Projects

My rolling stone gathers no moss. Right now, I am collaborating on several projects, all of which revolve around my central research interests in human adaptations to landscape change.

  • KENYA: I am collaborating with the National Museums of Kenya on a project looking at how humans responded to changes in lake levels of Lake Turkana during the Quaternary. In Summer 2016, I will be working with Steve Forman (Baylor University) and David Braun (George Washington University) at the Koobi Fora Field School to identify and date relict Pleistocene beaches. My wife, Kristina Dziedzic Wright and I are also spearheading an initiative to digitize all of the records in order to streamline museum access to their collections.
  • MALAWI: I have been collaborating with Jessica Thompson (Emory University) looking at Middle Stone Age (300,000-30,000 years BP) sites in northern Malawi (http://memsap.org). We are connecting how hominids accessed resources within the framework of long-term environmental change. My participation focuses on reconstructing the depositional context in which site formation processes were occurring. I am also collecting the OSL samples and working with the Korean Basic Research Institute to produce an age model for the sites.
  • ARIZONA: I am collaborating with the Cultural Resource Management Program and the Department of Environmental Quality on the Gila River Indian Community (GRIC) on a project called “The Archaeology of Dust.” We are identifying sources of dust pollution on the GRIC and looking at how people of the past (Huhugam) mitigated the effects of dust. Our new project involves reconstructing the introduction of Valley Fever (Coccidioidomycosis) into the Phoenix Basin.
  • CAMEROON: Scott MacEachern (Bowdoin College), Jean-Marie Datouang Djoussou (University of Québec) and I have been collaborating in northern Cameroon, presently in the Benue River Valley to understand Iron Age settlement and mound formation processes. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2014 and my graduate student, Jungyu Choi, recently finished running OSL ages on the sites at the Korean Basic Science Institute under the tutelage of Jeong-Heon Choi.
  • KOREA: I am co-PI for a large research project headed by Jangsuk Kim (Seoul National University) to regenerate and recalibrate radiocarbon ages across the Korean Peninsula to look at diachronic changes in demography. We are in the second year of the 3-year grant and have begun by looking at potential for systematic and random errors in radiocarbon dating. We will then statistically reevaluate the orthodox model of “pulsed” populating of Korea since the Pleistocene.
  • BRAZIL: I am PI on a project collaborating with colleagues from Middle Tennessee State University (USA) and the Museu Paraense Emílio Goeldi (Brazil) investigating the origins and evolution of agricultural systems near the mouth of the Amazon River. Along with my graduate student, Jungyu Choi, we will be using OSL and radiocarbon to date the formation of terra preta soils and stable isotope geochemistry will be conducted at Seoul National University to reconstruct vegetation and climatic conditions on the soils. The research will take place in June-July 2016.
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