Gerald F. Bigelow

Visiting Associate Professor of History



Pettengill Hall, Room 102


B.A. Columbia University, Ph.D. Cambridge University

Gerald Bigelow has conducted research in the archeology, ethnohistory and historical ecology of various regions across the North Atlantic. He has participated in archeological projects in the Northeastern US, Greenland, Iceland, the United Kingdom, and France, but his primary study area is the Shetland Islands, Britain’s northernmost archipelago. As director of the NSF-funded Shetland Islands Climate and Settlement Project, Bigelow coordinates a team of archaeologists, geologists, biologists and historians studying the causes and human impacts of extreme environmental changes on Shetland coasts over the past two thousand years.

Bigelow currently teaches the interdisciplinary INDS219 Environmental Archeology, INDS208 Introduction to Medieval Archeology, and FYS324 Archeology and Ethnohistory of the Celtic World courses, which are cross-listed in Anthropology, History, Classical and Medieval Studies and Environmental Studies.

In addition to investigating the interactions of climate change and northern human populations, Bigelow is involved in studies of early fishing economies and the rise of commercial fishing, the role of trade in peasant economies, and the general applications of methods in geoarchaeology, ethnoarcheology and ethnohistory in historical ecology research.

Mail address: Department of History, Pettengill Hall