Lisa Bright – Introduction

Hi everyone! Although you briefly got to meet me in the introduction to the CAP fellows post, I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce myself in more detail.

Saint's Rest excavation 2005. Courtesy Patrick Wellever/The State News

Saint’s Rest excavation 2005. Courtesy Patrick Wellever/The State News

I attended MSU from 2003-2007, focusing mainly on physical anthropology, and graduating with a B.S. in Anthropology. As I previously mentioned, while an undergrad I participated in the 2005 Saint’s Rest Field School. This was my first hands-on practical experience with archaeology and I was hooked.

Helicopter

Lisa being lowered from a Sheriff’s Dept Helicopter

After graduating I went straight into the M.A. program at California State University, Chico. While there I focused on    forensic anthropology and bioarchaeology. My thesis examined the impact of large bodied scavengers, like bears, on remains left in remote environments. I used game trail cameras to monitor scavenger activity around pig carcasses, and used that data to create a model to use in the interpretation of scavenging damage in forensic cases. Forensic anthropology allowed me to participate in many unique situations, but my personal favorite was being lowered out of a helicopter to reach a remote scene.

But just because I was focusing on forensics, that didn’t mean I let my archaeological training go by the wayside. I participated in another field school that surveyed and excavated the possible site of a historic flume tenders cabin. I also attended, and later aided in the instruction of a forensic archaeology field school.

Lisa excavating in a potter's field on the grounds of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif. 2013. The graveyard dates from between 1875 and 1935. Courtesy Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group

Lisa excavating in a potter’s field on the grounds of Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, Calif. 2013. The graveyard dates from between 1875 and 1935. Courtesy Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group

After graduating with my M.A. in 2011 I spent a few years working in Northern California. I worked as an osteologist on the salvage excavation and onsite analysis of a

historic paupers cemetery in San Jose, California. This site is going to be the focus of my dissertation work. After concluding with the cemetery, I worked as a lecturer in the CSU, Chico Anthropology department.

Now I’m back at MSU to pursue my Ph.D. in mortuary archaeology. It truly feels like things have come full circle being able to participate in the campus archaeology program once again.

One thought on “Lisa Bright – Introduction

  1. Hi Lisa,
    Please let me know if you are willing to speak to our group in October about findings on the MSU campus. Details when you e-mail me.

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