Professor Kohler is an archaeologist at Washington State University, Pullman, an external faculty member at the Santa Fe Institute, and a research associate at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. Although he holds a PhD from the University of Florida and trained as a southeastern archaeologist, for a long time he has been working mainly in ancestral Pueblo sites in Colorado and New Mexico. He is especially attracted to the big questions that the unique database of southwestern archaeology makes it plausible to address: What are the long-term demographic patterns, and how do these relate to climate-driven fluctuations in maize productivity? How are violence, population size, and economic well-being intertwined? How do long-term patterns of population movement contribute to the formation of identities?
He is a past editor of American Antiquity and a past chair of the Department of Anthropology, WSU, where he is a Regents’ Professor. In 2011 he was selected to deliver Washington State University’s Distinguished Faculty Address, and in 2013, the Village Ecodynamics Project, which he has been coordinating for over a decade, was selected by the First Shanghai Archaeology Forum as one of the top 10 projects in the world in the category “major archaeological research findings.” It was the only project in North America in that category. He is the co-author or co-editor of seven books, including most recently Emergence and Collapse of Early Villages: Models of Central Mesa Verde Archaeology (University of California Press, Berkeley, 2012).
Dr. Kohler has recently been honored with the Alfred Kidder Award from the American Anthropological Association (AAA).