Center for Human-Environmental Research (CHER): An Introduction


The history and identity of the human species is the product of our interactions with our environment; economically, socially, artistically, and even spiritually. Today, many aspects of our lives are fundamentally tied, and threatened by, changing environments and impacts of human activities on earth. Based in Southeast Louisiana, CHER is interdisciplinary research institute dedicated to studying the immense diversity of human responses to the environments in which they have lived. With Research Associates spanning the fields of anthropology, archaeology, sociology, biology, economics, philosophy, political science, public policy, green development, and fine arts, our organization is aimed at giving scholars a supportive space in which to develop innovative approaches for addressing social problems stemming from our planet's changing environment. CHER is particularly focused on issues of coastal land loss in Southeast Louisiana, with research and outreach activities focused on community resilience, ecological sustainability, environmental justice, and the documentation of threatened cultural heritage.


What Makes CHER Different?


At CHER, we know that it is very easy to become weary of environmental nonprofit groups, many of which are abbreviated with catchy acronyms (like ours). Against this backdrop, however, there are a few things that set CHER apart: 

First, we focus on people, and the interactions between people and their environments. Our research is aimed at understanding how human-environmental interactions permeate all aspects of human life, even if it is not always obvious. In this respect, we are especially concerned with the impacts of growing environmental problems on human communities. 

Second, we seek to strengthen coastal communities not simply by fixing environmental problems but instead by holistically augmenting social and economic systems, as well as the environmental contexts in which human activities occur. In this respect, we seek to address environmental problems by strengthening human communities.

Third, we seek to use cutting-edge science to find most efficient, practical, and innovative measures that can be taken to strengthen human communities, human-environmental interactions, and the environmental contexts in which we live. 

It is our holistic approach and our focus on the human dimension of environmental problems that set us apart from other environmental nonprofit organizations.
CHER News and Events:

November 13th: CHER is proud to launch its "Simulating Forager Mobility" project, an agent-based simulation modeling program using the Netlogo software platform. Click here to see our models and to contribute to the ongoing beta testing!

April 6th, 6pm: Grant McCall will be giving a talk entitled, "Coastal Hunter-Gatherers: What We Know, What We Don't, and What Louisiana Archaeology Can Tell Us," at the Louisiana Archaeological Society Delta Chapter monthly meeting at the Zony Mash Beer Project, 3940 Thalia St., New Orleans, LA 70125.