MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAIR
Dear Anthropology and Geography friends,
Fall 2023 marks my 10th year as Chair of the department, and also my last. It is bittersweet to go through all of our "start of the year" rituals this one last time. I am excited, however, to get back to some research that has been languishing and also to be in the classroom again full time. As soon as we know who will be taking on this important leadership role next, you will know, too – likely as early as our next newsletter.
In the meantime, we continue to grow in student and faculty numbers and impact. First, I would like to introduce our newest tenure-line faculty member, Dr. Jonna Yarrington. She is a cultural anthropologist focused on climate-change impacts on human societies and topics of environmental and climate justice. Jonna is filling Professor Emeritus Kate Browne’s position – big shoes to fill for sure. Her partner, Dr. Landon Yarrington, an applied anthropologist, is also joining our continuing and contract faculty and will be supporting some of the Indigenous classes we have not offered since Dr. Kathy Pickering retired. Both new faculty members have Ph.Ds from the University of Arizona.
Faculty research enjoyed a tremendous amount of support and media attention over the summer, from Dr. Michael Pante's examination of cutmarks on a tibia of a 1.5-million-year-old hominin to Dr. Jason Sibold's important analysis of fire mitigation and forest management. We also have exciting news from Dr. Heidi Hausermann, who is the principal investigator on a National Science Foundation DISES award, examining mercury cycling from small-scale gold mining in Africa and implications for community health. These awards are very competitive and difficult to get, and this is a huge win for Heidi, the department, and CSU.
Finally, we are actively participating in the College of Liberal Arts sponsored thematic Year of Democracy. Please check out and consider attending upcoming seminar series talks in which this theme is featured from the point of view of anthropologists and geographers.
Have a wonderful beginning to your Fall and we hope to see you at our events and in the department.
With best wishes,
Fall Seminar Series Explores Anthropology and Geography — and Democracy
Join us for our 2023-24 Seminar Series as we welcome an exciting lineup of scholars who study and write on topics in anthropology and geography that address and intersect with democracy and civic engagement – part of CSU’s Thematic Year of Democracy and Civic Engagement.
See Upcoming Events listings below for details, registration links (encouraged not required), or to find links to live stream the talks.
Pante and Colleagues Uncover How Humans’ Relatives Butchered One Another 1.45 Million Years Ago
Associate Professor Michael Pante and colleagues from Smithsonian Institution and Purdue University have identified butchering marks on a 1.45-million-year-old hominin shin bone – the oldest evidence of humans’ close evolutionary relatives butchering one another.
READ about the study and findings via CSU SOURCE
HEAR Pante talk about his research and the 3D quantitative methods he developed to analyze cut marks on The Audit, CSU’s current-events podcast
Hausermann Wins Grant to Study Small-Scale Mining Impacts in Ghana
Associate Professor of Geography Heidi Hausermann and colleagues have won a $1.537 million National Science Foundation DISES grant to study the health, social, and environmental effects of rapidly expanding, small-scale gold mining in Ghana and beyond. This is the first NSF DISES grant awarded to a CSU-led project.
READ about Hausermann and her research
Meyer: Release the Lichen... to Study Hunter-Gatherer Sites in Colorado
In a new, open-access article in the peer-review journal, Radiocarbon, Anthropology doctoral candidate Kelton Meyer suggests that Rhizocarpon lichens are an underused tool for determining the age of stone structures built by hunter-gatherers in the Colorado mountains.
READ about Meyer’s research
CHECK OUT more graduate student research below
Galvin and CSU researchers launch digital tool to help manage Kenyan forests
A NASA-funded team of CSU researchers, including University Distinguished Professor Kathleen Galvin, traveled to Kenya this summer to unveil a new interactive, online tool to help land managers and foresters model and prepare for climate impacts in Kenyan and African forests.
READ about the project
August 21 Fall 2023 classes begin
September 14 International Day of Democracy
September 21 Department Social & Open House | Open to Current Students and Faculty, Monfort Quad, 4-6pm || STUDENT RSVP
September 28 Anthropology and Geography Seminar Series: Briana Pobiner, Ph.D., Smithsonian Institution Human Origins Program, "Public Engagement with Human Evolution: Obstacles and Opportunities," 5-6:30pm, Lory Student Center 304-306. Open to the public. REGISTER TO ATTEND (encouraged not required) || STREAM SEMINAR (link active afternoon of talk)
September 30 Rocky Mountain Biological Anthropology Association 2023 Annual Meeting, YMCA of the Rockies, Estes Park
October 5-8 Rocky Mountain Anthropological Association Conference 2023, Laramie, Wyoming
October 13 Anthropology and Geography Seminar Series: Priscilla McCutcheon, Ph.D., University of Kentucky Department of Geography, 4-5:30pm, Lory Student Center 300. Open to the public. REGISTER TO ATTEND (encouraged not required) || STREAM SEMINAR (link active afternoon of talk)
October 21 International Archaeology Day, Red Rocks Park and Amphitheatre, Morrison
November 3 Anthropology and Geography Seminar Series: Sarah Hall, Ph.D., Berea College, Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources, "Sown in the Stars: Planting by the Signs," 4-5:30pm, Lory Student Center 304-306. Open to the public. REGISTER TO ATTEND (encouraged not required) || STREAM SEMINAR (link active afternoon of talk)
November 14-19 Geography Awareness Week
November 15-19 American Anthropological Association/ Canadian Anthropological Society Annual Meeting, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (hybrid)
November 20-24 Fall Break
December 6 Anthropology and Geography Fall 2023 Capstone Poster Symposium, 9-11am, Lory Student Center 302 (Longs Peak Room)
December 8 Last day of Fall 2023 classes
December 11-15 Finals Week
December 15-16 Fall 2023 Commencement
For more details and new events, visit our homepage
MORE NEWS & ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Welcome Dr. Yarrington!
