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Department of Anthropology - SDSU

Matthew Lauer

Associate Professor
Environmental and Ecological Anthropology

Director/undergraduate adviser, Sustainability Program

Office: AL-417
Tel: 619-594-0978
Email: mlauer@mail.sdsu.edu

Links: Research, Courses, CV (pdf)

My research was recently featured in: "360: The Magazine of San Diego State University".

I research, write, and teach about population, environmental change, indigenous rights, and conservation issues in Latin American and Oceania. My recent research has involved the micro-ecology of coastal and marine resource use; the human dimensions of marine protected areas; participatory remote sensing, GIS, and mapping; resilience and vulnerability of coastal communities to climate change and natural disasters; and community-based resource management and development. In addition to my position in the Department of Anthropology, I am the co-director and undergraduate adviser of the Sustainability Program. I am also affiliated with the Center for Latin American Studies, and I run the Environmental Anthropology Lab (EAL) here at SDSU. More recently I have joined the Artisanal Fisheries Research Network based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

I have just started a new research project (2013-2015) on the island of Mo'orea in French Polynesia. Funded by NSF's Coastal SEES program the project is examining the human dimensions of coral reef resilience. I'm collaborating with a group of scholars from UC-Santa Barbara and the Mo'orea Coral Reef Long Term Ecological Research Site. See this page for more information.

See these links for more information about my research in the, French Polynesia, Solomon Islands and Venezuela, my past development work as a Peace Corps volunteer, the courses I teach, and my current CV.

Publications: Google Scholar

Recent publications:

Lauer, M., and J. Matera. (2016). "Who detects ecological change after catastrophic events? Indigenous knowledge, social networks, and situated practices." Human Ecology 44:33-46 (download).

Lauer, M. (2014). "Calamity, kastom, and modernity: Local interpretations of vulnerability in the western Pacific." Environmental Hazards 13(4)281-297 (download).

Lauer, M., S. Albert, et al. (2013). "Globalization, Pacific Islands, and the paradox of resilience." Global Environmental Change 23(1):40-50 (download)

Lauer, M.. (2012) "Oral traditions or situated practices? Understanding how indigenous communities respond to environmental disasters." Human Organization 71(2):176-187 (download)


See my recent participation in a panel discussion at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. The discussion was part of the museum's 2013 Milstein Science Symposium entitled "Understanding Ecological and Social Resilience in Island Systems: Informing Policy and Sharing Lessons for Management."

Recent Students:
Savanna Schuermann, 2013 MA thesis. Title: The wantok system, scale and vulnerability: Shaping disaster recovery in an immigrant community of the Western Solomon Islands.
Barbara Quimby, 2012 MA thesis. Title:  Artisanal fishing practices in Aceh, Indonesia: The embedded commons.
Douglas La Rose, 2011 MA thesis. Title: Buem agricultural strategies and crop choices as adaptability practices social responses to environmental change in a rural Ghanaian farming community

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