- October, 2013: Ancient Fossils Meet Modern Technology
On October 29, Chris Widga and Dennis Lawler took 10 specimens showing evidence of pathology to the CT scanning facility at a local hospital (that prefers to remain anonymous). Among these specimens were white-tailed deer from archeological sites showing evidence of trauma and healing, mastodont and horse vertebrae with warped processes, and "normal" deer bones for reference.
- October, 2013: Linking Databases
Part of the EarthCube initiative is to facilitate linking different databases, including the NSF funded Neotoma Paleoecology Database, of which Dr. Eric Grimm is a lead investigator. On October 28, in conjunction with the Geological Society of American meetings in Denver, Grimm met for a one-day workshop with organizers of the TMI database to discuss such linkages. TMI (Tool for Microscopic Identification: https://tmi.laccore.umn.edu/), based at the University of Minnesota, stores images of a wide variety of microfossils to aid in their identification. Neotoma stores the observed occurrences of these fossils. Linkages would enable simultaneous visualization of data and images.
- October, 2013: Midwest Archaeological Conference
Dr. Terrance Martin, Dr. Michael Conner, and Dawn Cobb gave presentations at the 59th Annual Midwest Archaeological Conference in Columbus, Ohio, October 24-27 (see Professional Presentations). Dr. Martin also read a paper authored by John Franzen and Eric C. Drake (USDA Forest Service, Hiawatha National Forest) on “The ‘Big Hook’ site: A Nineteenth Century Maple Sugar Camp in Northern Michigan.” Dr. Bonnie Styles coordinated the production for the two Distinguished Career Awards, and Dr. Martin delivered them to the MAC Board for presentation at the Awards Ceremony.
- October, 2013: DNA from Ethnographic Objects
Dr. Mahoney continued DNA lab work on ethnographic samples to determine if DNA can be extracted and sequenced from this material. This study is in collaboration with Dr. Lynn Snyder of the Smithsonian Institution.
- October, 2013: Illinois River Bison
On October 21, Dr. Chris Widga and Dennis Lawler travelled to the Dickson Mounds Museum where they met Alan Harn to examine recent bison finds from the central Illinois River valley. The Woodyard bison is likely a young bull from the Late Holocene based on epiphyseal fusion rates and relative size. Somewhat surprisingly, tooth wear indicates a diet dominated by browse, not grasses.
- October, 2013: Trudy the Elephant
Dr. Chris Widga, Dennis Lawler, and Alan Harn attempted to re-locate "Trudy," a St. Louis zoo elephant who died in 1979 of pulmonary tuberculosis and is buried on the Dickson Mounds property (near the Ford House). Despite an afternoon of searching for Trudy, she remains buried in an unknown location. The map showing the location of the skeleton references a corner of the old Ford House, which was bulldozed sometime in the 1990s. The site has also been invaded by non-native Russian olive, which has greatly impeded ground visibility.
- October, 2013: Quantitative Paleoecology Workshop and Symposium
Upon invitation of the organizers, Dr. Eric Grimm was invited to be keynote speaker at the 2013 annual meeting of the American Association of Stratigraphic Palynologists and to organize a symposium around his address. The meeting was held in San Francisco, October 20-23. The symposium was entitled “Quantitative Frontiers in Paleoecology,” and Grimm’s keynote address was entitled “Quantitative Frontiers in Paleoecology: the Neotoma Paleoecology Database.” To accompany the symposium, Dr. Grimm also organized a software training workshop before the meeting with the assistance of Dr. Simon Goring, University of Wisconsin—Madison. The two-day workshop, held October 19-20, was entitled “Palynological Databases: Hands-on Computer Workshop.” The first day, led by Dr. Grimm, focused on his Tilia software, which is widely used for managing and graphing fossil-pollen data. The second day, led by Dr. Goring, focused on a statistical package for analyzing fossil-pollen data from the Neotoma Paleoecology Database.
- October, 2013: Paleoamerican Odyssey Conference
Dr. Jeffrey Saunders with co-authors Gennady Baryshnikov (Zoological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia) and Kevin Seymour (Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto, Canada) presented a poster entitled “The Rise and Fall of a Clovis-age Large Mammal Community in Southern Arizona” at the Paleoamerican Odyssey Conference held October 16-19 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, convened by the Center for the Study of the First Americans (CSFA), Department of Anthropology, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. Their poster proposes a key role of large scansorial (climbing), stalking felids (cats) in large mammal community dynamics during the late Pleistocene.
- October, 2013: Plains Anthropological Conference
Dr. Chris Widga was co-author of a poster at the 71st Plains Anthropological Conference in Loveland, Colorado. The lead author was Andrew Boehm, a Ph.D. student at Southern Methodist University whose research focuses on the isotopic ecology of early Holocene bison in the central Plains.
- October, 2013: Plant Diversity
Dr. Hong Qian and colleagues published an article, entitled "Phylogenetic beta diversity of
angiosperms in North America", in the October issue of Global Ecology and Biogeography that quantified the phylogenetic beta diversity and taxonomic beta diversity of the angiosperm ﬂora across North America, and related these metrics to one another and to geographical and environmental distances to uncover the phylogenetic signal underlying species compositional turnover. Dr. Qian is the lead author of the article.
- October, 2013: Oral History of Methodological Research
Dr. Robert Warren conducted research on the digital indexing of oral history recordings with controlled vocabularies. He co-authored a paper on this topic with fellow participants in a conference session he organized and chaired at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Oral History Association in Oklahoma City, OK (October 12). The paper ("Searching for Spoken Words: Digital Indexing of Oral History Recordings with Controlled Vocabularies" by Robert Warren, Douglas Lambert, Jennifer Palmentiero, Lindsey Barnes, and Kimberly Guise) will be submitted to The Oral History Review for publication. Other papers were presented by Douglas Lambert, The Randforce Associates, University at Buffalo, NY (“Digital Indexing of Oral History Audio and Video: The Challenges of Developing Timecode-centered Metadata and Designing Multi-Dimensional Interfaces”) and Jennifer Palmentiero, Southeastern New York Library Resources Council, Highland, NY. (“Digital Indexing of Oral Histories: Using Standard Thesauri to Facilitate Cross-Collection Searching”). Lindsey Barnes and Kimberly Guise of The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA served as commentators.
- October, 2013: Official Publication of New Snout Moth Species
In order to be valid, the scientific names of species or higher taxa must be published according rules set the relevant code of nomenclature—for animal species, the 1999 International Code of Zoological Nomenclature. In his 1968 Ph,D. dissertation “Revision of the Chrysauginae of North America,” Curator of Zoology Dr. Tim Cashatt described one new genus, three new species, and one new subspecies of snout moths. However, according to the Code, description in a dissertation does not constitute valid publication. To rectify this situation, Cashatt and colleagues Alma Solis (National Museum of Natural History) and Brian Scholtens published these new taxa in the journal ZooTaxa. The newly valid names are: Arta brevivalvalis Cashatt, sp. n., Heliades lindae Cashatt, sp. n., Paragalasa Cashatt, gen. n., Paragalasa exospinalis Cashatt, sp. n., and Penthesilea sacculalis baboquivariensis Cashatt, subsp. n.
