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About Jerald Ek

Jerald Ek is an environmental archaeologist with research interests in political organization, urbanism, and human-environmental dynamics in ancient states. His research focuses on political dynamics in city-state cultures, urban ecology, and patterns of adaptive cycling, resilience, and collapse in complex societies. Jerry completed his PhD in archaeology at the State University of New York at Albany, and joined the faculty at Western Washington University in 2014. His geographic specialization is the Classic Maya civilization, serving as director of two research projects.  The Champotón Regional Settlement Survey was a multi-year regional research project that examined political, economic, and social changes associated with the Classic Maya collapse in the Río Champotón drainage in Campeche, Mexico.  Ek has also served as director and coordinator of the Mesoamerican Archaeological Settlement Database project, a GIS-based comparative database of settlement patterns, urban planning, and human ecology from sites across Mesoamerica. He will examine the same issues of human-environmental dynamics and urbanism in an upcoming project in the Calakmul Biosphere, Campeche, Mexico. 


2014 Present Lecturer, Department of Anthropology, Western Washington University Department of Anthropology
20112012 Visiting Lecturer, Skidmore College ‐ Department of Anthropology
20072008 Visiting Professor, Universidad Autónoma de Campeche ‐ Centro de Investigaciones Históricas y Sociales
20062007 Adjunct Instructor, State University of New York at Albany ‐ Department of Anthropology

Curriculum Vitae

Honors and Awards

  • 2009 Dissertation Improvement Grant, National Science Foundation.
  • 2007-2008 Fulbright Research Grant, Institute of International Education.
  • 2005 Research Grant, Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc.


2015 Ph.D., State University of New York at Albany ‐ Department of Anthropology
2000 M.A., University College London ‐ Institute of Archaeology
1999 B.A., Western Washington University ‐ Department of Anthropology

Contact Information

Arntzen Hall, Room 356
Department of Anthropology
Western Washington University
Bellingham, WA 98225
Phone: (518) 316-1429


Articles (4)

Contributions to Books (5)