Margaret C. (Peggy) Nelson

Research Institute Advisor

Peggy Nelson (Ph.D. University of California, Santa Barbara,1981) is President’s Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change and Vice Dean of Barrett Honors College at Arizona State University. She has conducted research in the Mimbres region of southwest New Mexico for over 30 years, collaborating for the past 20 years with Dr. Michelle Hegmon. Their work focuses primarily on the Classic to Postclassic transformation. Nelson’s 1999 book, Mimbres During the 12th Century: Abandonment, Continuity, and Reorganization, derives from that research. Her 2010 book Mimbres Lives and Landscapes, edited with Hegmon, brings many specialists together in a popular book about archaeology and Mimbres culture. Most recently she leads two interdisciplinary research teams. The first addresses social-ecological issues concerning vulnerability and resilience for prehistoric small-scale farmers in the U.S. Southwest (600–1500 CE) and the lessons learned from this research for contemporary issues of resilience and sustainability. This work has been published as a Special Feature for the journal Ecology and Society. The second is a collaboration with the North Atlantic Biocultural Organization to assess the role of human-made vulnerabilities in the scale of impacts from climate challenges. This work directly addresses concerns within the disaster management community and was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Nelson was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2008. She has been named Centennial Professor, Parents Association Professor of the Year, and ASU President’s Professor in recognition of her teaching.