Past Event

LDEO Earth Science Colloquium with Dr. Paige West

September 15, 2023
3:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, 61 Route 9W, Palisades, NY 10964 Monell Auditorium

The Earth Science Colloquium Series presents:

Resilience Planning in Papua New Guinea; Indigenous Self-Determination and the Anthropology of Letting Go

with Dr. Paige West, Claire Tow Professor of Anthropology Barnard College and Columbia University

Abstract: In New Ireland, Papua New Guinea, Indigenous Elders have worked with Indigenous scientists and American anthropologists to revitalize traditional “fish traps” or stone weirs. This locally designed and enacted project is an Indigenous form of coastal planning which refuses both state-planning and conservation organization planning. Based on a traditional design, the Lavongai Island stone weirs work to provide pool habitat for important aquatic biota, to lessen coastal erosion due to sea-level rise, and to soften the effects of increased storm surges and king tides. In this presentation, Professor Paige West describes the 15-year long collaboration with Indigenous scientists, ritual experts, and fisheries managers that created the the conditions of possibility for these revitalized marine futures for people in Papua New Guinea.


Host: Dr. Ajit Subramaniam, Lamont Research Professor, Biology and Paleo Environment.


The Earth Science Colloquium Series, sponsored by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (DEES), provides a lively forum for discussing a wide variety of topics within the Earth sciences and related fields. Colloquia are attended by the full range of scientific and technical staff at LDEO. Colloquium attendance is required of all pre-orals DEES graduate students. The Colloquium Series supports the Lamont Seminar Diversity Initiative

Contact Information

Dr. Einat Lev