PEOPLE 3000: Understanding long-term human-environment feedback loops through the integration of archaeology, paleoclimate and ecological models

01.01 - 31.01.2021  
Arica, Chile
Contact person:
Eugenia Gayo, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The PalEOclimate and the PeopLing of the Earth (PEOPLE 3000) working group will hold the workshop "Understanding long-term human-environment feedback loops through the integration of archaeology, paleoclimate and ecological models" in Arica, Chile.

*Update from the organizers, August 2020*

This meeting was originally planned for May 2020 and rescheduled to 31 August to 5 September 2020.

The COVID-19 situation in Chile is still critical, so organizers have postponed the workshop until either January or March 2021.

Final dates will be advised as soon as possible.

Information below was for the August dates. Updates will be available asap


Saucache (UTA Campus), Arica


This workshop, for approximately 20 to 30 participants, is for PEOPLE 3000 members, but it will also be opened for other researchers who are interested to participate and collaborate with data and case studies that answer the main question of this workshop.


The PEOPLE 3000 working group (WG) focuses on integrating archaeological and paleoecological data into a mathematical framework for understanding how co-evolving human societies and ecosystems successfully cope with the interrelated forces of population growth, increasing social complexity and climate change, and why some societies subsequently collapse and/or reorganize.

This workshop builds from our three previous PAGES co-funded workshops, "The Coevolution of Climate, Population, and Food Systems in North and South America" (November 2016), "Social Complexity and Climate Change, and Why Societies Fail to Cope with these Interrelated Forces and Collapse/Reorganize" (May 2018), and "Human Paleo-biogeography and the Synchrony of Social-Ecological Systems on Earth" (May 2019).

Our fourth (and final before WG wrap-up) workshop will integrate paleoecological datasets with global radiocarbon datasets under a common mathematical ecological theory and develop synergies with PAGES' LandCover6k WG.

We have now amassed a global database of 130,000 radiocarbon ages, and our workshop will integrate these data with paleoenvironmental datasets produced/refined by the PEOPLE 3000 project.

By integrating these datasets, we will ask: Does human population size and/or rates of change better correlate with climate driven changes in ecosystem structure, diversity or functionality? This question grounds our WG goal to focus beyond searching for simple correlations between human population change and climate change towards explanations based on climate-ecosystem-population feedback processes.

Such a perspective is key for comparing long-term growth rates for past populations from North and South America, Northern Africa, East Asia, and Europe and relate such trends with anthropogenic land-use changes.

This workshop builds upon recent articles from the PEOPLE 3000 WG such as "Development and testing of scenarios for implementing Holocene LULC in Earth System Model Experiments" (Harrison et al. 2019), "Geohistorical records of the Anthropocene in Chile" (Gayo et al. 2019), "Long-term records partly support the tents of climate-smart agriculture" (Freeman et al. in prep) and "The Optimal Species Richness Environments for Human Populations" (Freeman et al. accepted pending minor revisions).

All of these outputs highlight how our working group is producing deliverables that bridge archaeological and paleoenvironmental data to develop an interdisciplinary perspective – theoretical and methodological – on the long-term feedback loops generated by the interactions across social and natural systems.

Confirmed participants

- Molly Cannon (Utah State University, USA)
- Jose Capriles (ECR, Penn State University, USA)
- Judson Finley (Utah State University, USA)
- Jacob Freeman (ECR, Utah State University, USA)
- Eugenia Gayo (ECR, Center of Applied Ecology & Sustainability & Center for Climate and Resilience Research, Chile)
- Adolfo Gil (Museo Historia Natural de San Rafael, Argentina)
- Claudio Latorre (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
- Mauricio Lima (Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile)
- Erick Robinson (Utah State University, USA)
- Calogero Santoro (Universidad de Tarapaca, Chile)
- Jack Miranda (ECR, Utah State University, USA)
- Darcy Bird (ECR, Washington State University, USA)

Financial support

PAGES has provided some funding for the attendance of early-career researchers and researchers from developing countries. Please state in your registration why you require funding support.

Abstract submission

Send abstracts to Eugenia Gayo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


To apply, contact Eugenia Gayo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


This workshop will focus on integrating data and approaches developed in the synergy with the LandCover6k working group of PAGES as well as with different ECRs who have recently joined the PEOPLE 3000 project. We will be able to contextualize our fresh methodological and theoretical frameworks at different spatial scales (from supra-regional to global scale). Given that this is the last year of our WG before synthesis, the workshop will provide the necessary opportunities to channel efforts into summary products as well as provide new opportunities for continuing our collaborative efforts.

Planned products

We expect to lay the groundwork for the following products:

- To develop a fully usable global archaeological radiocarbon database
- To generate a mathematical interphase using theoretical ecology models that integrate the global archaeological radiocarbon dataset with paleoenviormental data (climate, land-use, biodiversity).
- Production of a paper on "Trends in global human population growth and land-use during the Holocene".

Outreach event

We plan a two-hour discussion panel open to the general public. Four discussants will participate, including governmental, ONG, academic (from PEOPLE 3000) and indigenous actors. This activity will be focused on the discussion about how "Traditional Ecological Knowledges" (TEKs) have been successful by developing strategies to cope with climate variability and to generate sustainable management of regional ecosystems. More information about the event will be provided as soon as possible.

Data stewardship

PEOPLE 3000 encourages that all data and modeling approaches (e.g. R or Python scripts) derived from the project must be accessible for the scientific community after the publication of a given deliverable. We plan to make all data and modeling approaches available on the PEOPLE 3000 GitHub ( and Zenodo accounts.

Further information

Contact workshop organizer Eugenia Gayo, CAPES-UC: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.