Richard W. Stoffle

Professor of Anthropology
Research Anthropologist, Bureau of Applied Research in Anthropology

Emil W. Haury Building, Room 319A

About Richard W. Stoffle

Dr. Stoffle is the head of an applied cultural anthropology research team that conducts various kinds of funded studies. Recent studies (2013-2022) include (1) the Kaibab Paiute Aboriginal Water Uses, (2) EFMO, the Traditional Cultural Property potential of Effigy Mounds National Monument, Iowa, (3) SLBE, Odawa traditional plants at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lake Shore, Michigan, (4) ARCH, Ethnographic Overview and Assessment Arches National Park, Utah, (5) CANY, Ethnographic Overview and Assessment Canyonlands National Park, Utah, (6) HOVE, Ethnographic Overview and Assessment Hovenweap National Park, Utah, (NABR) Ethnographic Overview for Natural Bridges National Monument, and (7) BUFF, Ethnobotany and TEK at Buffalo National River National Park, Arkansas with the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma.

In addition, the team participated in studies of Marine Protected Areas in The Bahamas, West Indies, on fishing practices on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, and mariculture in the Dominican Republic and Antigua, West Indies.

Undergraduates, graduates, and post-graduates participate in the research. In general, potential team members spend a semester with the team learning basics and determining interest and skill fit with the studies being conducted. After this mutual learning period students are incorporated into the team based on their level of education, skills, and interests in one or more of the studies. Students are encouraged to find their own research topic with a broader set of research activities. The team often presents papers at professional meetings together and jointly publish when appropriate.

Selected Publications

2021-2022    Talking with a Volcano: Native American Perspectives on the Eruption of Sunset Crater, Arizona. Land Special Issue on Geo-parks. Land Vol 11. (Authors: Stoffle, R. and Van Vlack, K.).

2021-2022    Living Stone Bridges: Epistemological Divides in Heritage Environmental Communication. In Anthropological Perspectives on Environmental Communication. Sjölander-Lindqvist, A., Murin, I., Dove, M., Eds. London, UK: Pelgrave MacMillan. (Author: Stoffle, R.) eBook ISBN 978-3-030-78040-1
Print ISBN 978-3-030-78039-5.
2021    Incised Stones and Southern Paiute Cultural Continuity. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 41(1): 19-36. (Authors: Stoffle, R., Van Vlack, K., O’Meara, S., K. Arnold, R., and Cornelius, B.).

2021    As the Sea Rises: Climate Change and Heritage Resilience in the Bahamas. Solicited and prepared for UN 50 Years World Heritage Convention: Shared Responsibility, Conflict & Reconciliation, UNESCO Climate Change Think Tank. Presented March 2021. (Authors: Stoffle, R., Van Vlack, K., and O’Meara, N.)

2020    Sustainable Heritage Tourism: Native American Preservation Recommendations at Arches, Canyonlands, and Hovenweep National Parks. Sustainability 2020 12, 9846.  doi:10.3390/su12239846. (Authors: Stoffle, R., Seowtewa, O., Kays, C., and Van Vlack, K.)

2020    Sustainable Use of the Littoral by Traditional People of Barbados and Bahamas. Sustainability 2020, 12, 4764. doi:10.3390/su12114764. (Authors: Stoffle, B., Stoffle, and Van Vlack, K.)

2020    New Voices in Old Lands: Native American Museum Consultation in Arches, Canyonlands, and Hovenweep National Parks. The Applied Anthropologist 40(1): 24-35. (Authors: Stoffle, R. K. Van Vlack, C. Sittler, H. Lim. C. Johnson, C. Kays, G. Penry, M. Albertie, and N. Pleshet)

2020    Living Universe or GeoFacts: Stone Arches in Utah National Parks – epistemological divides in heritage environmental communication. International Journal of Intangible Heritage Vol 15: 15-27. (Authors: R. Stoffle, C. Sittler, K. Van Vlack, E. Pickering, and H. Lim).

