The deep time perspective that archaeology and related disciplines provide about natural hazards, environmental change, and human adaptation is a valuable supplement to historical records and can help modern societies make decisions affecting social sustainability and human safety. Examples include scientific evidence that virtually all prehistoric farming cultures in Arizona and the Southwest eventually surpassed their thresholds of sustainability, leading to collapse or reorganization of their societies; and archaeological and geological evidence of ancient earthquakes and tsunamis that should have been acknowledged when designing nuclear power plants damaged by the 2011 Japanese tsunami.
Allen “Al” Dart, a Registered Professional Archaeologist, has worked and volunteered in Arizona and New Mexico archaeology since 1975. He is the state cultural resources specialist/archaeologist for the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service in Arizona and the volunteer executive director of Old Pueblo Archaeology Center, a Tucson nonprofit organization that he founded in 1993 to provide educational and scientific programs in Southwestern archaeology, history, and cultures. Al has received the Arizona Governor’s Award in Public Archaeology and the Arizona Archaeological Society’s Professional Archaeologist of the Year Award for his efforts to bring archaeology and history to the public.