Richard Allan Gould Professor Emeritus of Anthropology

Since completing his Ph.D. in Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965, Dr. Gould studied human cultural and behavioral adaptations to stress, risk, and uncertainty. Initially these studies looked at living societies – specifically, in NW California, in Australia's Western Desert, and in subarctic Finland – and related the findings to archaeological remains. This interest later extended to the study of shipwrecks and losses at sea, with underwater fieldwork in Bermuda and in the Dry Tortugas, FL. He was Assistant Curator of North American Archaeology at the American Museum of Natural History, NY, (1965-71) and Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu (1971-81). He came to Brown University as Professor of Anthropology in 1981. After the 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York, he led trial forensic recoveries at the WTC and full recoveries at "The Station" Nightclub Fire scene in West Warwick, RI, in 2003. Most recently, he assisted with victim identifications and recoveries as a forensic anthropologist with the federal Disaster Mortuary Operations Recovery Team (DMORT) in Gulfport, MS, and in New Orleans/St. Bernard Parish, LA, immediately following hurricane Katrina. Dr. Gould has published 12 books and monographs as well as 44 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 75 other articles (in Natural History, The Ecologist, Rhode Island History, Pacific Discovery, Masterkey, Archaeology, SAA Archaeological Record, The Encyclopedia of Underwater & Marine Archaeology, and the Oxford Companion to Archaeology), and 70 reviews and review articles. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and is a past-Chair of Section H (Anthropology) of the AAAS. He was also a Fellow of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) and past-Chair of the AAA Committee on Ethics. He currently serves as a forensic anthropologist with DMORT and founded Forensic Archaeology Recovery (FAR), a volunteer team based in Rhode Island.

Brown Affiliations

Research Areas

research overview

Forensic archaeology, ethnoarchaeology, maritime archaeology; Australia and Pacific.

research statement

Ethnoarchaeology of "The Station" memorial site (scene of night club fire) in West Warwick, R.I.

This is a longitudinal study of the changing relationship between materials placed at the memorial site and the behavior and attitudes of the families and others affected by the disaster. It monitors this type of expressive behavior from its beginnings shortly after the fire to the present, with special emphasis on recording the physical associations at the site. It tests hypotheses about post-disaster emotional responses, social bonding between families, events in the wider community (such as changes to the State Fire Code), criminal and civil legal issues (some cases are still being settled), and even such proximate factors as weather.

funded research

1964: NSF Graduate Fellowship ($8,000); 1966: SSRC Research Grant ($12,000); 1969: Voss Fund Grant, AMNH, ($35,000); 1973: NSF Research Grant BNS73-09088-AO2 ($55,000); NEA exhibition grant for CA Academy of Sciences ($220,000); 1981: NSF Research Grant BNS80-23300 ($96,000); 1985-95: Earthwatch research grants for Bermuda (1996 audit showed total of $1.25 million in cash, matching, and in-kind support); 2000: Earthwatch research grant for maritime archaeology in Bermuda ($68,000)