Meet the 2017 Field School Students

This week kicked off our 2017 field school.  Students will be investigation an area in the Abbot median that contained Station Terrace.  Take a moment to meet this summer’s field school students.  They will be posting weekly blogs during the field school.

2017 CAP Field School Students

Desiree Quinn: Hi! My name is Desiree Quinn and I’m a junior studying anthropology at Michigan State University. Like many others, I first became interested in anthropology after watching the show Bones. (I know that most anthropologists are cringing at my mention of Bones, sorry!) Since then, I’ve grown to love everything about anthropology which has made it difficult for me to pinpoint an area of focus. I have many research interests including bioarchaeology, environmental anthropology, museum studies, and biological anthropology. I’m hoping that this field school, after having some hands-on experience, will help me to narrow down that list.

I’m really excited to see how archaeology can be used in ways that I hadn’t considered. In particular, I’m really looking forward to learning about public archaeology because I think it’s really important for science to be accessible to the public. I also like that this field school gives me the unique opportunity to learn more about my university and I can’t wait to be an archaeologist!

Jerica Aponte: Hello, my name is Jerica. This is my first semester at Michigan State University as a transfer student. I think that getting involved in this field school is the perfect way to get started on this new journey.

Why Anthropology? Is the question that everyone asks me. Well, let me tell you a little about myself. I was born in Puerto Rico, but at the age of seven, my parents became missionaries. This gave me the opportunity to live in countries such as Belize, Peru, and Costa Rica, and I also got to travel to other countries. Getting to see firsthand, not only how much diversity there is, but also compare the similarity between people, sparked my interest in cultures and people.

Even though I am not a student seeking an Archaeology degree, I have learned that Anthropology is a holistic field. All of its different areas, such as: Archaeology, Linguistics, Cultural, and Applied Anthropology, work hand in hand in order to better understand the whole. My interest is in the cultural aspect of anthropology, and one way of understanding the social culture (abstract concepts and ideas) is by studying the physical culture (concrete representation of ideas.) This is why I have decided to participate in the Campus Archaeology Research.

This hands-on experience will help me apply knowledge that I have previously gained in my classes and it will also be a learning experience for me. Something that I am looking forward to is learning more about the roots and foundation of MSU. Learning about the history of the school that I am attending will allow me to appreciate it more. So, even though I like the cultural aspect of anthropology, archaeology helps me visualize how our ancestors lived and functioned in their different spaces.

I am looking forward to this enriching experience and I hope to make many discoveries alongside my classmates. Stay tuned for more updates.

Kaleigh Perry: My name is Kaleigh, I am a junior at Michigan State University, and will be participating in the 2017 MSU Campus Archaeology Field School this summer. I entered MSU as a Chemistry major, but quickly switched my major to Anthropology since I discovered I am more interested in how past people lived than I am in chemical reactions. I am specifically interested in pursuing a career in Forensic Anthropology (dealing with contemporary human remains) or Bioarchaeology (examining archaeological or historically significant human remains) because I find that bones of the deceased can tell fascinating stories about how people lived and died, thereby increasing our knowledge about past ways of life, technology, and cultures that may have become extinct.

I applied for the MSU Field School for two main reasons. First, excavations can be an important part in the Anthropological research process, and for this reason, I want to learn how to properly partake in an excavation. Secondly, by participating in the Field School, I hope to learn something new about the beautiful campus I have been fortunate enough to call home for the past three years.

I am looking forward to seeing what the next month holds.

Cooper Duda: I’m Cooper Duda and am going into my junior year here at MSU.  I come from Commerce Township, Michigan; which is about an hour away.  I have a younger twin brother that is transferring to MSU in the fall.  My freshman year I lived in Wilson Hall and now I live off campus with some friends.

I became interested in Anthropology and Archaeology when I decided I no longer liked my first major, which was Chemical Engineering, and decided to change to something I would actually enjoy and like to do as a career.  I have always been interested by history and how things have been changed to become how they are now.  The more I learn about the more I am happy with the fact that I changed my major, but I am still unsure if I want to go into a sub-discipline of Archaeology or Physical Anthropology because both are really intriguing to me.

Josh Eads: Hello, folks. My name is Josh Eads. I’m currently an anthropology major at Michigan State University. After the Fall semester of 2017, I’ll graduate and head off to do Cultural Resource Management to start off my career in anthropology. For those of you who don’t know what cultural resource management is, basically it is the process of surveying an area for artifacts related to culture and history, such as American Indian burial grounds or arrow-heads, and saving them from total annihilation.

Initially, my major was physics, but after realizing that physics can be a complete nightmare, I decided to switch to anthropology and archaeology. For anyone who knows Kate Meyers Emery, she’s the one that I will always say “thanks” to for introducing me to the wonders of archaeology.

With CAP 2017, I’m looking forward to getting my hands dirty, literally, and engaging in some good old-fashioned excavation. I look forward to getting the chance to learn about the history of Michigan State University and East Lansing. GO GREEN!

Alex Samons: I’m Alex Samons. I’m a senior anthropology student at Michigan State University now but I’ll be starting to study at a school in England in the coming fall for my master’s degree in Osteoarchaeology.

Osteoarchaeology is, very simply, the study of very old human bones recovered from archaeological contexts. In the UK, osteoarchaeology is considered a field of its own within the larger field of archaeology (which is considered a separate field from anthropology) although here in the US it is considered a form of bioarcheology (an subset of anthropology that focuses on the biological remains of humans and their ancestors).

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