2019    Warri Warriors: From West Africa to Barbados, Men’s Social Space from Slavery to Post-Colonial Times. Journal of the Barbados Museum and Historical Society 65: Pp. 44-68. (Authors: Stoffle, R., M. Baro, A. Cummins)

2018    Grandfather Tree: Ute Horror at the Killing of A Heritage Tree.  International Journal of Intangible Heritage Vol. 13: 36-49. (Authors: Stoffle, R., Naranjo, A., Sittler, C., K. Slivk.)
2017    Cant of Reconquest: Bringing American Indian Voices Into U.S. Southwest Heritage Management.  In Going Beyond: Perceptions of Sustainability in Heritage Studies. Berlin: Walter De Gruyter. Pp. 231 – 246.  (Authors: Stoffle, R., K. Van Vlack, R. Arnold, and G. Bulletts-Benson).

2017    Environmental Multiplicity in the Exumas, Bahamas: A Social and Natural Resilience Model. The Applied Anthropologist 37(2): 15- 21. (Authors: R. Stoffle, K. Van Vlack, and N. Omera)

2016    The Name of the Game: Oware as Men's Social Space from Caribbean Slavery to Post-Colonial Times. International Journal of Intangible Heritage Vol 11 142-156. (R.Stoffle and M. Baro)

2016    Talking With Nature: Southern Paiute Epistemology and the Double Hermeneutic with a Living Planet. Collaborative Heritage Management. Gemma Tully and Mal Ridges (eds.) Piscataway, NJ: Gorgias Press. (R. Stoffle, R. Arnold and A. Bulletts)

2015    Ethnology of Volcanoes: Quali-Signs and the Cultural Centrality of Self-voiced Places. In Engineering Mountain Landscapes: An Anthropology of Social Investment edited by L. Scheiber and N. Zedeno. University of Utah Press.  (Authors Stoffle, R., et al.)

2014    Women’s Power and Community Resilience Rotating Savings and Credit Associations in Barbados and The Bahamas. Caribbean Studies 42(1): 45-69. (Authors: Stoffle, B., R. Stoffle, J. Minnis, K. Van Vlack)

2013    Contested Time Horizons. In Sustainability Assessment Pluralism, Practice and Progress. Alan Bond, Angus Morrison-Saunders and Richard Howitt (eds). Pp 51-67. London: Routledge. (R. Stoffle, B Stoffle, and A. Sjölander-Lindqvist)

2011    Yucca Mountain. In Encyclopedia of American Environmental History, Volume I, Edited by Kathleen A. Brosnan.  Pp. 1423-1424. New York, NY: Facts on File. (by R. Stoffle, R. Arnold, and K. Van Vlack)

2010    Two-MPA Model for Siting a Marine Protected Area: Bahamas Case. Coastal Management  38: 501-517. (by R. Stoffle, J. Minnis, A. Murphy, K. Van Vlack, N. O'Meara, T. Smith, and T. McDonald).

2009    Asu and Meeting Turn: The Resilience of Rotating Saving and Credit in the Bahamas and Barbados. Ethnology 48(1): 71-84. (by B. Stoffle, T. Purcell, R. Stoffle, K. Van Vlack, K. Arnet, and J. Minnis).

2009    Nuvagantu, ‘where snow sits’: Origin Mountains of the Southern Paiutes. In Landscapes of Origin, Edited by Jessica Christie. Pp. 32-44. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of  Alabama Press. (by R. Stoffle, R. Arnold, K. Van Vlack, L. Eddy, and B. Cornelius).

2008    Timescapes in Conflict: Cumulative Impacts on a Solar Calendar. Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 26(3): 209-218. (R. Stoffle, G. Rogers, F. Grayman, G. Bulletts-Benson, K. Van Vlack and J. Medwied-Savage)

2008    Resilience at Risk, Epistemological and Social Construction Barriers to Risk Communication. Journal of Risk Research 11(1&2): 55 – 68 (by R. Stoffle and J. Minnis).

2007    Cultural Heritage and Resources. In The Heritage Reader G. Fairclough, R. Harrison, J. Jameson, J. Schofield (eds). Pp. 363-372. London: Routledge.

2007    The Mowa Choctaw. In the New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Volume 6: Ethnicity. Edited by Celeste Ray. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

2007    Marine protected areas and the coral reefs of the traditional settlement in the Exumas, Bahamas. Coral Reefs 26 (4): 1023-1032. (by R. Stoffle and J. Minnis).

