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Amy Thompson Recieves Graduate Student Success Scholarship

Departmental News

Posted:  Aug 20, 2019 - 02:00pm

Amy Thompson in Belize

Amy Thompson was awarded the Graduate Student Success Scholarship for the Fall 2019 semester from the UNM Office of Graduate Studies and the College of A&S for completion of the PhD.  Her dissertation research focuses on why people choose to live where they live, or settlement location decision-making, within the context of the Classic Period (AD 250-800) Maya in Belize, Central America. She has conducted extensive settlement survey and excavations to compare the processes of urban development at two Classic Period Maya sites, Uxbenka and Ix Kuku’il. Thompson uses geospatial and statistical analyses to evaluate which variables-- including access to good land for farming, the terrain of the landscape, and proximity to family, transportation routes, or water -- influenced settlement location decision-making and how the influence of each variable changed over time. Her work emphasizes the heterogeneity of human behaviors based on differences in social organization and settlement location choices at Uxbenka and Ix Kuku’il. Her dissertation research is supported by the National Science Foundation, Explorer's Club of New York Exploration Fund, and the UNM Roger's Research Award.