Dr. Amy Gusick is Associate Curator of Anthropology and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act Officer. She is an archaeologist who studies human-environmental dynamics, development of maritime societies, peopling of the Americas, and maritime cultural landscapes. Dr. Gusick uses both terrestrial and underwater archaeological methods in her research, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National l Geographic Society, the National Park Service, and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, among others. Since joining the museum in 2018, her field research has increasingly focused on maritime cultural landscape studies and development of technologies to increase efficiency in underwater archaeological study. Her collections research at NHM has focused on providing access to descendant populations and collaborative projects that uplift traditional narratives. She recently collaborated with local descendant populations on the virtual exhibit, Fabric of Community: Tapa and Woven Mats from the Pacific Islands.
As an environmental archaeologist, Dr. Gusick's current projects focus on early human coastal dispersals and the effect of environmental stress on human groups along the Pacific Rim. Locally, this research occurs on and around the Channel Islands of California to understand the impact of postglacial sea level rise on landscape and environmental development and how this affected terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene human dispersals to the islands. She also considers development of these maritime societies through time, focusing on social and environmental shift throughout the Holocene and development of the numerous unique maritime societies on the eastern Pacific Rim. Dr. Gusick is also part of a team that studies human dispersals to the Pacific islands now known as the Federated States of Micronesia,.