Climate, Water, and Archaeology in Peru

Pacific Ocean Peru

In February 2019, PhD candidate Jacob Warner attended an interdisciplinary early career workshop in Trujillo, Peru. The four-day event brought together more than 30 participants from Peru, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries to discuss water issues in the Andes. Topics ranged from paleoclimate and archaeological perspectives on water and climate to modern-day water management policy, risk, and climate change. Participants placed a particular emphasis on how to integrate different types of knowledge with the goal of improving use and access to water in one of the most arid landscapes in the world.

The primary goal of the workshop was to develop collaborative networks between researchers based in the UK and Peru under the auspices of the Newton-Paulet Fund, a UK-based science and innovation development program. In addition to presenting their own research, participants engaged in open discussions, breakout sessions, field trips, and collaborative meetings. Senior researchers from the UK attended as mentors, providing a unique opportunity for early career participants to broaden their networks and career opportunities. These collaborative processes developed into a number of new research and outreach objectives, including a letter to the Peruvian government summarizing the workshop’s goals and results. 

Along with making new connections and expanding his collaborative network, Jacob was also able to conduct field research related to his dissertation while in Peru. He collected water and shell samples for isotopic analysis, and visited the local research laboratory of the Instituto del Mar del Peru (IMARPE) in Huanchaco. He is in the process of solidifying several new research partnerships with both IMARPE and other Peru-based researchers interested in oceanographic variability in the past and present. Jacob’s research in Peru is currently benefiting from a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change program awarded to Drs. Kristine DeLong and David Chicoine. 


Trujillo Workshop Group Photo.
Jacob Warner (far right) alongside other participants in the Trujillo workshop