summer.  (British Archaeological Reports 872, Oxford, 2000)


  • JW Day, Jr., JD Gunn, WJ Folan, A Yáñez-Arancibia and BP Horton (2012) The Influence of Enhanced Post-Glacial Coastal Margin Productivity on the Emergence of Complex Societies.  Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 7:23–52. (view PDF)
  • JD Gunn, CL Crumley, Elizabeth Jones, and BK Young (2004) A Landscape Analysis of Western Europe during the Early Middle Ages.  In The Archaeology of Global Change: The Impact of Humans on their Environment, edited by Charles L. Redman, Steven R. James, Paul R. Fish, and J. Daniel Rogers, pp. 165-185, Smithsonian Books Washington DC. (view PDF)
  • Visit Joel’s UNCG NC Docks page for more publications https://libres.uncg.edu/ir/uncg/clist.aspx?id=3465

Current Projects

I am currently involved in two projects.  One is an IHOPE-Maya (Integrated History of Peoples of the Earth, Maya regional study) to evaluate the rise and fall of the interior Maya culture for information that might help modern global culture(s) avoid some of the energy constraints and decision making mistakes that plagued civilizations of the past.  IHOPE is an international consortium of scientists studying the Maya and several other past civilizations with similar goals.  The other project involves a similar focus but is directed toward raising awareness of the problems of global change in the UNCG community and especially among student organizations.

Human-planetary interactions in Biophysical Economics: https://rdcu.be/bGlki 

Cultural transformation of Maya information networks : http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol22/iss1/art20/

Maya Lithics: The Stones of Calakmul, Información 17 2020 PDF available on ResearchGate

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