Collections > UNC Chapel Hill Undergraduate Honors Theses Collection > An Assessment of the Role of Optimal Foraging Theory on Herd Management Decisions among Turkana Pastoralists Using Agent-based Modeling

The array of influences on herd management decisions and the extreme fluctuations in climate has contributed to the development of response diversity among Turkana pastoralists to provide greater environmental resilience (Leslie and McCabe, 2013). Through the use of agent-based modeling, this study will investigate the extent to which herders utilizing a variety of ecological responses use optimal foraging theory when making herd management decisions. Particularly, the agent-based modeling program, NetLogo, will be utilized to understand the impact that herd size, the type of livestock, the separation of livestock, disease, and raiding pressure have on the dynamics of herd population during times of drought and times of normal rains. Ultimately, the conclusions of this study will be utilized to advocate for the use of agent-based modeling in ecological anthropology.