Thursday, April 21, 2016

Funny and Beautiful*: Hope Jahrens's Blog

I don't remember reviewing any blogs in this space. It hardly seems like the best use of my time or this space.

But, I was paging (i.e., clicking) through the journal Nature this morning before my 8 o'clock class, and I saw a review of a new book entitled Lab Girl by Hope Jahrens.** The review was enticing, so I Googled the name and her blog popped up. The blog is fabulous, as funny and startling as it is strikingly and beautifully written. Some of the comics are hysterical. There is also some excellent advice. I thought the post "How to Turn A 'Good' Proposal Into An 'Excellent' Proposal in Eight Admittedly Arduous Steps" offered some of the best advice I've read on grant writing. And it was funny to boot.

 The blog is worth a look. So, pause Ph.D. Movie 2 and check it out.

*The writing, which is also funny. 
**Blog is not monetized. I don't get anything if you click through and buy the book.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Photos of the Rubén Darío site

These are photos of the Rubén Darío site in the Department of Chinandega, Nicaragua. Back in July of last year I posted photos of some of the ceramics from the site. It's an unusual site, located on the edge of the large Estero Real estuary, at the interface between the Tertiary uplands and the alluvial lowlands of the Nicaraguan Depression or Graben.

(Actually, I'm posting these for a friend because they are too large to e-mail.)

High density of pottery on the surface of the lowest terrace. Some sherds are large.

High density of pottery on the surface of the lowest terrace.

Looking upstream (south) along the channel of the Estero Apupú.

Looking upstream (south) along the channel of the Estero Apupú. Note the low energy of the stream.

Looking downstream (approximately north) along the Estero Apupú. The mangroves start within a couple of hundred meters (or less)

Creating a little bridge over the stream with driftwood.

On the west bank of the Estero Apupú. Note the soft, fine-grained sediments into which I am sinking. Pure muck. Cannot be washed out of clothing.

Monday, April 11, 2016

SAA Conference in Orlando

Well, the SAAs are over and, despite being held at that overpriced and rather creepy Potemkin Village near Orlando, the Annual Meeting was productive and interesting. Florida Atlantic University was well-represented by students and alumni.

The symposiumm I organized with Geoff McCafferty, Cerámica Sin Fronteras, went well. We had a prime time slot, Friday afternoon; interesting, original, and significant papers; and a good audience. Rosemary Joyce saved the entire symposium with her adapter for the projector's serial cable. We had participants from Canada, the U.S., France, and Honduras. My students Kelsey Willis and Ashley Gravlin Beman gave excellent presentations, for which I can take little credit because I merely offered a little coaching. Even though I'm directing their research, I learned (i.e., acquired new information) from their presentations. I want to convey my sincerest thanks to all who participated. I regret that more our of Central American colleagues could not attend, but I was delighted that Dra. Eva Martínez came from Honduras and spoke about her work in the Jamastrán Valley.

In addition to my symposium, several others included substantial participation by folks from FAU. Christian Davenport organized a session on the Belle Glade Culture. He is a Ph.D. candidate at FAU, and many of our students and former students presented papers in that symposium, inclulding Katie Smith, Dorothy Block, Rebecca Stitt, and, of course, Chris himself.

Valentina Martínez, one of the other archaeologists on the faculty, presented at least 3 posters, including one with Andres Garzon-Oechsle, a graduate student here, and another with Nicole Jastremski, a biological anthropologist in our department (and a former graduate student!).

Ryan Wheeler, Director of the R. S. Peabody Museum, former State Archaeologist of Florida, and graduate of our department, organized a symposium in honor of Wm. Jerald Kennedy, a professor emeritus in our department. That session included not only Dr Kennedy himself, but Michael Harris, the current department chair, and a whole passel of department alumni.

I noticed that there were other alumni of our program around in other sessions, but I don't even know the whole list of our former students, so they're difficult to track.

A small assemblage of twenty or thirty of us went out for a bite on Saturday night. What fun!


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cool website on women archaeologists

Trowelblazers has short biographies on women archaeologists, both historic and contemporary. They also include some geoscientists of various persuasions, but we can overlook that despite our strict "No Dinosaur" policy. They have dug up (no pun intended) some great historic photos to accompany the articles.