2007    At the Sea’s Edge: Elders and Children in the Littorals of Barbados and the Bahamas. Human Ecology 35 (5): 547-558. (Brent Stoffle first author, R. Stoffle second author).

2006    Fishing, Trophic Cascades, and the Process of Grazing on Coral Reefs.  Science Vol 311: 98-101. (Peter J. Mumby, Craig P. Dahlgren, Alastair R. Harborne, Carrie V. Kappel, Fiorenza Micheli, Daniel R. Brumbaugh, Katherine E. Holmes, Judith M. Mendes, Kenneth Broad, James N. Sanchirico, Kevin Buch, Steve Box, Richard Stoffle, and Andrew B. Gil).

2005    Ghost Dance Movement. In American Indian Religious Traditions An Encyclopedia (Volume 1, Pp. 337-344). Suzanne Crawford and Dennis F. Kelley editors. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Books. (A. Carroll as first author)

2005    Puhagants.  In American Indian Religious Traditions An Encyclopedia (Volume 2 Pp. 779-782). Suzanne Crawford and Dennis F. Kelley editors. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Books. (A. Carroll as first author).

2005    Religious Leadership, Great Basin. In American Indian Religious Traditions An Encyclopedia (Volume 3, Pp. 858-863). Suzanne Crawford and Dennis F. Kelley editors, Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO Books. (With  A. Carroll)

2004    Shifting Risks: Hoover Dam Impacts on American Indian Sacred Landscapes In Facility Siting: Risk, Power and Identity in Land Use Planning. Asa Boholm , Ragnar E. Löfstedt (eds.) Pp.127-144.  Earthscan Publications Ltd. (with  M. Nieves Zedeño, Amy Eisenberg, Rebecca Toupal and Alex Carroll).

2004    Landscapes of the Ghost Dance: Cartography of Numic Ritual.  Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. 11(2): 127 – 156. (With A. Carroll first author, N. Zedeno second author)

2003    Modeling Marine Protected Areas. Science 301: 47-48 by James N. Sanchirico, Richard Stoffle, Kenny Broad, and Liana Talaue-McManus


Courses Taught

Anthro  203  Caribbean Transformations

Anthro 307  Ecological Anthropology

Anthro  421/521 Ethnology of North America

SIRLS  500 Alternative Ways of Knowing

Anthro 596b Caribbean Special Topics

Areas of Study

Latin America - Mexico

Caribbean - Dominican Republic, Antigua, Barbados, and the Bahamas

North America - rural North American cultures, American Indian cultures


One example of a current project is presented below. It reflect the range of our current interests.

The National Park Service (NPS) has begun a new resource management project at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore (National Lakeshore) that is focusing on documenting ethnobotany, traditional ecological knowledge, and the impacts of climate change and plant collecting at the park. This project has two main areas of interest, both of which incorporate ethnobotanical and traditional ecological knowledge information about the cultural significance of plant species that grow at SLBE and their contemporary uses by Native Americans. The first topic of interest is to determine the potential impact of climate change on culturally significant plants and how any impacts may affect the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa Indians, and Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. If there is an impact to traditional plants linked to climate change, the NPS is interested in learning what, if anything, the agency may be able to do in managing these species in the park. The second focus is to determine if any impacts may occur if the federal regulations prohibiting the collections of plants are changed to allow members of American Indian tribes to collect certain food, medicinal, or ceremonial plants. Regulations changing the restrictions against the collection of plants in NPS units by Native Americans not covered by treaty rights have been discussed in the past,  but are not currently proposed. This project will help establish baseline information on potential impacts of plant collections, both positive and negative, should such regulatory changes occur. The traditional ecological knowledge of tribal members will be important and necessary for both the documentation and evaluation of any positive or negative impacts from either climate change or changes in the regulations allowing for plant collecting beyond that reserved by treaty. This work will be conducted during the next two years to allow for different seasons and growing cycles of the plants.


Research Interests

Ethnobotany of American Indians and people of The Bahamas;

Use of satellite imagery in marine research;

Social Impact Assessment;

Sustainability Assessment;

Native Americans and their connections with traditional lands;

Caribbean people and culture change;

Traditional fishers and their communities;

Climate change in North American and the Caribbean