- October, 2013: Proboscidean Extinction Project
As part of his NSF funded Proboscidean extinction NSF project, Dr. Chris Widga travelled to the University of Iowa in Iowa City, October 7-9, to continue a census of Iowa mammoths and mastodonts in the University of Iowa Paleontological Repository. In addition to this collections-based research, he presented a lecture to the local chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America on the archaeology and paleoecology of midwestern Proboscidean extinctions. He also spent a day examining recent excavations at a site near Oskaloosa, Iowa. At last count, this site contained a minimum of 3 mammoths, all mature adults, and dates to the terminal Pleistocene. Drs. Widga and Jeffrey Saunders have been involved in the project from its inception in an advisory capacity.
- October, 2013: Zooarchaeologcal Research
Research Associate Dennis Lawler and Dr. Terrance Martin went to Capitol-Illini Veterinary Hospital on October 7 and 8 to have x-rays taken of four 18th-century pathological archaeological white-tailed deer bones from Fort Ouiatenon and Fort St. Joseph. These pathological bones will be the topic of a zooarchaeology symposium presentation next April at the 2014 annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Austin, Texas. Dr. Martin received from Dr. Steve Dasovich (Lindenwood University) the remaining samples of animal remains from the 18th-century Blanchette House site in St. Charles, Missouri, and he resumed identifying additional lots. Dr. Martin finished analyzing the faunal assemblage from site 34MC760, a site in the Ouachita National Forest in eastern Oklahoma that has a Caddo cultural affiliation, and Claire Fuller Martin continued computer database entry of 34MC762, another Caddo site. Dr. Martin finished identifications through catalog #7743 for Site 20OT283, a late prehistoric habitation site along the lower Grand River near Grand Haven, Michigan that was mitigated by CCRG for the Michigan DOT. Dr. Martin finished identifications through catalog #7743 for the Hoxie Farm site (11CK4), mitigated by ITARP/ISAS between 2001 and 2003. Dr. Martin began identifying animal remains from the large refuse pit designated as Feature 224 at the Morton Village site in Fulton County.
- October, 2013: Endangered Species - Hine's Emerald Dragonfly
Hine’s emerald specimens were borrowed from Canada last year to sample as a part of our population genetics study. To comply with our agreement with Canada and U.S. federal regulations, U. S. Fish and Wildlife export forms were completed, the specimens were packed, and they were delivered by Dr. Tim Cashatt to the USFWS Law Enforcement office at Rosemont, Illinois, to be returned to Canada on October 10.
- October, 2013: Illinois Archaeological Survey Meeting
Dr. Terrance Martin, and Dr. Michael Conner participated in the Annual Meeting of the Illinois Archaeological Survey, Inc. in Carbondale on October 4-5.
- October, 2013: Earth Cube Geochronology
EarthCube is an initiative of the National Science Foundation Directorate of Geosciences and Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. “Cyberinfrastructure” refers to the computer software infrastructure for discovering, storing, managing, analyzing, and visualizing data. NSF recognizes that the vast quantities of data produced by modern scientific research necessitate such an infrastructure and that it must be funded, but exactly what that infrastructure is and how it is to be governed is not settled; hence EarthCube: http://www.earthcube.org/page/about. Dr. Eric Grimm has been involved with the management of the North American and Global Pollen Databases for the past 20+ years, with the Neotoma Paleoecology Database for the past 6 years, and is involved with EarthCube. On October 1-3, he participated in an EarthCube Geochronology workshop at the University of Wisconsin—Madison. This workshop had 70 participants representing a range of geochronological methods applicable to recent time (e.g. lead-210 dating) to deep geological time (uranium series dating) and representing various user communities that manage or use geochronological dating. Dr. Grimm gave a presentation on how the Neotoma Paleoecology Database manages geochronological data, including both the original data and age models derived from the original data. Following his presentation, several participants representing geochronological methods that have no current database (e.g., cosmogenic radionuclide dating) approached Dr. Grimm about storing their data in Neotoma. Grimm is following up on this development. On the evening of October 28, in conjunction with the Geological Society of America meetings in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Grimm participated in a “GSA Town Hall: Bringing Geochronology into EarthCube” intended to convey the EarthCube geochronology efforts to the broader scientific community.
- September, 2013: Diversity of Woody Plants
Dr. Hong Qian published an article, entitled "Environmental determinants of woody plant diversity at a regional scale in China", in the journal PLoS ONE on September 26. In this article, Dr. Qian examined the relationship of woody plant species richness at a regional scale with sixteen environmental variables representing energy availability, water availability, energywater balance, seasonality, and habitat heterogeneity. Dr. Qian found that temperature seasonality is the best predictor of woody species richness. Other important environmental variables include annual precipitation, mean temperature of the coldest month, and potential evapotranspiration. The best model explains 85% of the variation in woody plant species richness at the regional scale examined.
- September, 2013: Preparation of Online Publication on Birds of Sangamon County
During September, Andy Hanson completed a draft layout for the two volume compendium of The Birds of Sangamon County. It is slated at the first publication in the Museum’s new Research e-Series. The report summarizes field observations for Dave Bohlen’s 40 year study of birds of Sangamon County. During September, Dr. Bonnie Styles reviewed and edited all of the introductory sections of the report. On September 26, Drs. Bonnie Styles and Eric Grimm met with Dave Bohlen to review and finalize the edited sections.
- September, 2013: Birds of Sangamon County
David Bohlen continued to monitor birds in Sangamon County, concentrating on the fall migration. He recorded 176 species in 258 field hours. Some birds are arriving later than usual, probably due to the dry, warm weather.
- September, 2013: Chaco Canyon Research Summarized
Dr. Jonathan Reyman completed the manuscript for his proposed book, The Burials of Pueblo Bonito and Chaco Canyon: the Published vs. the Unpublished Record, and submitted the prospectus to the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe for consideration for publication.
- September, 2013: Rare Glowworm
Dr. Cashatt continued to collaborate with Tracy Evans (graduate student and zoology research associate) on her fire ecology study, and assisting with the identification of arthropods from her insect surveys. In September, two specimens from material collected from Evan’s pitfall traps were identified as an uncommon “glowworm beetle” (Phengodidae, Phengodes sp.). This species is new for the ISM insect collection.
- September, 2013: Zooarchaeological Research
Jessica Haglund (Illinois State University) is finishing identifications of the faunal assemblage from the Myer-Dickson site (Fulton County, Illinois) for her master’s thesis. Haglund was hired for the summer to supervise archaeological surveys for the National Forest Service in Collville, Washington. During September, Terrance Martin verified Haglund’s identifications of animal remains from Features 29 and 30 flotation samples. Dr. Martin resumed identifying samples of animal remains from the 18th-century Blanchette House site in St. Charles, Missouri. ISM Museum McMillan Intern Courtney Cox will be presenting a paper on the site in a symposium on French colonial archaeology at the SHA’s Conference of Historic and Underwater Archaeology in early January in Quebec City, Quebec. Dr. Martin finished analyzing a large faunal assemblage from site 34MC762, a site in eastern Oklahoma in the Ouachita National Forest that has a Caddo cultural affiliation, and Claire Fuller Martin began computer database entry. Dr. Martin made preparations to begin analysis of animal remains from 34MC760, another Caddo site. Dr. Martin finished identifications through catalog #5079 for Site 20OT283, a late prehistoric habitation site along the lower Grand River near Grand Haven, Michigan that was mitigated by CCRG for the Michigan DOT. During September, Dr. Martin completed computer database entry of analyzed specimens through Feature 1,198 for the Hoxie Farm site (11CK4), mitigated by ITARP/ISAS between 2001 and 2003.
