The University at Buffalo's Social Systems Geospatial Information Science Laboratory is a research group supervised under the direction of Professor Ezra Zubrow. Housed in the Department of Anthropology, the group specializes in GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and spatial statistics to examine prehistoric, historic and modern patterns of cultural landscape transformation. This approach recognizes the spatial components of human behavior through the design and interpolation of GIS models. Projects and participants traverse traditional interdisciplinary boundaries to combine disparate archaeological, geologic, paleoenvironmental and climatic data sets to answer questions about how we as humans negotiate our world over time.
The lab was established in 1978 as a response to the growing recognition of the need for integrative research methods across the disciplines at the University at Buffalo. The range of archaeological, anthropological, ecological, and geographical problems addressed in our research reflect the diversity of backgrounds represented in our laboratory. That includes issues pertaining to human rights, prehistoric social organization, cognition, the effects of colonization on indigenous populations, archaeometry, and environmental problems.