Tag Archives: research

Monday is Coming! Monday is Coming!

5 May

Posted to Freecycle to find business casual women’s clothing? Check.
Set aside money for a new haircut and style? Check.
Been studying way too much over a semester break to prepare? Check.

Yup!  McNair Kick-Off Luncheon coming up on Monday.  Pictures will be taken for the journal and added to the university website.  As a woman in this society, it is my obligation to look my best and nothing like I would any other day (ie make-up, fancier clothing, hair done up, etc).  It’s what we do. 

But before you point your finger and laugh at my pain…  Check out this menu:

Sandwich Buffet-
      Deli Sliced Turkey and Provolone on Hearty Wheat Bread
      Roast Beef and Cheddar with bacon, Lettuce and Tomato on 
         Toasted 12 Grain Bread     
     Balsamic Marinated Vegetable Wrap with Feta Cheese 
         and Mixed Greens
 
Greek Penne Salad tossed with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Red Onions, Peppers, Fresh baby Spinach, Feta Cheese and Black Olives

Red Skinned Potato Salad with Egg, Celery, and Spanish Onion in a Seasoned Mayonnaise Dressing

Cookies, Potato Chips, and Condiments

Some updates! (It’s been awhile…)

24 Apr

First off, as a continuation of my last post a long time back… My finished abstract:

Recent studies at the regional and national levels show how the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, also known as Paleoindians, were spread across the land by looking at the distribution of projectile points and other associated artifacts dating to between 11,500 and 9000 years BP (before present).  However, there is still much to understand about Paleoindian and subsequent Early Archaic site distributions because the existing data is insufficient to truly understand the lifeways of these first inhabitants.  Several reasons partly account for the paucity of the data base.  First, early sites are few in number and difficult to find because they are frequently represented by single finds of distinctive projectile points.   In addition, many regions have poor documentation of most sites in existing databases.  Finally, few systematic research efforts have been undertaken in many areas with the intention of locating sites from this time period.  Thus, a wider range of sites needs to be identified before we can truly understand the lifeways of our earliest inhabitants.  This project proposes to develop the existing database of Paleoindian/Early Archaic sites with the objective of generating a predictive model of Paleoindian/Early Archaic settlement in a portion of west central Michigan.  The study area will include Allegan, Kent, and Ottawa counties, a region where few sites have been recorded.  Paleoindian and Early Archaic site distributions will be compiled by utilizing publications on artifacts (primarily projectile points) from these two periods and State of Michigan Archaeological Site File records.  These existing sources will be supplemented with information from landowners, artifact collectors, and historical societies which constitute a relatively untapped resource and will be the most important in discovering the patterns of Paleoindian/Early Archaic land use for the study area.  Through these methods, it will be possible to establish a comprehensive database of known locations of sites in these three counties which will become the basis of a predictive model that can be tested by systematic survey. Maps of the site locations will be created and compared to environmental and other features to develop a testable predictive model. This model will be a valuable resource for future inquiries into early settlement and adaptive strategies in the region and also can be used to identify new sites in the future.

Yup!  That’s what I’m doing starting in May.  It’s pretty exciting now that it is getting closer.  I recall being ready to strangle the nearest person while writing that whole proposal out.  All I have left for this semester is two take-home finals and one in-class final to do.  Then, I have a week of a break that my SO and I will be off to visit our families on the other side of the state (and maybe some friends). 

Monday, May 9th there is a kick-off luncheon for McNair Scholars students and mentors.  Pictures taken for the journal and website and all that fun stuff.  I am already setting up appointments to look at artifacts, have finalized my list of museums to contact for setting up the artifact identification days, and started making my lithic recording forms.  Now, as this all draws nearer, I’m getting that much more excited.

My typical McNair week:
Monday —  GRE (Verbal) study class: 9:00am-10:30am; Wellness seminar 10:45am-12:00pm
Tuesday —  Graduate School Research and Application Preparation(GS-RAP) class: 9:00am-11:15am; Toastmasters meeting 11:30am- 1:00pm
Wednesday — GRE (Math) study class: 9:00am-10:30am; Yoga: 10:45-12:00pm
Thursday — GS-RAP class: 9:00am-10:45am; McNair Meeting: 11:00-1:00pm

… Every week save for practice GRE exams, 5-,10-,15-minute presentations, and the McNair conference in Buffalo.  Check out the links if you want to know more about what each one of those things is.