They also contributed to the development of a "Lottie the Fossil Hunter" doll that is cute beyond belief. If you scroll through the blog, you can enjoy photos of the doll performing fieldwork and analysis in different venues and contexts. Apparently, they take her on the road with them. It's a lot of fun. If the doll weren't sold out, I'd buy one.




Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Archaeological Material Culture

Cafe Press is a website to which one can send an image or logo, and they will print the design on a variety of objects, such as tee-shirts and coffee mugs, presumably on demand; they sell them through their online store and split the profits with you.

For some reason that eludes memory, I recently searched the site for "archaeologist" and found some interesting artifacts. ("Some" > 2000.) Most, inevitably, were banal: "My career is in ruins" or "Archaeologists do it in the dirt."  Even more predictably, there were some dinosaur items as well as, happily, some "No Dinosaur" items. (I'm not trying to sell anything, and I don't get a cut. This is a non-commercial, unmonetized blog!) I particularly like the bumper sticker that says, "Archaeologists don't dig up dinosaurs." Perhaps I should also mention the baby jumper that says, "Archaeologists Don't Dig Dinosaurs" because the picture of the dinosaur with the line through it is executed with a great deal of spirit.
  
The "Archaeology: Trowel and Error" coffee mug is fun, especially because the trowel they show in the picture is not the kind we use, hence the "error," I suppose, in the motto.

I got a kick out of the various objects you could buy with Munsell color charts emblazoned on them. (I linked to a 10YR travel mug, but you can pick the hue, apparently.) My enjoyment had nothing to do with the fact that my latest article is on the analysis of Munsell colors. (Subliminal message: It's open access, so please follow the link, download it, read it, and cite it!)

Probably my favorite item was the tee-shirt that read, "Archaeologists: Stronger than your average geek!"   The question of why I enjoyed this one so much could only be answered, I'm sure, after intensive psychotherapy, so we'll probably never know. Sadly, the yearnings of my Freudian neurosis will not be soon satisfied: the item is a little pricey and out of stock.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

THE FLORIDA ANTHROPOLOGICAL SOCIETY DOROTHY MOORE STUDENT GRANT

Reposting an e-mail....

The Florida Anthropological Society (FAS) is making available $500.00 to be awarded annually to archaeology students (B.A., M.A., or Ph.D.) who are currently enrolled in a Florida university. The grant money will assist students conducting archaeological research in Florida. Grant funds can be used to cover the costs associated with archaeological fieldwork, special analyses (e.g., radiocarbon dates, faunal or botanical analyses, soils analysis, etc.), and, in some cases, travel expenses associated with presenting a paper based on the student's research at a professional meeting.

Students interested in applying for the grant should submit a letter not to exceed two pages that describes the project for which the funds are being requested; what research question(s) or problem(s) are being addressed; how the funds will be applied to these problems; what, if any, additional funds will be used to accomplish the research; and how the research will contribute to Florida archaeology. The applicant should include a budget indicating the amount requested and describing how the money will be spent along with a letter(s) of support from faculty.

Applications for the 2016 award are now being accepted and can be sent to: Dr. Robert Austin, FAS Student Grant, 7224 Alafia Ridge Loop, Riverview, FL 33569 or via email to roc_doc@verizon.net. Deadline for applications is March 31, 2016.

Monday, February 8, 2016

Interesting field schools

I don't  usually post information about field schools because there are many of them, I often cannot testify to their quality, and the news quickly expires.

But, here are a couple of exceptions.

The Hungarian field school seems to offer nice funding, which is a little unusual for field schools.  I hope the NSF funding implies a level of scrutiny that ensures a good research design and syllabus. I paste below the body of the e-mail I received about it.

The CRM field school is run by a very reputable archaeological consulting firm and the Institute of Field Archaeology, which is new but seems to be running good field schools.



1.  Hungarian Bioarchaeological Field School

Dear CURL Members,

I am writing to provide information about an international NSF- REU archaeology field school opportunity for undergraduate students.

