Applications of Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis for Social Science Research

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Stable Isotope Ratio Analysis (SIRA) is the measurement of variation in different isotopes of same elements in a material. This technique is well-established in the natural sciences and has been long part of the methodological arsenal in fields such as geology and biology. More recently this technique has begun to be utilized in the social sciences, moving from initial applications in anthropology to potential uses in geography, public health, forensic science, and others. This presentation will discuss the techniques behind SIRA, examples of current applications in the natural and social sciences, and potential avenues of future research.

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Daniel Ervin is a PhD Candidate in the Geography Department at the University of California Santa Barbara. He received a B.A. in psychology from George Washington University after which he worked in the non-profit and public health sector for a number of years before returning to school to earn his M.A. in Geography from the University of Wyoming. He is currently a graduate associate of the Broom Center for Demography.