University of Hawaii, Ph.D. 1997.
Also faculty in the:
Latest Marine Conservation Projects:
Rural Development and Community-based Resource Management in the Solomon Islands
Pew Fellowship in Marine Conservation, 2005: Integrating Social and Natural Science for Designing and Implementing a Marine Protected Area Network in the Western Solomon Islands
The Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons Marine Resource Management
Palaeoecology in the Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
Dimensions to Marine Resource Utilization in the Solomon Islands: Fostering
Pacific Island Student Participation in Research and Educational Activities
My research and teaching interests lie at the intersection between anthropology, human ecology, and marine science. I follow a research agenda focusing on the human and cultural ecology of insular coastal groups, property rights and common property resources, and marine indigenous ecological knowledge of populations in Melanesia and the Insular Pacific in general. Close fields of specialization include human behavioral ecology, political ecology, sociocultural anthropology, economic anthropology, applied anthropology, and ethnohistory. I am dedicated to active field research concentrating on the ecological adaptations of insular horticulturist-fishers and their transformation of island ecosystems, and the incorporation of approaches in human ecology and integrated coastal zone management. I am also very active in applied projects. Building upon twelve years of research, I am currently establishing and expanding existing permanent community-based Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) under customary sea tenure in the Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons, Western Province, Solomon Islands. The overarching goal is to create a network of Marine Protected Areas in southwestern New Georgia.
I am also involved in ethnohistorical research. Through my participation in the project "Adaptation and Human Diversity: The Prehistory of Human Settlement in Roviana Lagoon, South New Georgia, Solomon Islands" in conjunction with the University of Auckland, New Zealand, I have documented Roviana oral history on regional pre- and post-European contact settlement patterns, exchange systems, and politico-religious organization to explain the development of regional socio-political complexity.
My latest project is entitled Integrating Social and Natural Science for Designing and Implementing a Marine Protected Area Network in the Western Solomon Islands and is funded by Conservation International, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, and the PEW Charitable Trust. This initiative expands the projects entitled The Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons Marine Resource Management Project and the Rural Development and Community-based Resource Management in the Solomon Islands, which were funded by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur and David and Lucile Packard Foundations respectively. These projects combine anthropological research with marine science to study different human-environmental interactions and their linkages at different spatial and temporal scales in the Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons, Solomon Islands. Through these inititatives we have established a network of locally managed marine protected areas under customary sea tenure, while assisting local communities in their development and education needs. This research and applied program offers prospective students in anthropology and marine science ample opportunities to get involved in fieldwork in the region.
Sample of Publications
Aswani, S., and M. Lauer. 2006. Incorporating fishers’ local knowledge and behavior into geographical information systems (GIS) for designing marine protected areas in Oceania. Human Organization 65(1): 80-101.
Aswani, S., 2005. Customary sea tenure in Oceania as a case of rights-based fishery management: Does it work? Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 15: 285-307
Aswani, S., and P. Weiant. 2004a. Scientific evaluation in womens participatory management: monitoring marine invertebrate refugia in the Solomon Islands. Human Organization 63: 301-319.
Aswani, S., and R. Hamilton. 2004b. Integrating indigenous ecological knowledge and customary sea tenure with marine and social science for conservation of bumphead parrotfish (Bolbometopon muricatum) in the Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands. Environmental Conservation 31 (1): 69-83.
Aswani, S. and R. J. Hamilton. 2004c.
The value of many small vs. few large
marine protected areas in the Western Solomons. Traditional Marine Resource
Management and Knowledge Information Bulletin 16: 3-14.
Aswani, S., and P. Sheppard. 2003. The archaeology and ethnohistory of exchange in pre-colonial and colonial Roviana: gift, commodities, and inalienable possessions. Current Anthropology 44: 51-78.
Aswani, S and P. Weiant. 2003. Shellfish Monitoring and Womens Participatory Management in Roviana, Solomon Islands. SPC Women in Fisheries Information Bulletin 12: 3-11
Aswani, S. 2002. Assessing the effects of changing demographic and consumption patterns on sea tenure regimes in the Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands. Ambio 31 (4): 272-284.
Aswani, S. 2000. Women, rural development and community-based resource management in the Roviana Lagoon, Solomon Islands: establishing marine invertebrate refugia. Traditional Marine Resource Management and Knowledge Information Bulletin, South Pacific Commission (SPC). Nouméa, New Caledonia 12: 11-22.
Aswani, S. 2000. Changing identities: The ethnohistory of Roviana predatory headhunting. In Essays on Head-hunting in the Western Solomon Islands, Shankar Aswani, (ed). Journal of the Polynesian Society 109:39-70.
Aswani, S. 1999. Common property models of sea tenure: A case study from Roviana and Vonavona Lagoons, New Georgia, Solomon Islands. Human Ecology 27 (3): 417-453.
Aswani, S. 1998. Patterns of Marine Harvest Effort in SW New Georgia, Solomon Islands: Resource Management or Optimal Foraging? Ocean and Coastal Management 40 (2/3) pp. 207-235.
Aswani, S. and M. Graves 1998. The Tongan Maritime Expansion: A Case in the Evolutionary Ecology of Social Complexity. Asian Perspectives 37 (1): 135-164.
Aswani, S. 1998. The use of optimal foraging theory to assess the fishing strategies of Pacific Island artisanal fishers: A methodological review. Traditional Marine Resource Management and Knowledge Information Bulletin, South Pacific Commission (SPC). Nouméa, New Caledonia 9: 21-26.
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