Thomas Foster, PhD

Thomas Foster, PhD
Professor of Anthropology
College of Arts & Sciences
Anthropology
918-631-3082 Harwell Hall Room 208

Education

PhD – Pennsylvania State University MA – Pennsylvania State University BA – University of Georgia

Bio

H. Thomas Foster's teaching and research uses models of economic behavior to understand how humans react to and manage environmental and social variability and how those decisions in turn affect resources in the biophysical environment. As an archaeologist, he has been using the time depth of archaeological and historical data to test models about resilience and adaptation among the Native Americans of the southeastern United States and Caribbean in response to colonialism and ecological change. Thomas has published this research in three books and in journals such as Human Ecology, Human Organization, American Antiquity, the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, and the Journal of Anthropological Research. He is currently working on projects in the U.S. Virgin Islands and on an NSF funded project to identify the resilience of the Muscogee Creek people in the face of economic change and anthropogenic effects on their environment. This interdisciplinary project includes collaboration between The University of Tulsa, University of Arizona, Pennsylvania State University, Columbus State, University of West Florida, and the descendant communities. Understanding how human societies adapt to regime change and the long term effects of those changes on ecosystems is an important line of research for modern environmental managers and policy makers. Foster's specialty in anthropogenic and historical ecology has developed into a unique application of anthropology research. He has published on the use of archaeological information for modern environmental management and serves as co-chair of the steering committee for Past Global Changes in the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme (IGBP) which is funded by the NSF in the United States and Switzerland. Foster is working with the IGBP to inform international policy and research on environmental changes.

Research Interests

(1) Archaeology (2) Historical and Behavioral Ecology (3) Anthropogenic Effects on the Environment (4) Quantitative Models of Economic and Evolutionary Behavior (5) Caribbean, Historic Period Muskogee Creek Indians, Mississippian Period Native Americans (6) GIS and Spatial Analysis (7) Public Education and Heritage Preservation.

Publications

Books

  • FosterH., PaciulliL., and GoldsteinD. Viewing the Future in the Past: Historical Ecology Applied to Environmental Problems. University of South Carolina Press, 2016.
  • 2007, Foster, Thomas. Archaeology of the Lower Muskogee Creek Indians, 1715-1836. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa.

  • 2003, Foster, Thomas, editor. The Collected Works of Benjamin Hawkins, 1796-1810. University of Alabama, Press Tuscaloosa

  • FosterH. The Collected Works of Benjamin Hawkins, 1796-1810. University of Alabama Press, Tuscaloosa., 2003.
  • 2015. Clardy, Kelsey and H. Thomas Foster, II. The Muscogee Creek Council House. Report prepared for the Muscogee Creek Nation, Cultural Center and Archives, Oklmulgee, Oklahoma. Department of Anthropology, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Journal Articles

  • MorrisonK., HammerE., PopovaL., MadellaM., WhitehouseN., GallardM.-J., and MembersL.-U. Global-Scale Comparisons of Human Landuse: Developing Shared Terminology for Land-Use Practices for Global Change. Vol. 26, Past Global Changes, 2018, pp. 8-9.
  • HanberryB., BrzuszekR., FosterH., and SchauweckerT. Remembering Open Old Growth Forests of the Central Piedmont Province and the United States. Vol. 26, Ecoscience, 2018, pp. 11-22.
  • Pavao-ZuckermanB., MayfieldT., CopperstoneC., and FosterH. “Horned Cattle and Packhorses”: Zooarchaeological Remains from the Unauthorized (and Unscreened) Spanish Fort Site. Vol. 37, Southeastern Archaeology, 2018, pp. 190-03.
  • WilliamsN., and FosterH. An Analysis of Interaction Between Native Americans and Colonialists in the Southeastern United States. Vol. 21, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, 2017, pp. 513-31.
  • OdewaleA., FosterH., and TorresJ. In Service to a Danish King: Comparing the Material Culture of Royal Enslaved Afro-Caribbeans and Danish Soldiers at the Christainsted National Historic Site. Vol. 6, Journal of African Diaspora Archaeology and Heritage, 2017, pp. 19-54.
  • FosterH. The Identification and Significance of Apalachicola for the Origins of the Creek Indians in the Southeastern United States. Vol. 36, Southeastern Archaeology, 2017, pp. 1-13.
  • 2016, Foster, Thomas, David Goldstein, and Lisa Paciulli. How archaeology and the historical sciences can save the world. In Viewing the Future in the Past: Historical Ecology applied to Environmental Problems. Foster, Thomas, Lisa Paciulli, and David Goldstein, editors. University of South Carolina Press.

