Anthropology Students Present at UURAF 2015
Friday I had the privilege of evaluating the Anthropology section of the University Undergraduate Research and Arts Forum (UURAF) in the MSU Union. I was very impressed with the quality of research and the ability of each presenter to discuss their project goals and outcomes. Each student presented quality original research that certainly speaks to the dedication they brought to their projects! I snapped a couple pictures at each poster:
Josh Schnell pulled double duty and presented on Mississippian landscapes and 3D cranial modeling techniques. He was able to determine new information about gravel use at Aztalan which again underscores the unique nature of the site. His research into 3D modeling answers important questions about whether this new technology gives us similar data when compared to traditional methods.
Taylor Flaherty examined sexual dimporphism in a small sample using the mandible as her data source. This research is particularly important when considering bioarchaeological samples that are poorly preserved and unable to be sexed using traditional methods.
Allison Apland presented a very interesting project about food insecurity in a population of breastfeeding women in Northern Kenya. Her work examines how women cope with food insecurity and how those strategies affect dietary quality and health. This project has important implications across sub-disciplines in physical, cultural, and medical anthropology.
Kyla Cools looked at a little-used data source, traditional Native American craftwork quilts, to understand patterns and variations that may point to aspects of cultural identity and change through time. Her findings were very interesting and she spoke eloquently about how she thinks scholars should begin to use utilitarian pieces like quilts in their understanding of Native cultures, memory, and representation.
Rebecca Alpert relayed her research on using charred food remains on ceramics to understand Middle Woodland dietary choices. This research begins the first lines of inquiry into how Upper Peninsula populations were cooking and eating some 2000 years ago.