Patrick Nason

I am an environmental anthropologist and Ph.D. Candidate at Columbia University in the City of New York.  My research is broadly concerned with the study of social relations in deep spaces: areas where human cultures and politics exist but human bodies do not.

patricknason2016Through annual ethnographic fieldwork in Papua New Guinea, I ask how the deep sea is imagined, explored, and claimed by indigenous communities, multinational corporations, and scientists.

My purpose in this work is to contribute to locally-generated and sustainable strategies for the conservation of biocultural diversity and the preservation of indigenous sovereignty.  To this end, my local collaborators and I are developing a new method of sensing ecological change in the deep sea through a closer understanding of cultural expressions.  Among the most remarkable of these expressions are the Malagan mortuary complex of New Ireland and the daring practice of sharkcalling on the island’s western shore.

This and other projects have been funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Columbia University’s Department of Anthropology and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the legendary Explorer’s Club (FN 2015).

This website is a source of news, essays, and various other artworks related to anthropology, ships, and the sea.


Educational Background–>

Recent News and Publications–>

Papua New Guinea–>

Deep Seabed Mining–>

soundslikenature (Conservation Audio)–>

Past and Present Collaborations–>