CAP Represents at the Midwest Archaeological Conference 2015

This past weekend CAP attended the Midwest Archaeological Conference in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Several grad students and faculty presented their research and represented the outstanding work happening at MSU.

CAP Poster Presentation:

Lisa Bright, Katy Meyers-Emery, and Amy Michaels- More Than Just Nightsoil: Preliminary Findings from Michigan State University’s First Privy – download here

In addition to a poster presentation, Campus Archaeology was excited to be asked to be a part of the Campus Archaeologies in the Midwest Session. Organized by William Green and Shannon Fie from Beloit College, this session explored the variety of archaeology occurring on college campuses throughout the Midwest. Dr. Goldstein presented on CAP, Michigan State University’s Campus Archaeology Program: What We’ve Done and What We’ve Learned. Her presentation explained the successful strategies of CAP and how CAP has culminated into its current position within the university. Dr. Goldstein stressed the importance of creating lasting results within he university, such as the University’s Master Plan.

Lisa Bright, Katy Meyers-Emery, and Kate Frederick presented The Only Things Constant is Change: Maintaining Continuity in the MSU Campus Archaeology Program. One of the major challenges of CAP is the regular turnover in not only the University’s administration, but also the turnover in the position of Campus Archaeologist and CAP fellows. Our presentation explained the mechanisms we have in place to create continuity, i.e. GIS (see Katy’s post), and how we prevent having to reinvent the wheel every year.

Other papers in the session were as follows….

William Green (Beloit College)Archaeology on/off the Campus

Robert Sasso (University of Wisconsin-Parkside)- In the Field Away and at Home: Archaeological Investigations on Two College Campuses in Southeastern Wisconsin

Shannon Fie (Beloit College)- Geophysics at Beloit College: A Tool for Sustaining Campus Archaeology

Mark Schurr (University of Notre Dame)- Exploring the Foundations of University of Notre Dame 2015: The Return to Old College

Darlene Brooks-Hedstrom and Caitlin Lobl (Wittenberg University) Campus Archaeology as a Catalyst for Partnership between Alumni, Students, and the Administration at Wittenberg University

John Doershuk, William Whittaker, and Angela Collins (University of Iowa)- Hubbard Park and Voxman School of Music: Campus Archaeology at the University of Iowa

Russel Skowronek (University of Texas Pan American)- Discussant, MSU Alum, and Co-Author of Beneath the Ivory Tower: The Archaeology of Academia

There were some interesting general topics to take away from the presentations. First of all, archaeology conducted on college campuses is very high profile, and because of this, should be used to its full advantage. For our CAP, hundreds of people pass by our excavations each day, so taking the time to explain why we’re conducting archaeology, and how it effects the larger campus community is integral for sustaining our program. Campus archaeology should involve and invite the entire campus community. Engage not only the current students who happen to stumble past the excavation, but also seek out alumni who potentially have insight about the area, or deep pockets to fund further excavations. Because archaeology can be so hands-on, it’s easy to intrigue a wide range of people, from life-long-learners to toddlers, archaeology can be family friendly and engaging. Campus archaeology has the ability connect students to broader research goals. The presentation by Wittenberg University, explained how one student’s involvement with her campus archaeology program led to further success in studies abroad. Russel Skowronek, the discussant for the session stressed that, while it’s easy for archaeologists to see the advantages of campus archaeology, we need to find ways to ensure that the university understands those advantages.

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