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Graduate Student

Advisor: Dr. C. Margaret Scarry
Alumni Building 107

About Sierra

Sierra Roark is a doctoral candidate in the Department of Anthropology at UNC-Chapel Hill, where she studies human-plant entanglements. Roark is a historical archaeologist and archaeobotanist with a background in Mid-Atlantic and Southeastern archaeology. Her dissertation "Green Gold: Plant Use, Identity, and Power in the Colonial Chesapeake, 1600-1800" examines archaeobotanical and historical evidence of plant use among the diverse populations living in the Tidewater region of Virginia and Maryland in the 17th- and 18th-centuries. Using a framework of well-being to consider manifestations of identity and power, Roark's research explores the exchange of plants and knowledge, foodways, medicinal strategies, garden history, and the emergence of colonial botany.

Research Interests

Environmental humanities, contact and exchange, human-plant entanglement, environmental and folk knowledge, identity, power, archaeobotany, historical archaeology, ethnohistory, colonialism, American South and Mid-Atlantic, American Indian studies, foodways, medicine, well-being and resilience, African diaspora, history of science, public outreach


MA, University of North Carolina, 2020; BA, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2017

Previous Courses

ANTH 101 - Introduction to Anthropology
ANTH 145 - Prehistory of the Americas
ANTH 148 - Human Origins
ANTH 151 - Food and Culture
ANTH 231 - The Archaeology of Andean South America
ANTH 413 - Laboratory Methods: Archaeobotany
ANTH 430/FOLK 430 - Southern Cultures

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