- September, 2013: Dragonfly Phylogenetics
The taxonomic placement of species in higher taxonomic ranks based on morphological characters is often subjective. Phylogenetics, the use of DNA to determine relationships among organisms, is revolutionizing taxonomy. To which genus the Bulgarian Emerald dragonfly belongs has been controversial. Traditionally, it has been placed in the genus Somatochlora (as S. borisi); however, some entomologists argue that it should be placed in the genus Corduliochlora. To resolve the issue, Dr. Meredith Mahoney and Tim Vogt initiated a collaborative study with several other dragonfly researchers. The goal of the project is to analyze DNA sequences from multiple genes to understand the evolutionary relationships of the Bulgarian Emerald with other species of Emerald dragonflies, including the endangered Hine’s Emerald (Somatochlora hineana). Dr. Mahoney and Vogt are contributing gene sequences from their on-going study on relationships of Emerald dragonflies.
- September, 2013: DNA from Ethnographic Objects
Dr. Meredith Mahoney initiated a collaborative project with Dr. Lynn Snyder of the Smithsonian Institution. The goal of the project is to assess whether DNA can be extracted from ethnographic objects, for example leather or sinew components, and determine whether DNA sequencing techniques can be used to identify the species used by native people in these objects. Dr. Mahoney will be doing the DNA lab analyses at the ISM while Dr. Snyder will provide the anthropological and collections context to understand the results.
- September, 2013: New Analyses of ISM Mammoth Tooth Collected in the 1970s
Dr. Chris Widga received the results of stable isotope analyses of a micro-sampled mammoth tooth plate from Jones Spring, Missouri. This tooth was originally collected by Dr. Jeffrey Saunders during the ISM Missouri spring excavations in the 1970s. For the new isotopic analyses, Dr. Widga with the assistance of Paul Countryman built a micromill, and Kayla Kolis (an intern funded through the NSF project) collected the samples. This first batch of samples represents ~1 year of tooth growth. Although far from definitive, this pilot dataset points to the potential of this technique, and Dr. Widga is pursuing additional research.
- September, 2013: Age of the Hopwood Farm Mastodont
Determining the age of the Hopwood Farm Mastodont, excavated by the ISM in the 1980s, has been difficult because it is beyond the maximum age for radiocarbon dating. In June 2013, Drs. Jeffrey Saunders and Chris Widga collected snails from the stratigraphic unit of Hopwood Farm outcrop associated with the mastodont. The snails were dated with electron spin resonance (ESR), a technique that can date materials older than the radiocarbon timescale. These dates, received in September from Brandon Curry, Illinois State Geological Survey, indicate an age of 87,180+/-2840 yrs. BP (Before Present). This age is appreciably younger than the age of 97,000 BP currently given in the Changes exhibit.
- September, 2013: Oral History of Methodological Research
Dr. Robert Warren conducted research on the digital indexing of oral history recordings with controlled vocabularies. Dr. Warren will chair a session and present a paper on this topic at the 47th Annual Meeting of the Oral History Association in Oklahoma City (October 2013). Dr. Warren's presentation will focus on the design and development of the Illinois State Museum's Audio-Video Barn website. Other presenters in the session will include Douglas Lambert from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) and Jennifer Palmentiero from the Southeastern NY Library Resources Council. Commentators will include Lindsey Barnes and Kimberly Guise from the National WWII Museum in New Orleans.
- September, 2013: Late Pleistocene Extinction Debate
The cause of the megafauna extinction at the end of the Pleistocene some 12,000 years ago has been highly controversial. Leading hypotheses include overkill by humans, perhaps recently arrived from Asia or Alaska, and inability to adapt to rapidly changing climate and vegetation. An argument against the overkill hypothesis is that the number of human/megafaunal associations in the archaeological record is small. Dr. Chirs Widga and colleagues Dr. Lisa Nagoka (U. of North Texas), Dr. Steve Wolverton (U. of North Texas), and Dr. Matt E. Hill, Jr. (U. of Iowa) formulated a response to an article that appeared in American Antiquity last spring. The article, entitled "The Associational Critique of Quaternary Overkill and Why it is Largely Irrelevant to the Extinction Debate" by Todd Surovell and Brigid Grund, suggests that the paucity of human/megafauna associations in the North American record is due solely to preservation. They argue that the patterns in the archaeological record (or lack thereof) are not relevant to assessing this association. My collaborators and I will point out that there are productive directions for this research, and that ignoring empirical data is not good science.
- September, 2013: Sampling of Mastodont and Mammoth Collections
As part of his NSF funded research , Dr. Chris Widga undertook collections work at the University of Wisconsin. He examined collections in the UW-Zoological Museum and sampled the Maas Farm Mammoth for radiocarbon analyses. He also examined the Boaz mastodon mount in the UW-Geology Museum. Although originally described as a single animal (potentially associated with a single Clovis point), the Boaz mount is actually a composite of up to three different animals, probably from different sites and excavated at different times.
- August, 2013: Endangered Species—Hine's Emerald Dragonfly
Dr. Cashatt worked on the amendments for the Federally Endangered Hine’s emerald dragonfly for the first Missouri mark/recapture study and participated in two days of field work. These data will be analyzed and published. Dr. Cashatt also reviewed and contributed figures, reports, and information for publication of the “Hine’s emerald Dragonfly Wisconsin Guidance Document” for the Bureau of Endangered Resources, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
- August, 2013: Fossils at Spaulding Dam
Dr. Chris Widga and ISM volunteer Debbie Hamilton worked with CWLP engineers to investigate a bedrock outcrop immediately below Spaulding Dam in Springfield (8/23). Although a sequence of limestone-shale-coal-sandstone is visible in the cut, no fossils were visible. After visiting the spillway, Widga and Hamilton visited Bridgeview Park on the south side of Lake Springfield where invertebrate fossils are present in the rock trucked in for bank stabilization. These rocks contain brachiopods and crinoids, in a situation suggesting a reef community. The rock is likely trucked in from Pittsfield, IL.
- August, 2013: Zooarchaeological Research at Fort Sill
Drs. Terry Martin and Chris Widga completed a zooarchaeological analysis for R. Chris Goodwin and Associates of a zooarchaeological assemblage from East Cache Creek at Ft. Sill, Oklahoma. Bison and turtle dominate the assemblage. This archaeological site most probably dates to the very late Holocene. Radiocarbon samples have been submitted to Aeon Laboratories in Tucson, Arizona.
