Dr. Pournelle’s interests include landscape archaeology, anthropological archaelogy, complex societies, cultural ecology, historical ecology, archaeology of the Middle East. Interpretation of air photography and satellite imagery toward landscape reconstruction through time. Her research focuses on the environmental dimensions of social and cultural change in wetland environments, especially regarding urban origins and sustainability in deltaic settings. Currently, she is investigating the possibility and efficacy of using constructed wetlands to remediate petroleum production, agricultural, and urban wastewater streams in southern Iraq. Future work will study past and present strategies for biomass energy extraction from natural environments.
Past experience includes arms control, information technology, and training consultancy in Europe and the Middle East, and fieldwork in Malaysia, Italy, southeastern Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, the Republic of Georgia, and Azerbaijan, including research financed by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, the University of California Institute on Global Conflict and Cooperation, the University of California Office of Research, as an American School of Oriental Research Mesopotamian Fellow, and as Visiting Research Fellow at University College London – Qatar.