I attended Lassen College from January 1994 until I graduated in May of 1996. During my time at Lassen, I was active in the governance of the Associated Student Body, as well as Vice-President and Co-Founder of the Creative Writer’s Guild. I was fortunate enough to take an evening class in Physical Anthropology.
Fall semester of 1996 found me attending Humboldt State University on the coast of Northern California. At first, I considered taking my major in Cellular/Molecular Biology. I enrolled and signed up for the classes based on my advisor’s assessment. After the first day of Calculus I and Chemistry 1A, I knew I had erred, and that Anthropology was my calling.
The rest, as they say, is history. I re-listed my major, sought another advisor, and studied my guts out. I took as many Physical Anthropology classes as I could, sometimes enrolling in excess of 21 units. Dr. Suzanne Walker created new opportunities for Independent Studies in Forensic Anthropology as well as Museum Studies. I remained active in student government under the guidance of Dr. Pat Wenger. I was a Teaching Assistant for Dr. Walker's Physical Anthropology classes and I used the time in my office to my advantage as I completed my Senior thesis pertaining to perceptions of cleanliness in public restrooms on the HSU campus.
I fell in love with the climate, environment, and cultural temperament that Humboldt County offers. I graduated summa cum laude in May of 1998. Of course, it rained during the morning commencement ceremony--of which I was a part. I understand that the second commencement ceremony enjoyed blue skies and a gentle afternoon breeze.
In 1998, I was accepted into the Graduate Program at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Dr. William Bass interrupted his retirement and returned to the lectern in the Fall Semester of 1998; I was incredibly fortunate to participate in his Forensic Anthropology class. I broadened my understanding of osteology and zooarchaeology under the guidance of Dr. Walter Klippel.
In 1999, I was awarded a Graduate Teaching Assistanceship and began my apprenticeship to the art of teaching. I was invited to become a member of Phi Kappa Phi. I studied under the firm guidance of Dr. Michael Logan and Dr. Benita Howell and completed my thesis pertaining to infant mortality and infectious diseases. I successfully defended late October 2000, and graduated in December 2000.
I elected to return to Humboldt County in November 2000. After getting settled, I took the opportunity to expand my education in the realm of Archaeology under the guidance of Dr. Rene Vellanoweth at HSU in the Fall of 2001.
I débuted at College of the Redwoods by offering ANTH 99: Magic and Witchcraft during the three-week 2002 Winter session. Since then, I have offered the following classes: ANTH 1: Physical Anthropology, ANTH 3: Cultural Anthropology, and ANTH 4: Folklore. I developed ANTH 6: Forensic Anthropology by request of Dr. Justine Shaw. It has proven to be a popular and rewarding, if challenging, class. I also developed ANTH 99: Anthropology through Science-Fiction.
In 2002, I wrote a grant which increased the holdings of the Anthropology Department. New hominid casts, calipers, and skeletal materials were added to the teaching collection.
Beginning in 2003, and continuing into 2004, the Bear Dig Project took up most of the space in my Lab. The Coroner's Office, having need of faunal specimens of local species, arranged for the excavation and processing of a juvenile male bear. I cleaned and prepared the specimen for archival in the osteological collection of the Humboldt County Coroner's Office.
During a three-month period during the summer of 2004, I had the great good fortune to participate in an archaeological project in Quintana Roo, Mexico. It was an amazing experience! Besides the incredible memories and new knowledge and skills, I brought back four hammocks, tennis elbow, and a very uncharacteristic suntan complete with freckles.
In the Summer of 2005, I had the pleasure of teaching two classes in "Forensics" to the participating students of Upward Bound. The class experimented with decomposition variables in "Biology Bottles". We learned that decomposition occurs much faster in plain water than in Diet Mountain Dew®™.
The Summer of 2006, I taught "Forensic Anthropology", "Forensic Archaeology", and "Lost Civilizations" to the students participating in the Upward Bound program.
Spring 2007 will most likely find me teaching ANTH 6: Forensic Anthropology.
My interests are manifold: human osteology, pathology, infectious diseases, infant mortality, taphonomic processes, and ethnographic data collection. The history of scientific endeavors fascinates me, and I have interests in fields as varied as evolutionary theory, geology, epidemiology, biology, human sexuality, and genetics. Folklore also fascinates me. Additionally, I have interests in skeletal art as represented in both recent and historic anatomical texts. I participate in forensic analyses of human and non-human skeletal remains at the request of the Coroner's Office.
Anything humans do, are capable of doing, or perhaps have done in the past is rich and strange grist to my anthropological mill. It should not surprise anyone if my research areas change through time.
A more-or-less current copy of my curriculum vitae is available here.
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