- August, 2013: Archaeozoological Research
Dr. Terrance Martin produced a technical report on historical animal remains that were encountered during archaeological survey and construction monitoring in Saginaw, Michigan, by Arbre Croce Cultural Resources (Dr. Misty Jackson, Leslie, Michigan). Greg Young (Wayne State University, Detroit) returned to the RCC to continue identifying animal remains from the 19th-century Corktown site in Detroit, Michigan, for his master’s thesis project. Dr. Martin is assisting Young by verifying identifications. Jessica Haglund (Illinois State University) is finishing identifications of the faunal assemblage from the Myer-Dickson site (Fulton County, Illinois) for her master’s thesis. Haglund was hired for the summer to supervise archaeological surveys for the National Forest Service in Collville, Washington. During August, Dr. Martin verified Haglund’s identifications of animal remains from Feature 149 flotation samples. Joseph Hearns (Western Michigan University) is conducting a spatial analysis of the animal remains from the 18th-century French habitation site at Fort St. Joseph site (20BE23), Berrien County, Michigan, with Dr. Martin on his thesis committee. Dr. Martin worked with McMillan Museum Intern Courtney Cox in identifying samples of animal remains from the 18th-century Blanchette House site in St. Charles, Missouri. Cox will be presenting a paper on the site in a symposium on French colonial archaeology at the Society for Historic Archaeology’s Conference of Historic and Underwater Archaeology in early January in Quebec City, Quebec. Dr. Martin finished analyzing a large faunal assemblage from site 34MC762, a site in eastern Oklahoma that has a Caddo cultural affiliation. The site is in the Ouachita National Forest in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. During August, Dr. Martin finished identifications through catalog #4188 for Site 20OT283. This site is a late prehistoric habitation site along the lower Grand River near Grand Haven, Michigan that was mitigated by CCRG for the Michigan Department of Transportation.
- August, 2013: Extinct Dire Wolf
Dr. Chris Widga and Jason Titcomb of the Sanford Museum and Planetarium (Cherokee, IA), have acquired radiocarbon and stable isotope data from Iowa's first Dire Wolf. The specimen, recovered from a Crawford County (IA) gravel pit in 1959, remained undiagnosed until Titcomb sent Widga a picture of it last spring. Subsequent dating the specimen indicates an age of ~24,000 year ago. Stable isotope analyses were completed in August.
- August, 2013: Colonial Williamsburg Research
Angela Goebel-Bain hosted Linda Baumgarten and Kim Ivey, textile curators from Colonial Williamsburg, in their study of the Amish quilts in the Decorative Arts collection. It was discovered that one of the quilts is signed and dated in the quilting.
- August, 2013: Processing of Fish for the Comparative Skeletal Collection
Dr. Terrance Martin continued macerating fish in the remote processing laboratory at the Research and Collections Center to prepare specimens for the Museum’s comparative skeletal collection.
- August, 2013: Middle Holocene Bison
Dr. Chris Widga, Matt G. Hill (Iowa State), Marlin Hawley (Wisconsin Historical Society), and Laura Halverson Monahan (University of Wisconsin) submitted a manuscript to the Wisconsin Archaeologist describing recent work on the middle Holocene, Nye Bison assemblage near St. Croix, Wisconsin. This bison assemblage was salvaged by University of Minnesota paleontologist, Sam Eddy, and archaeologist Albert Jenks in the 1930s during marl mining activities. The historic, paleoecological, and archaeological research undertaken during this analysis complements the authors’ previous work on the nearby Interstate Park, and the Itasca bison site in central Minnesota.
- August, 2013: Global Warming Research
The current trajectory of global warming will move Earth into a climate system not seen for millions of years. Predicting the response of ecosystems to these new climates is particularly challenging as there is no observational data for similar climates in the recent past. Nevertheless, we can gain some understanding by studying the response of ecosystems to rapidly changing climate at the end of the last ice age (approximately 20,000-12,000 years ago) when climates existed that also have no modern analog. Dr. Eric Grimm co-authored a paper with seven other collaborators that investigated these no-analog ecosystems as models for a no-analog future. The paper explores using recent and paleoecological data to better circumscribe species’ environmental tolerances. The paper was initially presented at a conference “Climate Change and Species Interactions: Ways Forward” held in November 2012 at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, New York. The papers appear in a special issue of Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences.
- August, 2013: Paleoecology Databases
Dr. Eric Grimm co-authored an article in PAGES Newsletter with colleagues from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands and the University of Colorado describing renewed efforts to assemble data for the Latin American Pollen Database (LAPD), which is a constituent database of the Neotoma Paleoecology Database. Lead author on the article is Suzette Flantua, who visited the ISM-RCC in January 2011 for training in the software used to input data into Neotoma. Flantua is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Amsterdam, and Grimm is on her advisory committee. Other authors are Henry Hooghiemstra, Amsterdam, Flantua’s principal advisor and who has long conducted research in northern South America, and Vera Markgraf, Colorado, who initiated the LAPD. Neotoma is a major database initiative funded by the NSF Geoinformatics Program. Grimm is a lead Principal Investigator on the project. The ISM and Pennsylvania State University are the lead institutions. PAGES (Past Global Changes) is a core project of the International Geosphere Biosphere Programme, and PAGES Newsletter keeps scientists worldwide abreast of new developments in Global Change research.
- August, 2013: Jameson Jenkins House Lot at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site
The Lincoln Home National Historic Site (National Park Service) and the ISM collaborated on a limited archaeological investigation at the Jameson Jenkins lot at the Lincoln Home Site as part of the 2013 National Park Service Cultural Resource Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP). The Jenkins Lot is included in the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. Following two weeks of fieldwork at the Jenkins lot during late June by the CRDIP Intern Ms. Victoria Bowler, ISM Research Associate Dennis Naglich, and Anthropology Chairperson Dr. Terrance Martin, the intern helped analyze recovered artifacts with Dennis Naglich and animal remains with Dr. Martin in the ISM Research and Collections Center. She also assisted Naglich in the production of a technical report, which is still currently in progress by Naglich. In early August, Ms. Bowler reported on the project in a webinar with CRDIP interns from across the United States, and Dr. Martin wrote the zooarchaeology section of the technical report.
- August, 2013: Sampling of Mastodont and Mammoth Collections
As part of his NSF funded research, Dr. Chris Widga undertook collections work at the Ohio Historical Society and Ohio State University Geology Museum in Columbus, Ohio (8/1-8/2). During this visit, he inventoried collections of Ohio proboscideans, collected a number of samples for radiocarbon dating, and visited two major Ohio River valley mineral licks with significant and historic collections of Quaternary fauna (Big Bone Lick and Blue Licks, both in northern Kentucky).
- August, 2013: Birds of Sangamon County
David Bohlen continued to monitor birds in Sangamon County. August is the end of the breeding season and the beginning of fall migration. He recorded 152 species for August and devoted 229 hours in the field to the monitoring process.
- July, 2013: Hine's Emerald Dragonfly Research
- Dr. Everett D. Cashatt transported Hine’s Emerald genetics samples from Alma, Illinois and discussed future studies with volunteer researcher and photographer Richard Day.
- July, 2013: Domestic Dog Research Presented at Veterinary Meeting
- Adjunct Research Associate Dr. Dennis Lawler presented a paper (“Do Archaeological Specimens Reflect Distant Historical Aspects of the Human-Animal Bond”) at the American Veterinary Medical Association Convention to a group from the International Association of Human-Animal Interaction Organizations on July 22 in Chicago. He presented information on the domestic dog remains in the ISM collections from the Koster, Modoc Rock Shelter, Rodgers Shelter, and Stilwell sites. Analyses of dog remains from the Koster site revealed definable abnormalities in 33% of 36 forelimb surfaces and 40% of 20 hind limb surfaces consistent with the life of a working dog. The observed joint pathologies at these early sites were relatively mild. There is evidence at Modoc Rock Shelter for the care of a small dog with a fractured forelimb and hip damage. The archaeological canid remains do provide insights into human-animal relationships in the distant past. About 250 individuals from across the world attended the presentation, and it generated abundant discussion.
