Patrick V. Kirch is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawai?i, M’noa, and Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Kirch received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. from Yale University. Kirch held positions at the Bernice P. Bishop Museum, the University of Washington, and from 1989-2014 taught at U. C. Berkeley. Kirch’s research interests include the evolution of complex societies, preindustrial agricultural systems and agricultural intensification, and the dynamic interactions between human populations and their ecosystems. Kirch uses islands as “model systems” for understanding both cultural evolution and the complex dynamics between humans and their island ecosystems. He has carried out archaeological fieldwork in the Mussau Islands, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Futuna, the Cook Islands, Society Islands, Mangareva Islands, and Hawaiian Islands. Kirch has published some 25 books and monographs, and more than 300 articles and chapters on the results of his research. Among his honors are the John J. Carty Award for the Advancement of Science (NAS), the J. I. Staley Prize (School for Advanced Research), and the Herbert E. Gregory Medal (Pacific Science Association).

Research Interests

Kirch's current research focuses on the long-term sustainability of traditional agricultural practices in the Hawaiian Islands, using a multi-disciplinary approach with archaeology as the key integrating discipline. The research is being conducted in the Halawa Valley of Moloka'i Island, and is supported by a grant from the U. S. National Science Foundation.

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Primary Section

Section 51: Anthropology