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Research Centers

Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology

The Scripps Center for Marine Archaeology (SCMA) researches the relationship between the marine environment and human societies. The center focuses on understanding the complexity of the past to put the present into context. SCMA is a joint effort between Scripps Institution of Oceanography (Scripps) and the Department of Anthropology at UC San Diego. The center draws on expertise in various fields, including oceanography, acoustics, sedimentology, geomorphology, climate sciences, environmental sciences, anthropology and archaeology. The goal is to develop a greater understanding of maritime culture in its broadest sense.

Research Areas


Studying the evidence of past human societies, ranging from magnetic traces left in artifacts to built structures buried by earth and sea.

Past Climate Change

Researching how Earth's climate changed in past eras by studying ocean sediment cores, ice cores, and other scientific evidence.

Labs, Projects, Programs and Collaborations

Human Ecology Lab

The Human Ecology Lab brings students and researchers to explore the relationships between people and the environment through time. In particular, the lab focuses on understanding social vulnerability related to climate change.

Featured Researchers and Professors

Jade d’Alpoim Guedes

Associate Professor, Anthropology; Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Jade d’Alpoim Guedes' work combines climate science, archaeobotany, computational modeling and agronomy. She aims to understand how humans in high altitude and marginal environments adapt to climate change.

Thomas E. Levy

Distinguished Professor, Anthropology; Norma Kershaw Chair in the Archaeology of Ancient Israel and Neighboring Lands at UC San Diego

Thomas Levy has emphasized three approaches in his fieldwork in Israel and Greece to explore climate and environmental change in the eastern Mediterranean: shallow marine geophysics, sediment core analyses and underwater excavation.

Isabel Rivera-Collazo

Assistant Professor, Anthropology; Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Isabel Rivera-Collazo teaches about biological, ecological and human adaptations to climate change and directs the Scripps Human Ecology Laboratory. Rivera-Collazo is native to Borikén, Puerto Rico. Her work combines earth sciences, archaeology and marine ecology to understand social vulnerability to climate and environmental change, particularly through food and habitat security in coastal and marine areas.