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Michael A. Glassow
Professor Emeritus and Research Professor
Department of Anthropolog
University of California
Santa Barbara, CA  93106-3210
cell: 805-705-2842






group photo

Some of my current and former students with me on Santa Cruz Island

I retired in 2009 after 40 years of teaching at UCSB. Although no longer teaching, I’m still active in research and writing, and I’m still supervising some of the graduate students I was at the time of my retirement.

I worked in the American Southwest and in Mesoamerica as well as in California when a graduate student at UCLA, where I obtained my Ph.D.  Once I began teaching at UCSB, however, nearly all of my research has concerned the prehistory the Chumash people, particularly those who lived in the Santa Barbara Channel region.  I have investigated sites (often with my field class students) along the Channel mainland coast, in other parts of Santa Barbara County, and on the northern Channel Islands.  My theoretical interests revolve around the articulation between human population and environment, including the determinants and effects of population growth and decline and the manner in which populations adapted to environmental conditions and adjusted to environmental change.

sb channel map

Most of my publications are a product of my research in the Santa Barbara Channel region and more generally Santa Barbara County.  My doctoral dissertation research in the l960s, however, concerned the prehistory of northeastern New Mexico, and some of my publications of the 1970s and 1980s, and one published in 2011, are a product of that research.  For a list of selected publications and reports reflecting my research over the last 45 years, click here.

Much of my research over the past 20 years has concerned a period of Santa Barbara Channel prehistory between roughly 7,000 and 5,000 years ago.  I have investigated sites on western Santa Cruz Island and on the mainland dating to this period.  However, because of the lack of natural and human disturbance to archaeological deposits on Santa Cruz Island, most of my research has taken place there.  To learn more about my research on Santa Cruz Island, click here.

sci west end

Shoreline along the western portion of the island, looking east


peter excavating

Excavating deposits from a midden stratum with nearly sterile dune sand above and below