Past Seminars

Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Study of Outbreaks during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Co-Evolution, Emergence, and Resurgence of Pathogens

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Archaeological and Historical Perspectives on the Study of Outbreaks during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Co-Evolution, Emergence, and Resurgence of Pathogens

When: June 18, 2020 2:00-3:00 PM

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: None


Pricing

Individual Registration: Free to SAA members; not available to non-members

Group Registration: 


Gerardo Gutiérrez is an Associate Professor of Anthropology, University of Colorado-Boulder. His current research focuses on applied sciences and the introduction of new technologies to anthropological and archaeological research. The geographical focus of his research is Mesoamerica, but he has worked in the American Southwest, Peru, and Vietnam. He directs a regional project in Eastern Guerrero, Mexico, in the upper basin of the Balsas River examining the origins and development of complex societies from 1800 BC to AD 1522, which has been supported by the National Science Foundation, ACLS, among others. He developed a mobile laboratory of atomic and molecular spectrometry to analyze constituent elements and molecules in archaeological objects. He has participated in genetic studies of indigenous populations of Mesoamerica, particularly in understanding population dynamics between Europeans, African, and Native American populations in Colonial Mexico. He has contributed to the edited volume, Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America, a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2016.

Catherine M. Cameron is Professor Emerita in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She works in the northern part of the American Southwest, focusing especially on the Chaco and post-Chaco eras (AD 900–1300). Her research interests include prehistoric demography, the evolution of complex societies, and processes of cultural transmission. She has worked in southeastern Utah at the Bluff Great House, a Chacoan site, and in nearby Comb Wash, publishing a monograph on this research in 2009 (Chaco and After in the Northern San Juan, University of Arizona Press). She also studies captives in prehistory, particularly their role in cultural transmission. She is co-editor and contributor to the volume, Beyond Germs: Native Depopulation in North America, a CHOICE Outstanding Academic Title for 2016.

Maria A. Spyrou uses molecular means, specifically ancient DNA, to investigate the presence of pathogens in ancient populations and address key questions regarding their evolution and adaptation. This work has been possible through the implementation of both laboratory and computational methodologies specifically designed for the detection and authentication of pathogen DNA in ancient human remains as well as for its enrichment, high-throughput sequencing and genomic reconstruction. A large portion of Dr. Spyrou's research to date has focused on the genetic history of the plague pathogen, Yersinia pestis, a bacterium that has been associated with humans for at least the last 5,000 years and has been a major culprit of historical epidemics in Europe and beyond. This research is currently being expanded using untargeted computational approaches for the identification and authentication of a broad range of pathogens from both historic and pre-historic archaeological contexts.

Based on archaeological evidence and historical data, the instructors address key questions and topics on the complex dynamics between environments, pathogens, and human populations. This seminar will review the co-evolution of human’s immunological system with good microbiota and pathogens and how our sociocultural practices mitigate or facilitate local outbreaks, regional epidemics, or global pandemics. It will explore how sedentism and early urban dwelling brought together large numbers of domesticated animals and human populations to facilitate zoonotic infections and how the lack of sanitary conditions in our early settlements attracted and promoted the reproduction of vectors for the deadliest pathogens (rats, mosquitoes, flies, fleas, body lice, etc.). It will examine how political and economic agendas of large imperial powers have facilitated the process of infection by depleting ecosystems, impoverishing colonized populations, and speeding up the movement of vectors and pathogens at continental scales. The study of the social and historical construction of vulnerability, risk management, evolutionary medicine and germ theory guide this presentation of case studies to illustrate the history and archaeological study of epidemics.

  1. Understand the complex co-evolution of human populations with their microbiota and pathogens.
  2. Study outbreaks and epidemics as biological hazards.
  3. Explore how our early cities provided the perfect ecosystem for zoonotic transmission and the breeding of vectors.
  4. Examine the archaeological and molecular evidence we can recover from areas affected by past epidemics.
  5. Create a long-term perspective to frame the current COVID-19 epidemic in a long list of historical outbreaks.
  6. Learn from the current pandemic and start preparing for the future pandemics.

Integrating Drones into Archaeological Fieldwork

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Integrating Drones into Archaeological Fieldwork

When: May 26, 2020 12:00-2:00 PM

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $149 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $189 for non-members


Michael T. Searcy, PhD, RPA has worked as an archaeologist in the Greater Southwest for the last 17 years in both academia and contract settings. He is currently an associate professor of archaeology at Brigham Young University in the Department of Anthropology. Over the past six years, he and his colleague have been integrating drones into their research, including studies based in Mexico and Utah. They have also been working to refine UAV methods using multiple drone formats.

Scott M. Ure, MA is a research archaeologist for the Department of Anthropology at Brigham Young University and has worked at a variety of sites in the Great Basin, American Southwest, Middle East, and Mexico for 18 years. He is an FAA certified remote pilot and has experience operating various multi-rotor and fixed-wing unmanned aerial systems both domestically and internationally for the last six years.

This course is designed to provide basic information on the use of drones in archaeological mapping and other field contexts. Instructors will explore some of the variables that have to be considered in the planning, pre-flight, flight, and post-processing stages involved in the integration of Unmanned Aerial Systems. This course will also provide information regarding the legal use of drones in accordance with associated federal regulations as well as examples of some practical applications for this technology in archaeology.
  1. Familiarize seminar participants with drone formats and their potential applications.
  2. Instruct participants on the basic workflow of drone use in archaeology (flight planning, permissions to fly, site preparation, automated and manual flights, post-flight processing of aerial imagery).
  3. Provide information on the legal and safe operation of drones in the United States.