Critiquing an Abstract

11 Mar

 Recent national and regional research into the distribution of Paleoindian projectile points has produced some initial patterning data. However, there is still much to be discovered related to distributions and criticisms include a lack of data from certain counties and a failure to collect data from non-academic sources. Data will be compiled by utilizing state records of sites with Paleoindian components, gathering data from landowners and artifact collectors, and adding it to the known academic publications on Paleoindian projectile point distributions in Allegan, Kent, and Ottawa Counties of Michigan. Through this, a comprehensive database of these artifacts and a distributional map will created and analyzed for patterning and statistical probabilities of the locations of further sites will be generated. These tools will be a valuable resource for future inquiries into Paleoindian settlement and adaptive strategies as well as locating new sites with which more information can be gathered to further understand the Paleoindian period in Michigan.
Word Count: 156 / Word Limit: 300

– – – – –

What do you understand about the above statement, what do you absolutely not understand, and what do you think could be made more clear?

I’m gonna break this down now to explain it. A self-critique of my own abstract if you will. I hope to be able to flesh this out to make it understandable to many people without intrinsic knowledge of the subject matter.

– – – – –

Recent national and regional research into the distribution of Paleoindian projectile points has produced some initial patterning data.

There have been recent studies at the regional and national levels to show how the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, also known as Paleoindians, were distributed across the land by looking at the distribution of diagnostic styles of projectile points.

However, there is still much to be discovered related to distributions and criticisms include a lack of data from certain counties and a failure to collect data from non-academic sources.

However, there is still much to be discovered related to Paleoindian distributions because current studies are largely incomplete due to a lack of data from certain states and counties  long with a wider ranges of sources for the data needs to be considered.

Data will be compiled by utilizing the resource of state records of sites with Paleoindian components, gathering data from landowners and artifact collectors, and adding it to the known academic publications on Paleoindian projectile point distributions in Allegan, Kent, and Ottawa Counties of Michigan.

The study area will be the Allegan, Kent, and Ottawa Counties of Michigan.  Paleoindian distribution will be compiled by utilizing known academic publications on Paleoindian projectile points and State of Michigan records of sites with Paleoindian period components that may or may not have been studied and published.  Landowners, artifact collectors, and historical societies are a relatively untapped resource and will be the most important in discovering the patterns of Paleoindian land use for the study area.

Through this, a comprehensive database of these artifacts and a distributional map will created and analyzed for patterning and statistical probabilities of the locations of further sites will be generated.

Through these methods, it will be possible to establish a comprehensive database of known locations of Paleoindian projectile point discoveries in these three counties.   Futhermore, a distributional map of the find locations for artifacts will be created and compared to known sites.  Statistical probabilities for further sites can be generated with these data.

These tools will be a valuable resource for future inquiries into Paleoindian settlement and adaptive strategies as well as locating new sites with which more information can be gathered to further understand the Paleoindian period in Michigan.

More information can be gathered beyond this study to even further understand the Paleoindian period in Michigan. These tools will a valuable resource for future inquiries into Paleoindian settlement and adaptive strategies.  They can also be used to identify new sites and better understand where probable sites are located.

Overall, the new abstract comes to 262 words, with which I am much more pleased.  I also feel it is much more descriptive and explanatory.  Though really, this is just me.  I would appreciate any feedback.  (Also, a few minor touch-ups were made on this final one with word use, etc. as I fit it all together.

– – – – –

There have been recent studies at the regional and national levels to show how the earliest inhabitants of the Americas, also known as Paleoindians, were spread across the land by looking at the distribution of diagnostic styles of projectile points. However, there is still much to be discovered related to Paleoindian distributions because current studies are largely incomplete due to a lack of data from certain states and counties long with a wider ranges of sources for the data needs to be considered. The study area will be the Allegan, Kent, and Ottawa Counties of Michigan. Paleoindian distribution will be compiled by utilizing known academic publications on Paleoindian projectile points and State of Michigan records of sites with Paleoindian period components that may or may not have been studied and published. Landowners, artifact collectors, and historical societies are a relatively untapped resource and will be the most important in discovering the patterns of Paleoindian land use for the study area. Through these methods, it will be possible to establish a comprehensive database of known locations of Paleoindian projectile point discoveries in these three counties. Futhermore, a distributional map of the find locations for artifacts will be created and compared to known sites. Statistical probabilities for further sites can be generated with these data. More information can be gathered beyond this study to even further understand the Paleoindian period in Michigan. These tools will a valuable resource for future inquiries into Paleoindian settlement and adaptive strategies. They can also be used to identify new sites and better understand where probable sites are located.

