Looking Forward to 2019-2020
As the end of my first year as the Campus Archaeology Program Director is coming to a close, I wanted to share some reflections and thoughts about our work. First, I wanted to say that I have been very lucky to work with our CAP Fellows, who are so engaged and enthusiastic about the work they do and about CAP. They are the backbone of our program and put a public face to the profession of archaeology.
What I also greatly appreciate about CAP is how we form partnerships across campus with a variety of groups and units. These collaborations range from working with the MSU Eat at State ON-THE-GO Food Truck, MSU Grandparents University, MSU Science Festival, Infrastructure, Planning, and Facilities (IPF), MSU Archives, and the MSU Paranormal Society to deliver outreach to our campus community, MSU alumni, and visitors to MSU. We also take CAP’s work off campus, bringing exhibits and outreach materials to events like Michigan Archaeology Day and local libraries and schools. CAP is unique in that it is able to engage people from all walks of life and interests beyond the ivory tower of academia.
Our reach is broad. As the new CAP director, I plan to continue to expand our sphere of influence. One example of this is our recent visit to MSU’s W. K. Kellogg Biological Station (KBS). KBS was donated to MSU (or MSC as it was known in the past) by W. K. Kellogg, who is best known for being the founder of the Kellogg Company. Kellogg had many interests beyond the cereal that bears his name. He became fascinated with birds after hearing a lecture at a sanitarium and went on to build what is today the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary at the Kellogg Biological Station. He imported an international menagerie of birds to his sanctuary and then donated it to Michigan State College (now MSU) in 1928. Since then KBS has been an innovative research station that is of interest to ecologists, biologists, ornithologists, farmers, and, now, archaeologists.
Kara Haas, who serves as the Science Education & Outreach Coordinator for the W. K. Biological Station, and several other staff and volunteers at KBS gave us an engaging tour of the sanctuary and property. We saw architectural drawings of the property, fed trumpeter swans, located some extant archaeological features associated with KBS’ earlier days, and went on a fascinating tour of Kellogg’s ornately decorated and designed manor house. The CAP crew was also treated to a delicious meal at the dormitories attached to the manor.
I am hoping that this trip might generate future research projects for CAP, undergraduate students, and youth in Michigan. This is just one of the many examples of the type of partnerships we seek to build across campus, across the region, and across the state of Michigan. I look forward to continuing to share our new adventures as we learn about the people who once lived on and inhabited MSU’s properties.