The Bronze Age Körös Off-Tell Archaeological (BAKOTA) Field School is a summer undergraduate research program sponsored by Quinnipiac University and the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site program. Students accepted into the program will work with an international, multidisciplinary research team on the bioarchaeological analysis of a Middle Bronze Age cemetery in eastern Hungary. Student travel, housing, food, field trip fees, etc. will be covered by the NSF in addition to a $500/week stipend (total $3,000). Eight Fellows will be selected from the pool of applicants. Students must be a US citizen or permanent resident, and currently enrolled in an undergraduate program to be eligible.

For more information about the project and field school check out our website (http://bakota.net) and our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/bakotaproject).


Website and Online Application: http://bakota.net
Application Deadline: March 18, 2016
Field School Dates: July 4 - August 14, 2016
Field School Location: Quinnipiac University & Hungary
Contact Information: Dr. Julia Giblin (julia.giblin@quinnipiac.edu)

Kindly pass this information on to colleagues and students who might be interested. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.

Many Thanks!
Julia

Julia I. Giblin, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Quinnipiac University
275 Mount Carmel Ave.
Hamden, CT  06518-1908
Office:  CAS1, Room 337
Office Phone: 203-582-8381


2.  CRM field school

CRM Training at Coconino National Forest

The IFR and Statistical Research Inc. (SRI) – one of the foremost CRM firms in the US – have partnered to offer a unique field school at the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona.  The US AZ-Coconino field school is design to train students for positions in the Cultural Resource Management (CRM) field.   Students will conduct a typical small-scale CRM inventory and evaluation project in one of the richest archaeological areas of the West.  The pinyon-juniper and juniper woodlands of the Colorado Plateau have been home to people for many millennia.  The area contain a wide-ranging archaeological record that extends from the Archaic (6,000-3,000 BCE) to the historical period.

The goal for the 2016 season is to train students in basic CRM survey, mapping, in-field analysis, and excavation methods through an intensive pedestrian survey of Forest lands in the Winona and Ridge Ruin area. Our research goals are to identify and assess any prehistoric or historical-period resources that can contribute important information regarding prehistoric land use and historical period settlement in this area.

The US AZ-Coconino field school will expose students to the rich cultural heritage of the Southwest, as well as to the techniques, legal regulations and practices governing CRM archaeology.  Since most archaeology positions in the US are within CRM, this field school offers applied training for students seeking career in that industry.   This program is directed by Dr. Richard Ciolek-Torello, Vice President for Research at Statistical Research Inc.

Will you please let interested students know about this program?
Sincerely,
Ran Boytner   
Elden Pueblo, located within the program research area 
Recording rock art at Picture Canyon, just east of Flagstaff (AZ) 
 
Please share with students and other interested parties!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Job advertisement for Florida Public Archaeology Network, Regional Director

The job opening for the Director of the Southeast and Southwest Center of the Florida Public Archaeology Network has been re-opened or extended (I'm not sure which). Here is a link to the advertisement on the SAA web site.  If you previously applied, please do not re-apply. Your application is still in the system and will be considered.

Please apply!



Thursday, January 14, 2016

Best job title in the world

Recently several articles (for example, in the Washington Post) have appeared the press lauding the creation of a new position in the United States' Federal government entitled "Planetary Defense Officer." You might assume this is a military position dedicated to destroying extra-terrestrial warships, a job for which Will Smith is uniquely qualified, as described in the documentary film Independence Day. In reality, the new Planetary Defense Officer sits at NASA and his primary responsibility is to coordinate intergovernmental responses to impact threats posed by near-Earth objects, such as comets and asteroids. Having lived and worked on the edge of the Chicxulub crater, I think it is a good thing that someone worries about that topic full time.

Those who think that this is the best job title ever, are, I am sad to report, wrong. The best job title in the world is "Director of Time," who works at the U. S. Naval Observatory. I wonder, though, does the Director of Time have a TARDIS? If so, where does he park it?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Legal stuff

The university at which I am employed recently fired a tenured professor, allegedly for activities related to his blogging. I say "allegedly" because many of the details remain murky, presumably because it is a personnel action.

Hoping to keep my job, I have added a disclaimer to blog page header, above.

Disclaimer about the disclaimer: I'm not sure if I have any minions, but I added them to the list just in case.