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  • Laura Strachan, Ph.D.

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    College of Sciences and Human Studies

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    Humanities & Social Sciences

Laura Strachan is a Canadian Sociocultural Anthropologist-Environmental Scientist. She currently holds the position of Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities & Social Sciences. She first came to the Middle East in 1999 as a member of an international archaeology team investigating the origins of copper-ore smelting in the Levant. In 2003, she earned a Collaborative Masters Degree in Cultural Anthropology and Environmental Science from the University of Western Ontario, Canada based on her ethnographic research at the Wadi Rum Protected Area in southern Jordan. She earned her PhD from McMaster University, Canada specializing in Bedouin communities, international development, sustainability, and ecosystem management.
Her work focused on the complexities between humans and their natural and built environments looking specifically at environmental protection, traditional/local knowledge and traditional land use.
Prior to teaching at PMU she taught in the Sultanate of Oman, participated in other research projects in Jordan and Oman and consulted on multiple international projects including the successful nomination of the Wadi Rum Protected Area as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Associate of Science

    North Island College, Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada
  • Associate of Arts

    North Island College, Courtenay, British Columbia, Canada
  • Bachelor of Arts

    (Anthropology & Geography): Vancouver Island University (formerly Malaspina University-College) Nanamino, British Columbia, Canada
  • Collaborative MA

    (Cultural Anthropology & Environmental Science): The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
  • PhD Sociocultural Anthropology, Indigenous/Local Knowledge, Ecosystem Management

    McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

International Consultant

Sociocultural Consultant for Google Earth Project
Bedouin of Wadi Rum, Jordan              
Sustainable Community & Environmental Development Fund
Lead Researcher for The Living Bedouin Knowledge Programme
Archaeology & Anthropology Research Project
Co-investigator & Lead Anthropologist for The Tangible and Intangible Cultural Landscape of Wadi Bani Kharous
CHEMONICS, USAID Economic Development, Jordan    2010-2011
International Consultant & Team Member for the Wadi Rum Protected Area’s UNESCO World Heritage Nomination
Executed a Socio-economic Survey as part of the Nomination Dossier


  • Ibrahim, M. I. & Strachan, L. M. (In Press). The tangible and intangible cultural landscape of   Wadi Bani Kharus.  Muscat, Oman: Oman’s Ministry of Heritage and Culture.   
  • Strachan, L. M. (2009). This is the life:  An archive of the historical lifeways of Wadi Rum’s bedouin tribes. Wadi Rum, Jordan-UAE: H. H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed A’al Nahyan Project for Arabian Oryx Reintroduction.

    Note: This book is on permanent display at the Wadi Rum Protected Area’s Visitor Centre, Jordan.

Book Chapters

  • Ibrahim, M. I. & Strachan, L. M. (2018). Walid Yasin Al-Tikriti, W. Y. & Yule, P. A. (Eds.) The historical, social and mechanical aspects of Wadi Bani Kharous’ afaj. Water and Life in Arabia. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: The National Council of Tourism and Antiquities. pp. 151-168.
  • Strachan, Laura M. (2016). Development promises, bedouin involvement and local knowledge. In S.  Fares (Ed.), Des Deserts Et Des Hommes:  Wadi Ramm, Histoire Economique, Religieuse, Sociale Et Environnementale. (pp. 315-358). Paris, France: A. D. R. A. Nancy,Etudes Anciennes 52.

Conferences, Speaker Series &Amp; Guest Speaker

Professional Development Faculty Forum
Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd University
Al-Khobar, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

  • The Unsustainability of Sustainability:  What Happened to Brundtland?                                       2018
  • The Children of the Water Beetle: 19th Century Tribes, Piracy, Slavery & British Imperialism    2018
  • Strategies for Influencing the Influencer:  Moving Towards Global Connectedness                                in the Classroom, Co-presenter Dr. Carment Winkel
  • The Converging of Bedu, Modernity and a Compromised Ecosystem:  The Case of Wadi Rum  2017         in Southern Jordan (2)     
  • Arabian Aflaj:  Environmental Sustainability At Its Finest (2)                                                       2017
  • Rethinking Global Connectedness & Cultural Diversity in the New Trump Era (2)                      2017
  • CQ: Cultural Intelligence                                                                                                                2016

Ancient Technology in Wadi Bani Kharus                                                                                                    

  • Engineering Speaker Series, Sur University College, Sur, Sultanate of Oman  2016                        
  • The Historical, Social and Mechanical Aspects of Wadi Bani Kharous’ Afaj 2015  
  • Water and Life in Arabia Conference, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, Al-Ain, U. A. E.
  • Co-presenter Dr. Moawiyah Ibrahim

  • Human-Environment Relationships
  • Indigenous Communities
  • Bedouin
  • Socio-economic Assessments
  • Local knowledge
  • Traditional Land Use
  • Oral Histories
  • Ecosystem Science
  • Protected Area Management
  • Water Scarcity in Saudi Arabia
  • Piracy and Slavery
  • Cultural Intelligence
  • Archaeology