William L. Rathje

He is the head of the University of Arizona's Garbage Project, a massive program aimed at understanding human behavior by studying landfills across the nation and around the globe. An archeologist and professor of anthropology, Rathje applies scientific methods to look at the patterns between artifacts and behavior-the same thing archaeologists do with ancient cultures. His most current research is on source reduction. Rathje also keeps up with developments in burial studies, examining the treatment of the dead since prehistoric times. In an entertaining, enlightening, and thought-provoking style, he shows how current modes of treating the dead are logical and positive continuations of trends embedded in the past. [+]