Alec Apodaca

Interdisciplinary Social Science Mentor – Gates Foundation Predoctoral Fellow

I am an environmental archaeologist (Ph.D. program in the Anthropology Department) conducting historical ecological research on Indigenous stewardship practices over the past millenium in California, North America. I am carrying out this dissertation research collaboratively with Tribal organizations and natural resource agencies to evaluate how resource management strategies, like cultural burning, changed over long periods of time. The research will be integrated into contemporary stewardship plans, which seek to re-implement indigenous stewardship techniques in order to restore native plants, revitalize dormant cultural practices, and reduce the risk of wildfire along the coastal region of central California. Before coming to the graduate program at Cal, I worked for several years in the private sector doing cultural and environmental resource impact studies. I have a strong passion for mentoring and working with the next generation of multidisciplinary scholars who continue to inspire my own research as well. On the weekends, you can find me tending plants, sunbathing with my cat, or cooking something on the grill.