- July, 2013: Grand Island Archaeological Project and Excavations at Goose Lake Outlet Site No. 3
- Dr. Terrance Martin presented zooarchaeology workshops for Dr. James Skibo’s Illinois State University/Hiawatha National Forest Archaeology Field School on Grand Island in northern Michigan on July 16 and 17. Dr. Martin also participated in the Hiawatha National Forest’s Youth Archaeology Workshop on July 17; and on July 16 visited the excavations at the Goose Lake Outlet No. 3 site (20MQ140), Marquette County, Michigan, an early 17th-century Native American hunting camp that is being excavated by Drs. Marla Buckmaster and John Anderton of Northern Michigan University. Dr. Martin will be analyzing the animal remains (including moose and porcupine remains) from this excavation.
- July, 2013: Zooarchaeological Research
- Joseph Hearns (Western Michigan University) and Dr. Terrance Martin identified animal remains from the 18th-century French habitation site at Fort St. Joseph site (20BE23), Berrien County, Michigan during the last week of July. Hearns is doing a spatial analysis of the faunal assemblage for a M.A. thesis at WMU. Dr. Martin finished all tables, drafted graphs, and is writing text for an article on the Laurens North site for a volume being assembled by Robert Mazrim that will be published by Illinois State Archaeological Survey. Identifications were finished through catalog #2710 for Site 20OT283, a late prehistoric habitation site along the lower Grand River near Grand Haven, Michigan that was mitigated by CCRG for the Michigan DOT. Dr. Terrance Martin carried out a faunal analysis for a small collection of 86 historical animal remains that were encountered during archaeological survey and construction monitoring in Saginaw, Michigan, by Arbre Croce Cultural Resources (for Dr. Misty Jackson, Leslie, Michigan). Jessica Haglund continued identifying animal remains from the Myer-Dickson site (Fulton County, Illinois) flotation samples for her Master’s thesis project at Illinois State University. As time allowed during July, Dr. Martin continued verifying Haglund’s identifications of animal remains from Feature 149 flotation samples.
- July, 2013: Proposal Submitted to NSF for Archaeofaunal Database and Research
- In July, Dr. Sarah Neusius, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, submitted a proposal to the National Science Foundation, Anthropology Program, to incorporate archeofaunal data for the Interior Eastern United States in the Digital Archaeological Record and address research questions about changing environmental conditions and cultural practices during the Archaic Period. Dr. Bonnie Styles is a Co-Principal Investigator for the project and assisted with the development of the proposal.
- July, 2013: Paleopathology in a Prehistoric Domestic Dog
- Adjunct Research Associate Dr. Dennis Lawler, Dr. Chris Widga, Dr. Terrance Martin, and colleagues from Malinckrodt Institute of Radiology and Department of Orthopedic Surgery (Washington University School of Medicine), Pacific Marine Mammal Center (Laguna Beach, California), Numerof and Associates (St. Louis, Missouri), and School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania completed a study of a paleopathological domestic dog humerus from early Late Woodland contexts at the Weaver archaeological site (Fulton County, Illinois). The study was published online and is slated for printing in the International Journal of Paleopathology. An unusual lesion on the proximal articular surface was examined using micro-computed tomography. The most plausible differential diagnoses include uncommon fracture-producing force and blunt intrinsic force causing fracture at a week point, such as an early osteochondral lesion, that was obliterated by healing. The dog lived for months to years after the trauma. The study is part of a larger study of paleopathology in canids and human-dog relationships.
- July, 2013: Paleobiological Research at Rainbow Cave
- In July, Dr. Eric Grimm participated in long-term interdisciplinary research for the Rainbow Cave project in the Black Hills with Dr. Russell Graham, Pennsylvania State University, and 30 volunteers in July. He collected pollen samples from Rainbow Cave.
- July, 2013: Curator Participates in Herpetology Meetings
- In July, Dr. Meredith Mahoney participated in the annual Joint Meetings of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
- July, 2013: Sampling of Mastodont and Mammoth Collections
- From July 8-12, Dr. Chris Widga visited museums in Michigan and Ontario to study and sample mammoth and mastodont remains as a part of his research of the chronology and paleoecology of their extinctions, funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation. On July 29, he worked with collections in Cincinnati and Columbus, Ohio.
- July, 2013: Jameson Jenkins House Lot at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site
- The Lincoln Home National Historic Site (National Park Service) and the ISM collaborated on a limited archaeological investigation at the Jameson Jenkins lot at the Lincoln Home Site as part of the 2013 National Park Service Cultural Resource Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP). Following two weeks of fieldwork at the Jenkins lot, NPS intern Ms. Victoria Bowler helped analyze recovered artifacts with Dennis Naglich and animal remains with Dr. Terrance Martin, and assisted Naglich in the production of a technical report. Ms. Bowler will participate in a webinar with CRDIP interns from across the United States and report on the project in early August. The Jenkins Lot is included in the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
- July, 2013: Chinese Scholar Initiates Tenure as Visiting Researcher
- In July, Dr. Xiaozhong Huang joined the ISM staff in the RCC as an ISM Visiting Adjunct Research Associate in Botany for one year. He is an Associate Professor in the Research School of Arid Environment and Climate Change at Lanzhou University, located in the city of Lanzhou in central China. He is here with support of a scholarship from the China Scholarship Council. Dr. Huang has interests in Late Quaternary paleoclimate and environmental change and particularly in grasslands. He will be working on the analysis of data and publication of results with Director of Sciences Dr. Eric Grimm.
- July, 2013: Strontium Sample Collection
- On July 1-2, Dr. Chris Widga collected sediment samples in the Ozarks for strontium analysis to create baseline data for his isotopic research with Pleistocene and Holocene vertebrate remains from archaeological and paleontological sites.
- June, 2013: Hine's Emerald Survey
- Dr. Everett D. Cashatt participated in a mark and recapture studies of the Hine’s Emerald in Salem, Missouri (June 19-21). The survey team marked 400 individuals of which 20 were recaptured specimens.
- June, 2013: Jameson Jenkins House Lot at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site
- The Lincoln Home National Historic Site (National Park Service) and the ISM collaborated on a small-scale archaeological investigation at the Jameson Jenkins lot at the Lincoln Home Site as part of the 2013 National Park Service Cultural Resource Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP). NPS Intern Ms. Victoria Bowler worked with Timothy Townsend (NPS), Dennis Naglich (field director), and Terrance Martin (Principal Investigator). Two 1 x 1 m test units were excavated between June 18 and June 28 in search of the western end of the 1840s house foundation. Analysis of remains is underway, and Ms. Bowler will participate in a webinar with CRDIP interns from across the United States and report on the project. The Jenkins Lot is included in the National Park Service’s Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
- June, 2013: Student Completes Masters Research on Ceramics
- Jessica R. Miller completed her Illinois State University Master’s Thesis: “Evidence of Ritual Drink Preparation and the Function of Powell Plain and Ramey Incised Vessels in Mississippian Society.” Her thesis is based on research and analyses of ceramic vessels at the Research and Collections and Dickson Mounds Museum. A copy has been filed in the Museum Library.
- June, 2013: Planning for Multidisciplinary Paleoenvironmental Research
- In June, Dr. Eric Grimm participated in a workshop to plan interdisciplinary paleoenvironmental research project for Fish Lake in Utah. The project will include coring of the lake and analysis of a wide variety of proxy climate data, including pollen, which would be analyzed by Dr. Grimm.
