Peter Nelson to lead Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues

December 20, 2023
Peter Nelson standing by a tree

Peter Nelson. Photo by Brittany Hosea-Small.

The Joseph A. Myers Center for Research on Native American Issues announced this week that Peter Nelson, an assistant professor in the Departments of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management and Ethnic Studies, will succeed Sociology professor Martín Sánchez-Jankowski as the center’s chair.

Nelson (Coast Miwok and tribal citizen of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria) works at the intersection of anthropological archaeology, Indigenous environmental studies, and Native American Studies on issues of cultural heritage preservation, settler colonialism, climate change, and Indigenous landscape management. He engages Indigenous archaeology and Community-Based Participatory Research methodologies to achieve community partner goals and to document, learn from, and manage tribal cultural and ecological landscapes. Nelson works in collaboration with tribal nations and Indigenous peoples in California and abroad. His ongoing research and stewardship activities with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria at Tolay Lake Regional Park assist his Tribe's co-management of the park with the Sonoma County Regional Parks Department.

Nelson is a former Myers Center Graduate Fellow and has been deeply involved with the Center since his days as a graduate student in Anthropology at UC Berkeley. Sánchez-Jankowski (Yaqui) served the Center as chair for 13 years.