ABOUT US

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Concerned Scientists, Students and Citizens

We are a group of international scientists, students, and citizens from as far a field as North America, Europe, the Near and Middle East. Our concern is with the impact of global climate change upon the lives of humanity during the next several decades. We come from many sciences ranging from archaeology, history, geomorphology, hydrology, and paleoecology. We are trying to see where we may be going by using what we have learned from the past and applying it to ecosystem models to predict future outcomes. We are also focusing our efforts on public education and developing solutions that can be applied to help people deal with their deteriorating environment.

THE PEOPLE

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PETER WIGAND, EESEEMR’s CO-DIRECTOR

Ph.D. (Washington State University, 1985), 44 years of experience in western North America, Northeastern Africa and the Central and Eastern Mediterranean in the fields of archaeology, paleoecology, and paleoclimatology, and geomorphology. He has been shedding vital, new light on past processes in arid environments, while at the same time helping to solve some of the problems facing environmental resource managers and planners today. Using plant remains recovered from ancient packrat nests (middens) and cave and aquatic contexts, pollen and charcoal from carefully dated stratigraphic sequences, he has been able to record the dynamics of vegetation change, fire regimes, surface and groundwater fluctuation, and changes in surficial (erosion and deposition) processes on local and regional scales in the Intermountain American West. Currently, he is engaged in study of the causes of past and current landscape erosion in southern Italy. In western Iran, he has been examining the impact of landscape erosion on lake chemistry during the Holocene. This science has been presented at meetings in Denver, Athens, Rome, and Tehran. 

Publications
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HAKIMEH BARGAHI, EESEEMR’s CO-DIRECTOR

Ms. Bargahi received a BA in ancient history at Yazd University in Yazd, which lies at the geographic center of Iran. There she concentrated on the ancient history of the major civilizations of Asia, Europe, and Central and South America.

For her MA degree she concentrated on prehistoric archaeology at the central branch of Tehran Azad University in Tehran. She took courses in prehistoric archaeology, including that of the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Chalcolithic, and Iron Age of Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. She concentrated especially on the prehistory of northern, western, central, and eastern Iran, and of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley. It was at this time that she was introduced to human evolution, and the early tool making traditions, and plant and animal domestication. In particular she was very interested in how the domestication of plants and animals affected human diet, and culture, including religion, social structure, and the arts, from the Neolithic onward.

Her field experience in archaeology began even before completion of her MA thesis. She took part in several archaeological surveys and excavations in the central plain of Iran, and western and southern Iran. This included a systematic survey of the Tall-e Jidun Site, in Kazerun, Fars Province about halfway between her home town and Shiraz in May 2009. The site included artifacts from the middle Elamite through Sasanian cultural period, but the most extensive occupation occurred during the Achaemenid (or first Persian empire) period. Later she was involved in further survey of the prehistoric site at Kazerun.

She decided to investigate the potential of a Neolithic site in her own hometown for her Master’s degree. She conducted a systematic survey of the rich Neolithic and Chalcolithic site of Chahar Rustayi, which was identified and recorded in 2004 during a joint Iranian-English survey of the Persian Gulf coast led by Dr. R. A. Carter (University College London).

She was able to demonstrate through the pottery and lithics recovered during the surface survey that the site had been occupied from the early fifth millennium B.C. until late fourth millennium B.C., i.e. from the late Neolithic through Chalcolithic periods. 

Her first excavation was about 40 km east of Tehran near Bumehen in the fall of 2009, at Gole Khandan. Thereafter, she participated in two other excavations, including” 1) rescue excavations of the Neolithic Haji Nabi site, near Chehel Amiran at the Talwar Dam Project, Bijar, Kurdistan in fall 2010; and 2) the Neolithic Moeen Abad Site excavation, Varamin County, Tehran.

In the summer of 2014 she went to southern Italy to work with Dr. Wigand for six weeks. They conducted research on Holocene landscape dynamics in the region on the Puglia and Basilicata border of the southern Mezzogiorno.  Although the project began as an attempt to reconstruct the Roman period vegetation history of the area, it has expanded into an investigation of the impact of Holocene climate change and land use upon landscape erosion processes, soil formation, and spring discharge history. In particular, the  timing of the appearance of agriculture and the impact it had upon the landscape is of great interest.  It may provide a means of measuring the degree of human impact upon the landscape through the Holocene. Her research in southern Italy may provide a means of determining rates of landscape erosion under conditions of climate and human land use similar to todays for predicting future rates and impact.

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ANTONELLA DIMOTTA, EESEEMR’s Board Chair

Italian PhD, Civil-Environmental Engineer with a MSc in Hydraulic Engineering and Violinist

Antonella Dimotta was born in Italy in 1986. She received her PhD, February, 2019. She comes from the Italian National Research Council and University of Basilicata (School of Agricultural School Forestry, Food and Environmental Sciences). She received her PhD in the Program of Land, Environmental and Forestry Science. Her PhD thesis focused on Applied Geomorphology (GEO/04) and Agricultural and Environmental Economics (AGR/01): SOIL EROSION INTERDISCIPLINARY OVERVIEW: Modelling Approaches, Ecosystem Services Assessment and Soil Quality Restoration: Applications and Analyses in the Basilicata region (Italy). 

In 2017, she spent over 6 months - at the Spanish National Research Council (Centro de Edafologìa y Biologìa del Segura (CEBAS) – Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientìficas (CSIC)) in Murcia (Spain) under the guidance of Dr. Joris de Vente (senior researcher). Dr Dimotta's interest in landscape issues comes from her own background in the coastal fruit groves of Gulf of Taranto.  Her research has centered around soil erosion processes as they have been affected by land use and climate change, and further exogenous factors. She has applied the Soil and Water Conservation Research Group’s experience matured at the CEBAS-CSIC (Spain) and in Italy with different environmental modelling and assessment approaches. 

Her PhD on Applied Geomorphology and Agricultural and Environmental Economics comes from her strong interest in trying to observe, analyze and understand the most important factors (geological, hydro-geological, territorial and environmental vulnerability) that affect the landscape, agricultural economics, and the soil, and the well-being and human health and quality of life. Her PhD Thesis dealt with soil erosion process and its correlated different impacts, on- and off-site, with precise insights and analyses about the incidence of climate change on soil erosion modelling approaches’ development at a global scale. Moreover, she developed a potential solution aimed at restoring a soil affected by erosion through the composting application. Her answer to the Land Use and Soil Conservation Policies focuses on the need for applying a Circular Economy-based approach revised by her own idea of the compost utilization, as a smart green-therapy to try making soil more resilient. 

She is an extremely gifted violinist, having received her Violin Diploma in 2010 at the Conservatorio Statale di Musica “E.R.Duni” in Matera (Italy). In addition, her instrumental skills include the viola and piano. Her passions include composing music for the violin, piano and viola. Her further interests consist of medicine, photography and art. Recently she has begun research into the links between global change and increased skin cancer rates in human populations.

Potenza, Italy and Dublin, Ireland. April 2019