Center for Human-Environmental Research: Innovation Through Social Science


The way in which humans have interacted with their environments over time has profoundly shaped our identity as a species; our politics, our beliefs, and our conceptions of science and philosophy. Today, how humans respond to environmental change, at all of its many scales, represents the one of the most pressing scientific questions of our time. We are an interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to studying the immense diversity of human responses to the environments in which they have lived and the immense political, economic, and social problems facing humanity today. CHER brings together top scholars in the sciences and humanities in order to address the most difficult and pressing issues having to do with human-environment interaction. Our organization is aimed at giving scholars a supportive space in which develop innovative approaches on issues ranging from human evolution to the political and economic issues associated with life in a post-industrial world, to the social problems relating to our planet's changing physical and social environment. Finally, we are also committed to public outreach and education through a wide range of open-access publications, videos, and podcasts, as well as free public presentations around the New Orleans area.


Putting Human Socities and Economies in Environmental Context


Humans and our immediate ancestors belonging to the genus Homo have lived on earth for more than 2.5 million years and have inhabited every environment, ranging from tropical rain forests and harsh deserts, to the highest latitudes of the Arctic. During this vast time span of human prehistory, our ancestors have experienced enormous variability in Earth's climate. In addition, humans have profoundly affected the ecology of the places in which they have lived, and Earth's climate more broadly. Virtually all of Earth's environments today have been shaped by human activities, including those that have taken place in our deep past. CHER is committed to asking tough scientific and ethical questions about how human prehistory has been influenced by environmental change; how human have restructured the environments in which they live; how we are influencing our environments today more profoundly than ever before; and how we have distributed the benefits and burdens of human exploitation of the environment. The life ways of living traditional populations also provide valuable insight into how humans have learned to cope with a broad range of environmental and political challenges and how they are negotiating rapid recent changes in their social and physical environments.
CHER News and Events:

September 29th: We are please to announce the call for papers for the 2018 Anthrosophia conference, featuring a keynote address by Prof. Michael Hauskeller!!!

July 20th: We are pleased to announce that our new journal, Anthrosophia: A Journal of Philosophy and Anthropology, is now open for submissions!