- June, 2013: South American Paleoecology Database Workshop
- In June, Dr. Eric Grimm participated in a PAGES South American Paleoecology Database Workshop in Santiago, Chile. He presented a workshop on the Neotoma Paleoecology Database and data entry protocols.
- June, 2013: Interpretation of Variation in Sulfur Isotope Ratios for Paleoenvironmental Research
- Colleagues from the Czech Geological Survey, University of Maine and Dr. Eric Grimm published a study of variation in sulfur isotope ratios in lacustrine sediments from Lake Tulane, Florida. They suggest that trends in sulfur isotopes in the 60,000 year long sediment core from Lake Tulane were most likely related to changes in the distance to sources of marine aerosols during the late Pleistocene and Holocene. Flux of marine aerosols with more positive sulfur isotopes would have been lowest during the Last Glacial Maximum, about 20,000-25,000 calendar years before the present, when sea level was at least 120 meters lower than present and the shorelines of east and west Florida were as much as 200 km seaword of the modern position.
- June, 2013: Pollen Database History and Importance
- Dr. Eric Grimm and colleagues from across the country published a paper tracing the history of the development and merging of regional pollen databases, culminating in the development of the Neotoma Paleoecology Database. They emphasize the importance of these databases for fulfilling the critical need for a secure archive of paleobiological data and essential infrastructure for paleoenvironmental research. The paper was published in the Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science.
- June, 2013: Zooarchaeological Research
- Dr. Terrance Martin and Mike Brawley (American Resources Group, Ltd., Carbondale) completed a technical report on a small faunal assemblage from an early 19th-century cellar deposit at site 12W723 in Warrick County, Indiana. During June, computer database entry of analyzed specimens was completed through Feature 1091, and Dr. Martin finished a manuscript describing 20 bison scapulae from the Hoxie Farm site (11CK4; mitigated by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey) for a James Theler tribute volume in The Wisconsin Archeologist that is being edited by Matthew Hill and Joseph Tiffany. Dr. Martin finished all tables, drafted graphs, and began writing text for an article on the Laurens North site for a volume being assembled by Robert Mazrim that will be published by the Illinois State Archaeological Survey. Jessica Haglund continued identifying animal remains from the Myer-Dickson site (Fulton County, Illinois) flotation samples for her master’s thesis project at Illinois State University. Dr. Terrance Martin continued verifying Haglund’s identifications of animal remains from flotation samples for Feature 30.
- May, 2013: Illinois College Student Assists with Isotopic Research
- Kayla Kollis, a former Illinois College Intern, is participating in isotopic research with mammoth and mastodont remains with Dr. Chris Widga. Her project is supported through an outside grant that she secured, and the work will continue through the summer.
- May, 2013: Proposal for Synthesis of Midwestern Archaeofaunal Data
- Dr. Bonnie Styles collaborated with Dr. Sarah Neusius (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) on a grant proposal to the National Science Foundation to synthesize archaeofaunal data from Archaic sites in the Interior Eastern United States and address important research questions related to natural and cultural changes.
- May, 2013: New Philadelphia Town Site, Pike County, Illinois
- New Philadelphia was recognized by the National Park Service as qualifying for inclusion in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
- May, 2013: Curator Completes Study of Freshwater Mussels from Illinois River Site
- In May, Dr. Robert Warren completed a manuscript on freshwater mussels recovered from the Liverpool Landing site in the central Illinois River valley. Spike, mucket, and purple wartyback dominated the Late Woodland archaeological samples. All of these species were extirpated from the Illinois River by the 1960s. Species composition of mussels indicates that the prehistoric inhabitants were collecting mussels from habitat characterized by shallow, swift water, with a coarse sand-gravel substrate. Only a depauperate mussel fauna occurs in this area of the river today. The manuscript has been submitted to The Wisconsin Archeologist.
- May, 2013: Oral History of Illinois Agriculture Project Published
A paper by the Museum’s Oral History of Illinois Agriculture Project team of Dr. Robert Warren, Michael Maniscalco, Dr. Erich Schroeder, James S. Oliver, and Sue Huitt, and Douglas Lampbert and Michael Frisch of The Randforce Associates, LLC was published in The Oral History Review. The digital revolution is giving oral historians exciting new ways to record, index, search, and share oral history interviews with larger and more remote audiences. The Illinois State Museum’s Oral History of Illinois Agriculture (OHIA) project used an array of digital methods and tools to develop an interactive website, called the Audio-Video Barn, which gives voice to people involved in agriculture and rural life in Illinois. The OHIA approach can serve as a model for anyone looking for engaging new ways to share oral histories with community audiences. First, the Audio-Video Barn joins a growing chorus of websites that go beyond the limitations of printed words in traditional oral history transcripts; it gives visitors access to primary-source audio and video recordings that restore emotion and meaning to the stories being told. Second, the Audio-Video Barn uses digital indexing of audio and video recordings to make them searchable in a database format. Finally, the Audio-Video Barn opens its doors to provide free access to searchable recordings via the Internet, making them widely available to diverse audiences.
- May, 2013: Phylogenetic Diversity of North American Angiosperms
Dr. Hong Qian and colleagues from Michigan State University and the Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden in Hong Kong completed a study (released online) of the phylogenetic diversity of Angiosperms in North America. Ecologists have generally agreed that beta diversity is a key component of global patterns of species richness. Incorporating phylogenetic information into the study of beta diversity allows researchers to identify the degree to which the shared evolutionary histories of species explain ecological patterns observed today. Dr. Hong and his colleagues analyzed 71 regional floras in five latitudinal zones and two longitudinal bands. They quantified taxonomic similarity and phylogenetic similarity between floras. Phylogenetic similarity between floras is strongly correlated with taxonomic similarity, is higher in eastern North America than in western North America, and increases strikingly with latitude. Geographical and environmental distances together explained on average about 76% of the variation in phylogenetic beta diversity with environmental distance explaining more variation in phylogenetic similarity in three of the four latitudinal bands. Phylogenetic beta diversity is consistently lower than taxonomic beta diversity, which suggests that the spatial turnover of species in the study system is predominantly the spatial turnover of closely related species and not distantly related species. Thus, the turnover of angiosperm floras in North America is best explained by small divergences along environmental axes for closely related species and a gradual turnover of lineages through space.
- May, 2013: Zooarchaeological Research
- Dr. Terrance Martin identified some problematic faunal specimens from the Howard Goodhue site (13PK1), an Oneota site in Polk County, Iowa, for Dr. Matthew G. Hill (Iowa State University). These consisted of specimens from Raven, Mallard, Canvasback, Trumpeter Swan, White Pelican, and American Bittern. He also identified Blue Goose and Grass Carp from a Missouri River sandbar. Dr. Martin and Mike Brawley (American Resources Group, Ltd., Carbondale) completed analysis of a small faunal assemblage from an early 19th-century cellar deposit at site 12W723 in Warrick County, Indiana. With support from the Ouachita National Forest in western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma, Dr. Martin continued identifications for a large faunal assemblage from site 34MC762, a site in eastern Oklahoma that has a cultural affiliation with the Caddo. Dr. Martin took measurements on 20 bison scapulae from the Hoxie Farm site (11CK4; mitigated by ITARP/ISAS between 2001 and 2003) and began work on a manuscript for a James Theler tribute volume in The Wisconsin Archeologist that is being edited by Dr. Matthew Hill and Joseph Tiffany. Dr. Martin continued final identifications and data entry of animal remains from Fort St. Joseph that were used for zooarchaeology workshops at the Western Michigan University field school last summer. Jessica Haglund continued identifying animal remains from the Myer-Dickson site (Fulton County, Illinois) flotation samples for her master’s thesis project at Illinois State University. Dr. Martin continued verifying Haglund’s identifications of animal remains from flotation samples. Taylor H. Thornton continued her analysis of animal remains from the Mound House site in Calhoun County. The Middle Woodland site is being excavated as part of the joint Arizona State University-Center for American Archaeology field school program. Taylor is an undergraduate majoring in anthropology and geography at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and is using the zooarchaeology laboratory and reference osteology collection at the ISM RCC for her research.