Welcome Assistant Professor Jonna Yarrington! Yarrington is a sociocultural and applied anthropologist, focused on the effects of climate change on human societies and issues of environmental and climate justice in a diversity of settings. Stay tuned for more on her research in our next newsletter, and introductions to other new faculty and instructors!
VISIT Yarrington's faculty page
New Answers to Burning Questions
Geography Professor Jason Sibold spoke about the importance of using GIS and spatial data in combination with tree-ring and field data for forest and fire management, and why forests' futures are less and less likely to resemble the past due to climate change, as part of CSU SOURCE’s special report, “Summers of Smoke.”
READ MORE via CSU SOURCE
We Did it!
Thanks for making our 2023 Anthropology Field School Scholarship Campaign a smashing success! Supporters raised $4,395, including a generous match from Paleontology Field School directors Kimberly Nichols and Thomas Bown, Ph.D. Field school scholarships defray students' program expenses and costs and also offset income losses from missed employment while in the field.
Edible Bugs for a Greener Future
Shaylee Warner, a recent master's graduate who worked Associate Professor Heidi Hausermann, studied how farmers, chefs, government officials, and others in Mexico consider and consume edible insects — as well as future opportunities surrounding edible and medicinal bugs as food sources.
READ MORE via Colorado School of Public Health
MORE NEWS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
- Cheers to the Class of 2023 graduating students! VIEW our Spring 2023 graduation video
- Congratulations to our Spring 2023 Dean's List students!
- Well done!, Tanmoy Malaker on defending his master's thesis, "Wildfires and Precipitation in the Lowlands of Guatemala: An Analysis of Precipitation and Vegetation Indices as Potential Wildfire Drivers" this summer. Tanmoy was advised by Professor Stephen Leisz and fellow committee members.
- Congratulations to Kaitlyn Coons, winner of the 2023 Amanda Jones Award! Kaitlyn attended a medical field program in Himachal Pradesh, India, with Himalayan Health Exchange this summer. The Jones Award supports international field research and travel for undergraduate students each summer.
- 2023-24 is the Year of Democracy and Civic Engagement at CSU! College of Liberal Arts Dean Ben Withers shares why democracy needs attention and scholarship and how our college and university will emphasize democratic principles and topics among students through events, courses, and activities this upcoming year. READ MORE via the College of Liberal Arts
- Anthropology minor Victoria Silva played a key role in securing water quality regulations in mobile home parks after learning about communities' elevated levels of lead found in water. Silva conducted quantitative and qualitative research and also testified in favor of Colorado state legislation to monitor and improve water quality in mobile home parks. READ MORE via the College of Natural Sciences
- As the new academic year begins, CSU leaders have provided the university with an update and timeline on the revitalization of the Clark Building, home to Anthropology and Geography and many department labs. READ MORE via the College of Liberal Arts
GRADUATE STUDENT RESEARCH
Masters' students Hope Radford and Rose Parham traveled to Ecuador this summer to collect water-quality data in the Andes Mountains and to collaborate with community members of the Pintag Amaru indigenous collective. Radford and Parham's work is funded as CSU Center for Collaborative Conservation fellows, and they will be supporting the Pintag Amaru's plans to protect local water sources and other natural resources from development through their work. Associate Professor Heidi Hausermann is advising on the project.
Master’s student Tom Chittenden is working with researchers from the Vietnam National University of Agriculture to explore the relationship between landscape transformations, economic change, and rural livelihoods in the Northern Mountain Region of Vietnam. Chittenden traveled to Vietnam this summer and is advised by Dr. Steve Leisz. Chittenden hopes to address how upland ethnic minority groups in Vietnam address risk, grapple with changing economic, political, and ecological circumstances, and alter their agricultural activities.
Doctoral student Tewabe Negash Kessaw traveled to Tanzania this summer with advisor Associate Professor Michael Pante and others to analyze faunal materials previously discovered and housed in the Olduvai Gorge to gain insights into the dietary behavior and paleoecological adaptations of Olduvai hominins. Negash Kessaw is particularly interested in the taphonomic study of faunal remains from 1.7 to 2 million years ago (the Oldowan-Acheulean transition) and the implications for the evolutionary trajectory of early Pleistocene hominins.
Doctoral candidate Katharine Horton has accepted a tenure-line faculty position as Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) in Beckley, West Virginia. Horton is completing her Ph.D. dissertation. Her research focuses on the impact of paleoclimate oscillation on hominin occupation in Late Pleistocene Central Asia, utilizing archaeological site information, GIS, climate datasets, spatial statistical modeling, and soil analyses. Her advisor is Dr. Mica Glantz.
Ph.D student Alex Pelissero traveled to Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania this summer with advisor Associate Professor Michael Pante and others to conduct a large aerial survey of Olduvai using a drone, with the goal of mapping the vast majority of the gorge. Pelissero will use the images to create a high-resolution site model, which then be used to map the patterns of early human activities from roughly 1-2 million years ago, and how they changed during that time.
Seunghyun Woo, Ph.D. student, traveled to Dahab, Egypt, this summer for preliminary dissertation fieldwork. Through the case of "freedivers" -- who dive in the water with no supplemental oxygen -- Woo's project will explore human-ocean relations and how that can stimulate intimate environmental knowledge and humble responsibility. Woo conducted participant observation and in-depth interviews regarding freedivers' skill training and technique while in Egypt and plans to analyze how freedivers manipulate and affect the underwater atmosphere. Woo's advisor is Dr. Adrienne Cohen.