You may have heard about the scuttlebutt at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, in which the archaeological community found itself embroiled in the #metoo movement in a very public way. The jury is still out on how the organization will move on from this incident. I hope that they set policies that will satisfy all participants and guide other similar organizations that still have yet to reform their membership and sexual harassment policies.
Aside from these incidents, which were decidedly too close to home for a young woman in Alaskan archaeology, I had a pretty great time catching up with old colleagues, meeting new ones, and eating a series of amazing burritos smothered in green chilis (see right). However, one thing that I had been looking forward to for months was certainly watching Senna Catenacci present her first conference poster.
Senna and I have been working together in lab for nearly two years. This year, Senna put together a poster not for the undergraduate research symposium, but for the big leagues: the national conference. Our co-authored poster compares two archaeological components from the Delta Creek Site that have been radiocarbon dated to the terminal Pleistocene and early Holocene. These components are significant because they show what Alaska's early residents did during a big cold snap: the Younger Dryas, a brief return to the ice age at the end of the Pleistocene.
Senna, in her typical outstanding fashion, was awarded several grants to attend the conference and had her poster printed and ready to go a week before her flight. Unfortunately, the weather had other ideas and something called a "double bomb cyclone" struck Denver. Senna's flights were successively cancelled and I was in the air before I could transport the poster for her. Adding to these complications, our poster session was first thing in the morning on the first day and I was set to present in a concurrent session. Fortunately, my Alaskan colleagues are incredibly patient and bore with us as I left Senna's poster on a laptop during my lightning session. I was also able to video chat Senna in for a few minutes to get a glimpse of the poster room zoo. While we were both very disappointed, we're staying positive by seeing this as an excuse to finally get Senna to Alaska for the Alaska Anthropology Association meetings next year!
Bree is an Alaskan Anthropologist pursuing her PhD at the University of Michigan.