Past Seminars

Ancient DNA 101: What You Need to Know to Establish a Successful Project

Registration Closed!

Ancient DNA 101: What You Need to Know to Establish a Successful Project

When: December 12, 2017 12:00-2:00 PM

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $139 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $179 for non-members


Courtney Hofman is an assistant professor of Anthropology and co-director at the University of Oklahoma's Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research. Dr. Hofman has conducted research that integrates interdisciplinary methods and fields, including genomics, ancient DNA, proteomics, and archaeology to explore human-environment interactions on two very different scales. First, she investigates human-wildlife interactions and their influence on changing environments over the past millennia to inform conservation decisions. Second, Dr. Hofman conducts research on the evolution of the human microbiome using dental calculus and paleofeces from archaeological contexts. Dr. Hofman completed her PhD at the University of Maryland in collaboration with the Center for Conservation Genomics at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and the Anthropology department at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, where she is also a research associate.

Dr. Christina Warinner is Group Leader of Microbiome Sciences in the Department of Archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History and a Presidential Research Professor and Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma, where she co-founded the Laboratories of Molecular Anthropology and Microbiome Research. Dr. Warinner earned her PhD at Harvard University in 2010 and completed her postdoctoral training at the Centre for Evolutionary Medicine at the University of Zürich, Switzerland. She has conducted ancient DNA research for more than a decade, and has published pioneering studies in human migration, Native American ancestry, ancient diet, and the reconstruction of the ancestral human microbiome. Her ancient microbiome findings were named among the top 100 scientific discoveries of 2014 by Discover Magazine, and her research has been featured in more than 75 news articles, including stories in Science, Scientific American, the LA Times, the Guardian, and CNN, among others. She has been featured in multiple documentaries, and her recent work on the peopling of the Himalayas appears in the PBS NOVA special Secrets of the Sky Tombs and the award-winning children’s book Secrets of the Sky Caves. She is a 2014 US National Academy of Sciences Kavli Fellow and a 2012 TED Fellow, and her TED Talks on ancient dental calculus and the evolution of the human diet have been viewed more than 2 million times.
Recent technological advances in genetics, such as high-throughput sequencing (HTS), have radically transformed ancient DNA (aDNA) research, making it more accessible and affordable for archaeologists than ever before. This seminar will provide a brief introduction to the field of paleogenomics, with an emphasis on the range of questions that can be addressed using current technologies, as well as some potential challenges. We will also explore how much an aDNA study actually costs and the role of student training in aDNA labs. Participants will learn how to identify questions that are amenable to genetic analysis and acquire strategies for how to set up successful collaborations with aDNA labs.
  1. Provide an update on major changes in ancient DNA technologies over the past 5 years.
  2. Highlight the range of questions that current ancient DNA methods can investigate.
  3. Address challenges in ancient DNA research, such as sample preservation and data authentication.
  4. Provide strategies for identifying potential research partners and establishing successful collaborations with aDNA labs.
  5. Discuss the structural differences between how research and training is conducted within the fields of archaeology and genetics, and how this impacts ancient DNA research.
  6. Establish the importance of hypothesis-driven research, and dispel the “Doing the DNA” myth.

Making Your Voice Heard in Support of Archaeology

Registration Closed!

Making Your Voice Heard in Support of Archaeology

When: December 06, 2017 3:00-4:00 PM

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: None


Pricing

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

Group Registration: 


Amy Rutledge is currently the manager, Communications and Fundraising for the Society for American Archaeology. Prior to joining SAA, she worked in creative and strategic communications for a variety of non-profit and philanthropic organizations, tackling a range of issues from humane livestock farming to smart growth. Before joining the non-profit field, Amy was a video post-production manager in the Washington, D.C. market working with a variety of clients, including several political clients, National Geographic, and Discovery Communications. She has a B.A. in Film and Video from American University and an M.A. in English from Iowa State University.
Increasingly, archaeologists have been looking for ways to advocate for their field and their research to a public audience. With concerns about funding cuts and with cultural resource protections and regulations facing an uncertain future, archaeologists need to write and speak through non-scholarly media to build support for and knowledge about archaeology. This one-hour seminar helps participants understand the tools and pathways for making their voices heard in defense of archaeology. The course focuses on writing op-eds for newspapers and working with non-traditional media outlets. It provides a guide for building communications networks to heighten visibility of archaeological issues and research.
The objective for this course is to provide participants with strategies for effectively communicating to the public in support of archaeological research. The course will build an understanding of how and why to work with newspapers, blogs, and social media. The goal is to increase visibility and advocacy of the field.

The 3D Printed Past

Registration Closed!

