Title: Research Professor
Affiliation: Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences
Location: DRI Reno
Dr. Rhode is a prehistorian, archaeobotanist, and paleoecologist with 25 years experience throughout western North America. His main focus of research concerns prehistoric human adaptations and paleoenvironmental change in arid environments. Towards this end, he has analyzed packrat middens in the eastern Great Basin and western Mojave Desert, examined plant remains from various archaeological sites throughout the Great Basin and American Southwest, and studied phytoliths (mineral bodies from plant cells) extracted from archaeological sites. In addition to his paleoenvironmental research, Dr. Rhode has directed and managed several archaeological projects, including a large cultural resources protection program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as well as in California, Oregon, New Mexico, Washington, and Alaska. Recently, he has also explored early human occupation in China and Jordan.
During his studies of regional land use patterns of prehistoric people in the Great Basin, Dr. Rhode expanded the use of dating techniques such as thermoluminescence and obsidian hydration for developing chronologies of regional land use patterns as reflected in the surface archaeology of the Great Basin. Southwestern experience includes a detailed study of prehistoric and historic study of Zuni agricultural land use and water control in west-central New Mexico. His interest in the history of Native American groups in western North America led to his co-editing a recent volume on the Paiute, Shoshonean, and Ute ("Numic") peoples who inhabited the intermountain west in late prehistoric and historic times and to the publication of an illustrated ethnobotany of southern Nevada.
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