Dr. Jennifer E. Perry is an anthropologist who is interested in cross-cultural and long-term perspectives on human-environment interactions. As a California native, she earned her B.A. degrees in Anthropology and Latin American Studies from the University of San Diego. After graduation, she worked in cultural resources management and later attended the University of California, Santa Barbara, where she was awarded her M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology. Prior to joining the CSU Channel Islands, she taught at Pomona College for 10 years, where she was an active member of their Environmental Analysis Program.
At the core of her interdisciplinary teaching and research are coastal societies, hunter-gatherer societies, and Native American societies. These interests are evident in courses she teaches including Human Ecology, The Seacoast in Prehistory, Native California, and Altered States of Consciousness. Although Dr. Perry has been involved with archaeological fieldwork in Mexico, Chile, and throughout southern California, the majority of her research has been conducted on the Channel Islands after which this university is named. She first fell in love with the beauty of the islands in 1992, and she has maintained a cooperative research agreement with Channel Islands National Park since 1999.
Her publications have been focused on different facets of human-environment interactions on the islands including those related to marine ecology, cultural landscapes, and native ceremonialism, as well as the pedagogy of archaeological field schools. As one of her most recent publications, she is the co-editor of “Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology,” a volume that covers of range of themes that are pertinent to California, past and present, such as drought, power, and multiculturalism. Currently she is working on an edited volume on the indigenous prehistory and history of the Channel Islands, as well as continuing her archaeological investigations on Santa Cruz Island.
She and her husband enjoy playing music, traveling, and everything related to the outdoors, including hiking, backpacking, and snorkeling. In particular, she encourages anyone and everyone to visit at least one of the Channel Islands at least once in their lifetimes!
Human-Environment Interactions, Coastal Societies, Hunter-Gatherer Societies, Landscape Archaeology, Archaeological Pedagogy