  • 2015, Dearing, J.A., B. Acma, S. Bub, F. Chambers, X. Chen, J. Cooper, D. Crook, Xuhui Dong, M. Dotterweich, M.E. Edwards, H.T. Foster, II,M.J. Gaillard, D. Galop, P. Gell, A. Gil, E. Jeffers, R.T. Jones, A. Krishnamurty, P.G. Langdon, C. McLean, L.H. Nunes, M. Umer, Xiangdong Yang, Rong Wang. Social Ecological Systems in the Anthropocene: the important role for integrating social and biophysical records at regional scales. The Anthropocene Review <a href="doi:10.1177/2053019615579128".

  • 2015, Foster Thomas. Variable Biodiversity from Managed Ecosystems in Long Term Chronosequences from the Southeastern United States. In Viewing the Future in the Past: Historical Ecology applied to Environmental Problems. Foster, Thomas, Lisa Paciulli, and David Goldstein, editors. University of South Carolina Press.

  • 2013, Thomas and Matthew Boehm. An analysis of Native American trade from Factory records of the early nineteenth century in Georgia. Southeastern Archaeology 32: 271-283

  • 2012, Foster, Thomas. Archaeological and ethnohistoric evidence of the Yuchi Indians along the Chattahoochee and Flint water sheds in the southeastern United States. In Yuchi Indian Histories before the Removal Era, Jason Jackson, editor. University of Nebraska Press.

  • 2011, Dearing, John, Markus Dotterweich, Thomas Foster. Editorial: Integrative Paleoscience for Sustainable Management. Past Global Changes, 19(2): 43. International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, 2011

  • 2011, Foster, Thomas. Managing biodiversity using long-term regional data in the southeastern United States. Past Global Changes, 19(2): 56-57. International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, 2011.

  • 2010, Foster, Thomas. Risk Management among Native American Horticulturalists of the Southeastern United States (1715-1825). Journal of Anthropological Research 66(1): 69-96

  • 2010, Foster, Thomas. Cultural Continuity and Variable Adaptation of the Historic Period Muskogee of the Southeastern United States. North American Archaeologist. 30(3): 259-290

  • 2010, Foster, H. Thomas, II, Virginia H. Dale and Lisa Olsen. Environmental
    Management and Policy Using Ecological Indicators Derived from Archaeological and Historical Data. In Archaeology of Anthropogenic Environments, edited by R. Dean. Center for Archaeological Investigations, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carbondale, 321-340

  • 2010, Foster, Thomas. Risk Management among Native American Horticulturalists of the Southeastern United States (1715-1825). Journal of Anthropological Research 66(1): 69-96

  • 2010, Foster, Thomas and Arthur Cohen. Sampling of Data Derived from Historical Documents in Anthropological Research. American Antiquity 75(4): 973-977.

  • 2010, Foster, Thomas, Lisa Olsen, Virginia Dale, and Arthur Cohen. Studying the Past for the Future: Managing Modern Biodiversity from Historic and Prehistoric Data. Human Organization 69(2): 149-157.

  • 2009, Foster, Thomas. Seventy Years of Research of Architecture at a Muscogee Creek Town at Fort Benning, Georgia. Early Georgia 37(2): 141-164

  • 2007, Olsen, Lisa M., Dale, Virginia H. and H. Thomas Foster, II. Landscape patterns as
    indicators of ecological change at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. Landscape and Urban Planning 79(2):137-149

  • 2007, Foster, Thomas and Arthur Cohen. Palynological evidence of the effects of the deer skin trade on eighteenth century forests of southeastern North America. American Antiquity 72(1): 35-52

  • 2004, Foster, Thomas, Bryan Black, and Marc Abrams. A witness tree analysis of the effects of Native American Indians on the pre-European settlement forests in east central Alabama. Human Ecology 32(1): 27-47

  • 2004, Foster, Thomas. Evidence of Historic Creek Indian migration from a regional and direct historic analysis of ceramic types. Southeastern Archaeology 23(1): 65-84

  • 2004, Dale, V H., P. Mulholland, L. Olsen, J. Feminella, K. Maloney, D.C. White, A. Peacock, and T. Foster. Selecting a suite of ecological indicators for resource management, Landscape Ecology and Wildlife Habitat Evaluation: Critical Information for Ecological Risk Assessment, Land-Use Management Activities and Biodiversity Enhancement Practices, ASTM STP 1458, L. A. Kapustka, H. Gilbraith, M. Luxon, and G. R. Biddinger, Eds., ASTM International, West Conshohocken, Pa.