- May, 2013: Drivers of Beta Diversity
- Dr. Hong Qian and colleagues from the Najing Institute of Environmental Sciences (Nanjing, China), and the Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Institute of Botany, and the Graduate School of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing China) published a study on the drivers of Beta diversity. Ecologists have generally agreed that β-diversity is driven at least in part by ecological processes and mechanisms of community assembly and is a key determinant of global patterns of species richness. This idea has been challenged by a recent study based on an individual-based null model approach, which aims to account for the species pool. The goal of Dr. Hong and his colleagues’ study was twofold: (1) to analyze data sets from different parts of the world to determine whether there are significant latitude–β-diversity gradients after accounting for the species pool, and (2) to evaluate the validity of the null model. A total of 257 forest plots, each being 0.1 ha in size and having 10 0.01-ha subplots, were used. They conducted four sets of analyses. A modified version of Whittaker’s β-diversity index was used to quantify β-diversity for each forest plot. A randomization procedure was used to determine expected β-diversity. The number of individuals per species, which characterizes species abundance distribution, alone explains 56.8–84.2% of the variation in observed β-diversity. Species pool explained only an additional 2.6–15.2% of the variation in observed β-diversity. Latitude explains 18.6% of the variation in raw β deviation in Gentry’s global data set, and explains 11.0–11.6% of the variation in standardized β deviation in the global and three regional analyses. Latitude explains 33.2–46.2% of the variation in the number of individuals per species. Species abundance distribution, rather than species pool size, plays a key role in driving latitude–β-diversity gradients for β-diversity in local forest communities. The individual-based null model is not a valid null model for investigating β-diversity gradients driven by mechanisms of local community assembly because the null model incorporates species abundance distributions, which are driven by mechanisms of local community assembly and in turn generate β-diversity gradients.
- May, 2013: Jameson Jenkins House Lot at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site
- The Lincoln Home National Historic Site (National Park Service) and the ISM will conduct a research project at the James Jenkins lot at the Lincoln Home National Historic Site as part of the 2013 National Park Service (NPS) Cultural Resource Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP). Ms. Victoria Bowler (University of Texas at El Paso) was selected to serve as an NPS Intern and will work with Timothy Townsend (project historian, Lincoln Home National Historic Site), Dennis Naglich (ISM Research Associate and field director), and Dr. Terrance Martin (Principal Investigator). After doing background documentary research, two test units will be excavated, the recovered artifacts will be analyzed, Ms. Bowler will work with Naglich and Dr. Martin to prepare a report on the findings, and participate in a webinar with CRDIP interns from across the United States. Funds from the NPS to the ISMS are included for Naglich to serve as field director for the project. In May, Principal Investigator Dr. Terrance Martin prepared and submitted an “Application for Permit for Archeological Investigations” for proposed limited test excavations at the Jenkins Lot. The goal will be to locate and identify archaeological resources associated with the Lincoln-era occupation by Jameson Jenkins, an African-American who worked as a drayman, and in 1850 helped a group of runaway slaves from St. Louis escape to Bloomington, Illinois. The Jenkins Lot is part of the National Park Service Underground Railroad Network to Freedom.
- May, 2013: Research of Latitudinal Gradients in Phylogenetic Relatedness of Angiosperm Trees
- Dr. Hong Qian and colleagues from the Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (Beijing, China) and the University of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta) completed a major study (released online) of latitudinal gradients in relatedness for angiosperm trees in 1,175 regional assemblages in North America. They determined that species richness and mean clade age are negatively correlated with latitude and positively correlated with minimum temperature. Tree species in regional assemblages tend to be more phylogenetically related (clustered) in regions at higher latitudes with lower temperatures. The results of their study support two of the major predictions of the phylogenetic niche conservation hypothesis for the latitudinal diversity gradient. Species tend to be more phylogenetically clustered and ages of clades tend to be younger in colder regions, compared with those in warmer regions.
- April, 2013: Fieldwork at Hopwood Farm Site
- Drs. Jeffrey Saunders and Chris Widga participated in fieldwork (limited survey and sampling of fossils) at the Hopwood Farm site in Montgomery County with representatives from the Illinois State Geological Survey on April 29.
- April, 2013: Zooarchaeology Book Prospectus Submitted
- Dr. Terrance Martin submitted a book prospectus to the University Press of Florida that would report on zooarchaeology case studies from historical sites in the Midwest and Upper Great Lakes in the academic series “The American Experience in Archaeological Perspective” (Michael Nassaney, Series Editor)
- April, 2013: Museum Represented at Archaeological Conference
- Dr. Terrance J. Martin participated in the Annual Meeting of the Conference on Michigan Archaeology in East Lansing, Michigan on April 20 and presented “Current Zooarchaeological Research Projects in and around Michigan” (30 attended). Dr. Martin also attended the annual business meeting of the Michigan Archaeological Society in Saginaw on April 21. Dr. Bonnie W. Styles attended the 78th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Honolulu. She attended numerous sessions, including a symposium on dogs presented by former McMillan Intern Angela Perri. She also met with colleagues about the submission of proposals to the National Science Foundation and National Endowment for the Humanities to incorporate Midwestern archaeofaunal data in the tDAR database and demonstrate the research value of the database.
- April, 2013: Curator Meets with Southwestern Groups on Feathers and Repatriation
- Dr. Jonathan Reyman met with Pueblo groups in New Mexico to distribute feathers, discuss repatriation and cultural preservation issues with Pueblo officials, and attend ceremonies.
- April, 2013: Curator Re-examines Mussels from Illinois Archaeological Site
- In April, Dr. Robert Warren re-examined Amblema plicata and Fusconaia flava remains from the Newbridge and Carlin sites in the lower Illinois River valley to subdivide the ecovariants as a part of larger study that he is completing on freshwater mussel populations in Illinois. Dr. Bonnie Styles originally identified the freshwater mussels for her dissertation research and helped Dr. Warren target the features with remains of interest.