Knowledge Series: Archaeoastronomy, Blackfoot Narratives, and Antiquity on the Northern Plains with Eldon Yellowhorn

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Knowledge Series: Archaeoastronomy, Blackfoot Narratives, and Antiquity on the Northern Plains with Eldon Yellowhorn

When: May 19, 2020 3:00-4:00 PM

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: None


Pricing

Individual Registration: Free to SAA members; not available to non-members

Group Registration: 


Dr. Eldon Yellowhorn (Otahkotskina) is from the Piikani (Peigan) Nation. At home, he developed an interest in astronomy because the prairie sky is a canopy of stars. He heard old stories of the sky country in the Blackfoot language, and at university, he studied them as an anthropology student. Dr. Yellowhorn got his first job in archaeology in 1980, and subsequently he worked at many sites while studying at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada. He received a MA degree in 1993 from the Department of Archaeology at Simon Fraser University. Although contract archaeology was where he found employment, his interest in the origins of large-scale communal bison hunting has motivated by his studies. He received his PhD from the Department of Anthropology at McGill University in 2002, the same year he was appointed an assistant professor in the Department of Archaeology at Simon Fraser University. He was a faculty member there until he established the Department of Indigenous Studies in 2012, where he now teaches. In his research program he studies the ancient and recent history of Indigenous people through archaeological fieldwork.

When John Wesley Powell wrote, “Mythology is primitive philosophy” in the first volume of the Bureau of American Ethnology in 1881, he crystalized a notion that dismissed myths as hearsay and unworthy of study. Boasian anthropologists collected oral narratives in their ethnographic work but they considered myths as psychological devices that people used to put their mind in balance with the world, exempted from any chronological context. Archaeologists have not ventured far from Powell’s original position that there is no truth to be found in old stories that emanated from oral traditions. Native Americans see narratives as real sources of information that chronicle the lived experiences of ancestors. Old stories and the archaeological record are the only archives of their ancient presence. Therefore, I triangulate data from Blackfoot oral narratives, material culture studies, and archaeoastronomy to create explanations for the cultural manifestations in the archaeological record of the northern plains. I use insights gained from astronomical studies to interpret the structural metaphors that ancient Peigans devised to organize their astronomical knowledge. Archaeoastronomy also offers methods that help to determine the antiquity of some old stories.

The Knowledge Series seminars are opportunities to learn from prominent archaeologists as they share their experiences and expertise.

Sharing the Past in the Age of Video

Registration Closed!

Sharing the Past in the Age of Video

When: May 05, 2020 2:00-3:00 PM

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

Individual Registration: Free to SAA members; not available to non-members

Group Registration: 


Matthew Piscitelli is a Project Archaeologist and Digital Media Manager at SEARCH as well as a Research Associate at The Field Museum in Chicago. He has 14 years of experience in archaeology, museum services, and grant administration. Prior to SEARCH, Matthew served as a Program Officer at the National Geographic Society in Washington, DC. As Program Officer, he oversaw grant-making in archaeology and advised print, digital, and television teams on the topic. Matthew has conducted archaeological fieldwork in Peru, Bolivia, Greece, and the United States. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Archaeology from Boston University in 2007 and both a master’s degree and doctorate in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2009 and 2014, respectively. Matthew is also a National Geographic explorer.

Daniel Fiore joined SEARCH in 2018 as a Content Producer with 15 years of experience in film, television, and advertising. He is responsible for brand management, media and public interpretation, and image documentation to demonstrate compliance for technical and safety standards. In 2012, Mr. Fiore was awarded an Emmy in Cinematography for his work on Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch series. In addition, he served in an executive role at Discovery Communications Inc. for more than three years, where he developed numerous television series, such as Yukon Men and various Shark Week shows. Before his work in film and television, he worked in advertising with the agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, who were regarded as “Agency of the Decade” at the time.

Storytelling is a universal language and video, as a collection of images and sounds, is the easiest, most visceral way to speak that language. Nevertheless, we rely more on photography and drawings as non-written ways to communicate our archaeological research. To stay competitive in today’s world of viral YouTube clips, TikTok, and Instagram Stories, we need to harness the power of video to share our knowledge of the past and the processes we use to understand it. This seminar will provide archaeologists with the tools they need to confidently and effectively capture, edit, and share video with professional and public audiences.

  1. Explain why you should use video to document your research;
  2. Explain the mechanics of capturing quality video;
  3. Describe how to do simple/inexpensive post-production (for beginners); and
  4. Describe how to leverage the power of video for your audience(s).

So Now You Have to Teach Online!

Registration Closed!

So Now You Have to Teach Online!

When: March 26, 2020 3:00-4:00 PM

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: None


Pricing

Individual Registration: Free to SAA members; not available to non-members

Group Registration: 


Fred Limp has been actively involved in online instruction for more than five years. He's been involved in course and content development, delivery strategies, learning management systems and has instructed 100s of students online. He was the founder and director of the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies for 18 years. In 2013, he was appointed by Interior Secretary Salazar to the Board of the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. He is a past-President of the SAA and was a founding Director of the Open Geospatial Consortium. OGC is the international body that developed spatial data interoperability specifications.

Many members of the Society for American Archaeology serve as educators, and many schools are going from face-to-face instruction to online due to COVID-19. If you haven't been involved with online instruction before, the challenge can be daunting. The instructor will share ideas for quick and dirty content development, look at some of the available tools, and answer questions. There is an enormous body of material on best practices for online instruction - but that is not what this seminar will be about. The situation we are in requires triage. This seminar is a practical guide with bottom line advice to help you get swimming in the deep end. This is about helping you identify the core instructional content, doing what you absolutely have to, and ditching the rest during a difficult time.

  1. Reassure those who have moved to online teaching due to recent school closures
  2. Introduce online teaching styles
  3. Present tools and strategies for content development and engagement