  • 2003, Foster, Thomas. Dynamic optimization of horticulture among the Muscogee Creek Indians of the Southeastern United States. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 22(4): 411-424

  • 2002, Black, Bryan, Thomas Foster, and Marc D. Abrams. Combining environmentally dependent and environmentally independent analysis of witness tree data in East- Central Alabama. Canadian Journal of Forestry Research 32 (11): 2060-2075

  • 1997, Hatch, James, Jerald Ledbetter, Adam King, Peter Van Rossum, Thomas Foster,
    and Ervan Garrison. Excavations at the Marshal Site (9OC25). Early Georgia 25 (2): 1-35

  • In preparation, Foster, Thomas. The Battle for the Americas as Revealed Through Maps at the Helmerich Center for American Research. In The Gilcrease Archives: Unlocking the History of the Americas.

Book Chapters

  • 2007, Bonhage Freund, Mary Theresa and Thomas Foster. A Paleoethnobotany of Muskogee Creek Indian Agricultural and Garden Systems in Southeastern North America. In The Archaeology of Crop Fields and Gardens, edited by Jean-Paul Morel, et al. Edipulgia, Bari

Technical Reports

  • 2015. Foster, H. Thomas, II and Nancy Katherine Garner, editors. Apalachicola Ecosystems Project: Report of Investigations 2006-2014. Department of Anthropology, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74104

  • 2015. Oldewale, Alicia, Thomas Foster, and Joshua Torres. Phase I Archaeological Investigations of the Danish West Indies Guinea Company Warehouse, Christiansted NHS: Investigating Risk Mitigation Among Enslaved Africans. Report submitted to the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Christiansted National Historic Site, CHRI-93. Department of Anthropology, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • 2015. Clardy, Kelsey and H. Thomas Foster, II. The Muscogee Creek Council House. Report prepared for the Muscogee Creek Nation, Cultural Center and Archives, Oklmulgee, Oklahoma. Department of Anthropology, The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma.

  • BellC., and FosterH. Archaeological Survey of Sections of the Deep Fork Wildlife Management Area, Creek County, Oklahoma. Department of Anthropology, The University of Tulsa, 2013.
  • 2006, Foster, H. Thomas, II. Excavations at the Muskogee Town of Cussetuh (9CE1). Prepared for The University of Arkansas, Department of Anthropology and the United States Army Corps of Engineers, Engineer Research and Development Center-Construction Engineering Research Laboratory. Northern Kentucky University and BHE Environmental, Inc., Cincinnati, Ohio 45246.

Book Reviews

  • 2004, Foster, Thomas. Book Review, Historic Indian towns in Alabama, 1540-1836,
    Amos Wright, Jr. American Antiquity 69(4): 791-792

  • 2000, Foster, Thomas. Book Review, Indians of the Greater Southeast,
    Bonnie McEwan, ed. Journal of Archaeological Science, 23 (2/4): 23-25

Other

  • 2010, Foster, Thomas. Fort Apalachicola. In Encyclopedia of Alabama. Wayne Flynt, Robert Jakeman, and J. Steven Murray, editors. Alabama Humanities Foundation and Auburn
    University, Auburn

  • 2007, Foster, Thomas. Benjamin Hawkins. In Encyclopedia of Alabama. Wayne Flynt, Robert Jakeman, and J. Steven

  • 2006, Foster, Thomas. Review of Cultural Anthropology, McGraw Hill Higher Education

  • 2005, Foster, Thomas. Review of Thinking Like an Anthropologist. By John Omohundro. McGraw Hill Higher Education

Courses Taught

  • Research and Dissertation
  • Evolution of Human Sexual Behavior
  • Seminar in the Design and Administration Of Archaeological Research

Professional Affiliations

  • International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme – Past Global Changes
  • Society for American Archaeology
  • Southeastern Archaeological Conference (Life)
  • International Association of Caribbean Archaeology
  • American Anthropological Association (Life)
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science

Awards & Honors

  • Honorable Mention
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
  • De Soto Award
  • College of Arts and Sciences Excellence in Scholarship Award, 2009-2010
  • Historic Preservation Award, Historic Columbus Foundation, for the museum exhibit “The Chattahoochee Valley: Colonial Frontier” at the Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia, March 2 – September 6
  • 2014 Oklahoma State Historic Preservation Officer’s Citation of Merit for my Spring 2013 Cultural Resources Management class
  • Historic Preservation Award, Historic Columbus Foundation, for the museum exhibit "The Chattahoochee Valley: Colonial Frontier" at the Columbus Museum, Columbus, Georgia, March 2 – September 6