CONSTRUCTING WATERSCAPES: INTERSECTIONS OF POST-GLACIAL COASTAL GEOMORPHOLOGY & ORAL HISTORIES
Paleoshorelines serve as physical testaments to the complicated glacial history of the Great Lakes region. Through archaeological testing and ethnohistorical research, my master's thesis research demonstrated the importance of relict sea caves as places of refuge and as ritually-charged places for communicating with spirits, called manitous.
To further this line of inquiry, I utilize a combination of post-glacial geomorphology, archaeological evidence, and oral histories to consider the role of water as a medium for constructing social histories and how geologic features are used to engage with these histories.
CAPTURING COLOR: HIDDEN TECHNOLOGIES & GEOGRAPHIES OF PAINT PRODUCTION
The brilliant range of colors seen on painted media represents only one stage in an intricate sequence required to make paint. Capturing color from the natural world and harnessing it into the material culture repertoire represents a skillset with deep roots requiring knowledge of geologic sources, processing, and application techniques.
As part of my developing dissertation research, I employ a combination of analytical techniques (e.g., microscopy, XRF, FTIR, Raman spectroscopy) to reconstruct the diversity of paint recipes seen in paint cakes, chalks, and painted media.
CAVES IN THE U.S. SOUTHWEST
As naturally bounded spaces that transcend the reaches of natural light, caves are often intimately woven into oral histories and religious practices. Caves represent an important, yet oft-neglected, element of cultural landscapes in the U.S. Southwest that are often replicated in architectural space and engaged with through religious practice.
Through a combination of field- and collections-based research, my developing dissertation research seeks to address the unique role of caves in the U.S. Southwest.
Check out my Academia page for some recent conference presentations on the topic.
NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES NOMINATIONS
For my current research associate position in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona, I am involved with the nomination process for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places. Properties in progress for nomination include Trail Corridors of the Western Papaguería, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and the Inscription Rock Archaeological District, El Morro National Monument.