Lost in Translation

27 Feb

I know I have a few readers, my site stats say so.  My readers are probably just my friends, but you’re all lurking!

And after a long-winded phone call the other night with a close friend, I realized that most of you unless trained in archaeology have no idea what I’m talking about with most of the terms I use.  This is something I really don’t want.  I want to be able to communicate with academics and people so far from the discipline that they don’t even know what a projectile point is, much less a Gainey point made of Upper Mercer chert found in association with a netsinker (of which is not possible, for those who -don’t- know,  aka all of you most likely).

So I need you guys to tell me what’s up and where I’m losing you.  I need to know where I’m being too wordy or not explaining enough.

Honestly, writing for grants and such is a big part of my future both in grad school and my professional life.  I’ll need money that comes from grant providers who many have next to no experience dealing with my field or specializations and I need to be able to communicate to them what I want to do and why it is important. 

Will you all help me out?  Maybe go back to a post or a few which you didn’t really understand and tell me, or keep me on my toes in the future.  You’ll be helping me out gratuitously. 🙂

Writing a Research Proposal

23 Feb

My research project is fully decided.  I will be holding artifact identification events at local museums and historical societies and recording where the Paleoindian/Early Archaic projectile points were collected, as well as examining state records for Paleoindian components in sites in the Allegan, Ottawa, and Kent counties.  These data will be compiled into a comprehensive database and a distributional map created.  Hopefully altogether, statistically probable Paleoindian sites with be able to be identified.  Time permitting, these data will be analyzed through GIS technologies and perhaps submitted to PIDBA.

Onward to the research proposal.

Cleverly enough, I scheduled it so that I can write a research proposal and use the same information for my Archaeological Methods proposal.  Now, because its a cross-discipline scholars program, the people at McNair have issued a proposal template.  Jan has given us the assignment in Methods to base it off of some NSF proposals.  These are great, truly to see the format, style and flow.

However, for someone who has never written anything like this before it can be quite a hard task.

I’m having trouble stating my research question, writing an abstract, and planning a budget.  The only thing that isn’t troubling me thus far is the literature review, which is really a glorified research paper stating the background of the subject of the research, as in what has been done before.

Well, I still have a few weeks.  Right now I have to concentrate on midterms, papers, and exams for classes that are all due in the upcoming week.  Wish me luck!

Holcombe Beach – Paleoindians in Macomb County

25 Jan

Historic Marker for the Holcombe Beach Site

As I gather data and sources for my literature review, I stumbled upon something rather exciting.  I already knew of Holcombe Beach as being the source of name for a specific type of Projectile Point.  What I didn’t know is that it is practically in SO’s parent’s backyard — just a few miles away from their house.  What else I didn’t know is that its now a baseball park with some stands and diamonds pretty much over the top of it.

On one hand, I’m rather excited.  On the other, I feel that its kind of tragic that the only significance given to this site is the random chance that they might stumble upon the historic marker, which is a bit dated in language in my opinion, but hey at least there is one.

Strangely enough I had a dream last night that my Archaeological Methods class took a field trip to this site (all the way across the state of Michigan) becuase the original excavators never finished one of the units so we were going to!  And we found so much and it gained so much popularity the Macomb County officials decided to tear down the baseball park and build a museum to catalog the county’s rich history from Paleoindian settlement all the way to the present.   And it was a glorious museum with labs and amazing exhibits.  Macomb County has a couple non-government museums opperating through tour fees and/or donations — but nothing like this.

This little website about Holcombe Beach, not by any government, is all that we get for now.  Perhaps we’ll see some changes in the future — until then, I can have my nice little dreams.