The 3D Printed Past

When: November 15, 2017 3:00-4:00 PM

Duration: 1 hour

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

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

Group Registration: 


Dr. Bernard K. Means founded the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in August 2011 with a Department of Defense Legacy Resource Management funded-project to explore the applications of three-dimensional (3D) scanning technology to archaeology. A selection of the 3D models created over the past 6 years can be found at: http://Sketchfab.com/virtualcurationlab. He and his team of undergraduate VCU students soon began to dedicate their efforts to applications of 3D printing to archaeology, including in the realms of research, teaching, and especially public archaeology.

Three-dimensional (3D) printing is increasingly infiltrating all aspects of society, from manufacturing and medicine to STEM education on K-12 levels. This seminar will explore the basics of 3D printing and how archaeologists can integrate 3D models and printed materials into the different facets of their discipline, from the field to the laboratory, and into the classroom and the museum. Particular attention will be paid to the following areas:

  • How digital 3D models enhance identification of artifacts and ecofacts in the field and laboratory over 2D drawings or photographs.
  • How 3D printed replicas expand opportunities for teaching and research at all levels of education, but especially for undergraduate teaching.
  • How 3D printed replicas can be incorporated into public outreach programs, maximizing access to the past, while minimizing risks to fragile heritage.
  • How 3D printed replicas can be integrated into museum exhibits to create a more interactive and tactile element.
The 3D printed past is not something from the far-off archaeology future, but should be seen as very much a part of the archaeological present.

 

The overarching goal of this one-hour seminar is to show how 3D printing can expand archaeology pedagogy (including teaching in under-resourced schools), research, and particularly engagement with the public.


Teaching Curation: A Guide to Developing a New, Stand-Alone Course or Integrating Curation into an Existing One

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Teaching Curation: A Guide to Developing a New, Stand-Alone Course or Integrating Curation into an Existing One

When: November 02, 2017 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: 


In 2017, Danielle Benden launched Driftless Pathways, LLC, a museum consulting business. As owner of Driftless Pathways, she develops collections assessments, provides guidance on collections planning and rehabilitation projects, and offers professional development training for small museums and historical societies. She has taught Archaeological Curation and Field Methods courses at the university level for over ten years. In addition, Ms. Benden has instructed a variety of professional development trainings including SAA online seminars for archaeologists, and tailored curatorial programs for small museum staff. She has more than 15 years of archaeological fieldwork experience, ten of which have been directing field projects. She received a Bachelor of Science in Archaeology from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and a Master of Science in Museum and Field Studies with an archaeology emphasis from the University of Colorado-Boulder. She served as the Senior Curator in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2007-2016.

She is the current Chair of SAA’s Committee on Museums, Collections, and Curation and serves on the Archaeological Collections Consortium. This work puts her at the forefront of the most current issues involving archaeological curation.
This one-hour online seminar is intended for faculty who are interested in (1) developing a new, stand-alone archaeological curation and/or collections management course or (2) integrating topics of curation into existing curriculum.
  1. Provide faculty with a guide for creating a new, stand-alone course focused on archaeological curation or integrating curation into existing curriculum.
  2. Offer participants pathways for developing the course description, content, objectives, and reading list.
  3. Recommend strategies for determining which option is best (new course vs. integrating into existing curriculum).

Archaeological Application of Terrestrial Laser Scanning

Registration Closed!

Archaeological Application of Terrestrial Laser Scanning

When: October 26, 2017 2:00-4:00 PM

Duration: 2 hours

Certification: RPA-certified


Pricing

Individual Registration: $99 for SAA members; $139 for non-members

Group Registration: $139 for SAA members; $179 for non-members


Malcolm Williamson is a Research Associate with the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST). He has been using mid- to long-range terrestrial laser scanners for heritage, architectural, and geological applications for over a dozen years. Williamson has worked on five continents at major sites such as Machu Picchu, Amarna, and Petra. In addition, he has project and teaching experience in airborne LiDAR and photogrammetry and has contributed to the development of laser scanning metadata “best practices”. As CAST’s projects have a broad variety of objectives and range from simple visualization to temporal documentation, to object extraction and classification, Williamson is well positioned to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of laser scanning compared to alternative approaches for a wide range of applications.
Terrestrial laser scanning is becoming cheaper, smaller, faster, and more common. Is it the right technology for your project? Terrestrial laser scanning has become reasonably commonplace in archaeology, yet many potential users (and even current users) are not comfortable in determining the best applications and most efficient workflows for this technology. This two-hour seminar will provide enough background information and practical tips to enable participants to better evaluate and apply laser scanning to their work. The seminar will provide a starting point for beginners and help experienced users feel more confident in their decisions.
  1. Better assess terrestrial laser scanning’s applicability to their needs;
  2. Become familiar with the current state-of-the-art technologies;
  3. Compare terrestrial laser scanning to alternative/complementary technologies; and
  4. Learn efficient workflows and practices.