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School of the Earth, Ocean and Environment

Faculty and Staff Directory

Jennifer R. Pournelle

Title: Distinguished Professor Emerita
Department: Earth Ocean and Environment
College of Arts and Sciences
Phone: 803-873-4918
Office: Byrnes 430A
Resources: Profile 
Lab Webpage

Jennifer Pournelle


  • Landscape Archaeology
  • Wetlands, Marshes, and Cultural Ecology
  • Middle East, Climate Change, and Civilizations
  • Urban Sustainability


  • ENVR 790A/795: MEERM-AWNES Internship Preparation
  • ENVR 790B/796: MEERM-AWNES Internships
  • ENVR 590: Environmental Science Senior Capstone
  • ENVR 499 (Undergraduate Research)
  • ENVR 331: Integrating Sustainability
  • COLA 298: Capstone Abroad 2011: Water and Life in the Middle East
  • ENVR 101: Introduction to the Environment


Summary: Millennial-scale urban sustainability and complex societies, studied through: landscape archaeology, anthropological archaeology, archaeology of the Middle East, cultural ecology, historical ecology, as they relate to wetland environments. Interpreting and relating air photography and satellite imagery to other paleoenvironmental data, toward reconstructing past landscapes.

My research focuses on the environmental dimensions of social and cultural change in wetland environments, especially regarding urban origins and sustainability in deltaic settings. Currently, I am investigating the possibility and efficacy of using constructed wetlands to remediate petroleum production, agricultural, and urban wastewater streams in southern Iraq. Future work will study past and present strategies for biomass energy extraction from natural environments.

Past experience includes arms control, information technology, and training consultancy in Europe and the Middle East, and fieldwork in Malaysia, Italy, southeastern Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, the Republic of Georgia, and Azerbaijan, including research financed by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the University of California Office of Research, as an American School of Oriental Research Mesopotamian Fellow, and as a Visiting Research Fellow at the University College London - Qatar


(With Carrie Hritz). “Resilient Landscapes: Riparian Evolution in the Wetlands of Southern Iraq.” In: New Agendas in Remote Sensing and Landscape Archaeology in the Near East, ed. by Dan Lawrence, Mark Altaweel, and Graham Philip. Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.

(With Carrie Hritz). "Feeding History: Deltaic Resilience, Inherited Practice, and Millennial-Scale Sustainability in an Urbanized Landscape." In: Viewing the Future in the Past: Historical Ecology Applied to Environmental Issues, ed. by H. Thomas Foster II, David John Goldstein, and Lisa M. Paciulli. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press.

(With Guillermo Algaze). “Travels in Edin: Deltaic Resilience and Early Urbanism in Greater Mesopotamia.” In: Preludes to Urbanism: Studies in the Late Chalcolithic of Mesopotamia in Honour of Joan Oates, ed. by H. Crawford, A. McMahon, and J. N. Postgate. Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.

(With Joe Porter). Ancient Assyrian Artifacts in Southern Iraq: The Search for the Winged Bull. Wreck Diving Magazine 33 (July).

(With Hritz, C, and J. Smith. "Revisiting the Sealands: Report of Preliminary Ground Reconnaissance in ihe Hammar District, Dhi Qar and Basra Governorates, Iraq." Iraq 74: 37-49.

"Physical Geography." In: The Sumerian World, ed. by H. Crawford. Routledge Companion to Museum Ethics. Oxford: Routledge. Oxford: Routledge, pp. 13–32. In press: October 29, 2012.

(With Hritz, C, and J. Smith.) 2012. "Mid-Holocene Dates for Organic-Rich Sediment, Palustrine Shell, and Charcoal, Southern Iraq." Radiocarbon 54(1): 65–79. Tucson: University of Arizona.

Selected Poems. In: Seven Strong: Winners of the South Carolina Poetry Book Prize, 2006–2012, ed. Kwame Dawes, with foreword by Marjory Wentworth. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press.

Excavations: a City Cycle. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press. 2010 Winner, South Carolina Poetry Initiative Book Prize.

Outies. W. Columbia, SC: New Brookland Press. A work of environmental science fiction.

(With Fletcher, M., D. Porter, H. Kelsey, V. Shervette, and D. Ramage). "A Southeast Regional Testbed for Integrating Complex Coastal and Ocean Information Systems." Proceedings of the Marine Technical Society/IEEE Conference on Marine Technology for our Future: Global and Local Challenges (OCEANS '09), Biloxi, Mississippi, 26-29 October 2009.

From KLM to Corona: Using satellite photography toward a new understanding of 5th/4th millennium BC landscapes in southern Mesopotamia. In: Settlement and Society: Ecology, Urbanism, Trade and Technology in Ancient Mesopotamia, ed. by E. Stone UCLA: Cotsen Institute and Chicago: Oriental Institute.

(With Guillermo Algaze). Climatic change, environmental change, and social change at Early Bronze Age Titriş Höyük: Can correlation and causation be untangled? In: From Villages to Cities: Early Villages in the Near East. Essays in Honor of Ufuk Esin, ed. by Mehmet Ozdogan. Istanbul: ASY.

The Littoral Foundations of the Uruk State: Using satellite photography toward a new understanding of 5th/4th millennium BCE landscapes in the Warka Survey Area, Iraq. [Original Figures] In: Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Hydrostrategies. Papers held at the International Union of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Science 2001 Congress, Liège, ed. by D. Gheorghiu: 5–24. B.A.R. International Series 1123. Oxford: Archaeopress.

Site-wide operations: The material foundations of Late EBA urbanization at Titriş. Titriş and its hinterland: The EBA landscape of the city. (With Guillermo Algaze and Timothy Matney) Conclusions. In: "Research at Titriş Höyük in southeastern Turkey: the 1999 season." Guillermo Algaze, Timothy Matney, et al. Anatolica 27 (2001): 23–106. Leiden: Netherlands Institute for the Near East.

In the Media - Print

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