- April, 2013: Zooarchaeological Research
- Dr. Terrance Martin resumed identifications on a large faunal assemblage from site 34MC762, a site Ouachita National Forest eastern Oklahoma that has a cultural affiliation with the Caddo. He finished identifications of animal remains from Feature 11 (excavated in 2012) at the Laurens North site, the site of the third Fort de Chartres in Randolph County, Illinois. Excavations were conducted by Dr. Margaret Brown, Robert Mazrim, and local volunteers in November 2011 and November 2012. Work continued on entry of faunal data for the Hoxie Farm site (11CK4), mitigated by ITARP/ISAS between 2001 and 2003. Dr. Martin resumed final identifications on animal remains from Fort St. Joseph that were used for zooarchaeology workshops at the Western Michigan University field school last summer. Dr. Martin also reviewed a master’s thesis proposal by Joseph Hearns (Western Michigan University) for a project involving animal remains from selected features at Fort St. Joseph (20BE23) an 18th-century French fur trade post near Niles, Michigan. Some of the proveniences selected by Hearns will include some of the levels that were initially analyzed during field school workshops. Identifications of faunal remains continued for Site 20OT283, a late prehistoric habitation site along the lower Grand River near Grand Haven, Michigan that was mitigated by CCRG for the Michigan DOT. Jessica Haglund continued identifying animal remains from the Myer-Dickson site (Fulton County, Illinois) flotation samples for her master’s thesis project at Illinois State University. Dr. Martin continued verifying Haglund’s identifications of animal remains from flotation samples. Taylor H. Thornton was the recipient of a Paul Liebman Undergraduate Research Award, sponsored by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, to help fund her Senior Capstone Project that involves an analysis of animal remains from the Mound House site in Calhoun County. The Middle Woodland site is being excavated as part of the joint Arizona State University-Center for American Archeology field school program. Taylor is an undergraduate majoring in anthropology and geography at UIUC and is using the zooarchaeology laboratory and reference osteology collection at the ISM RCC for her research.
- April, 2013: Curator Participates in Planning for Herp Meetings
- In April, Dr. Meredith Mahoney participated in a meeting of the program planning committee for the upcoming 2013 Joint Meeting of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, which includes the Herpetologists League, American Society of Herpetologists, the Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles, and the American Elasmobranch Society. She is a member of the program planning committee.
- April, 2013: Museum Assists with Excavations at James Jenkins Lot
- The Lincoln Home National Historic Site (National Park Service) and the ISM will conduct a research project at the James Jenkins lot as part of the 2013 National Park Service Cultural Resource Diversity Internship Program (CRDIP). Ms. Victoria Bowler (University of Texas at El Paso) was selected from applicants and will work with Timothy Townsend (Lincoln Home National Historic Site), Dr. Terrance Martin, and Adjunct Research Associate Dennis Naglich. After doing background documentary research, two test units will be excavated, the recovered artifacts will be analyzed, Ms. Bowler will prepare a report on the findings, and present those findings in a webinar that will be participated in by CRDIP interns across the United States. The National Park Service is providing support for Naglich to serve as the field director for the project.
- April, 2013: History of Pollen and Neotoma Databases Published
- Dr. Eric Grimm and colleagues published an article in the Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science that summarizes the history and importance of large-scale pollen and paleoecological databases, including the North American Pollen Database, the Latin American Pollen Database, the Pollen Database for Siberia and the Russian Far East, the Global Pollen Database, and the Neotoma Paleoecology Database. Dr. Grimm is the lead author and has been instrumental in the development of these databases and applications of the databases for cutting-edge research.
- April, 2013: Pueblo Bonito Book Prospectus Submitted
- Dr. Jonathan Reyman submitted a proposal for a book on Pueblo Bonito burials to the School of Advanced Research in Santa Fe.
- March, 2013: Mammoth Cave Paleontological Research Presented
- Research Associate Mona Colburn presented a poster, co-authored with Dr. Chris Widga, on paleoecological implications of Interglacial guano deposits in Mammoth Cave, Kentucky at the annual Mammoth Cave Science Conference. Bat remains dominate in the deposits. Interglacial faunas are associated with fast-flying, open-space taxa. Two species that occur together in the interglacial deposits have ranges that do not overlap today, suggesting that there is no modern analog for the fauna. Late Holocene and historic assemblages contain more taxa that utilized forest or forest gaps. Stable isotope analysis of the chitin extract of guano samples indicated a C3 prey signature (insects) characteristic of forest habitat, suggesting a consistent foraging pattern for taxa throughout the deposits based on seasonally emerging soft-bodied taxa such as moths and flies.
- March, 2013: Partnership with UIS for Archaeomagnetic Training
- Research Associate Dr. Stacey Lengyel and Dr. Chris Widga have partnered with University of Illinois Springfield to do training for Archaeomagnetic dating in plots on the UIS prairie.
- March, 2013: Paleobiological Research
- Dr. Chris Widga is participating in a study of the Hebior Mastodont (Wisconsin) to assess pathologies and potential human modifications. He is also assessing the health of prehistoric Wisconsin bison with the aid of CT scans of bones, and has been working with CT scanning of sabertooth cat and dire wolf to document skull shape and size.
- March, 2013: Associations between Beta and Gamma Diversity of Trees in New World Forests
- Dr. Hong Qian and a colleague from Andong National University in Korea analyzed two continental data sets of forest communities from across the New World to examine latitudinal gradients of beta diversity after accounting for gamma diversity and vice versa. Beta diversity (variation in species composition among local sampling units) and gamma diversity (total species richness within a region) were negatively correlated with latitude. Beta diversity was strongly and positively correlated with gamma diversity. However, strong positive correlations between beta and gamma diversity may not be considered as evidence of one driving the other along a latitudinal gradient.
- March, 2013: Synthesis of Paleoecology of Great Plains Faunal Assemblages
- Dr. Chris Widga published a major synthesis of faunal data from archaeological and paleontological sites in the Great Plains. He examines faunal evidence for paleoecological change at the Pleistocene to Holocene transition. His study focuses on changes in small mammal faunas and the physical and social evolution of bison populations provides additional evidence for rapid landscape changes throughout the Cody period. The landscape changes complement interpretations of bison behavior derived from changes in cranial and post-cranial anatomy, which suggest the intensified selection for morphological traits that heralded larger and more socially structured herds.
- March, 2013: Nebraska Sand Hills Climate Research Published
- A paper by Dr. Eric Grimm and colleagues on variability in hydrology, vegetation, fire, and eolian activity in the Nebraska Sand Hills was published in The Holocene. Studies of diatoms, pollen, and grain size and bulk-sediment chemistry document the paleoecological history of three lakes in the Nebraska Sand Hills. Both aquatic and terrestrial indicators suggest that effective moisture was low between 10,000 and 6,000 calendar years B.P. and that this time interval was the driest interval during the Holocene.
- March, 2013: Zooarchaeological Research
- Dr. Terrance Martin began integrating specimens from features that were found during artifact cleaning, processing, and analysis for the Hoxie Farm site (11CK4) in Cook County. This site was excavated by the Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program (ITARP)/the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS) between 2001 and 2003. Identifications continued for Site 20OT283, a late prehistoric habitation site along the lower Grand River near Grand Haven, Michigan. This site was excavated by CCRG for the Michigan DOT. Jessica Haglund continued identifying animal remains from the Myer-Dickson site (Fulton County, Illinois) flotation samples for her master’s thesis project at Illinois State University. Dr. Martin verified Haglund’s identifications for macro-recovered samples.
- March, 2013: Canid Research
- Veterinarian Dennis Lawler (ISM research associate) continued research on archaeological canid remains from the ISM collections. Dee Ann Watt located additional collections that contain Canis sp. specimens and accompanying documents for this research. The research by Dr. Chris Widga and Dennis Lawler includes CT scanning of specimens to record pathologies associated with activities and disease.
- March, 2013: Climate and Land-use Change Research Published
- Dr. Eric Grimm and colleagues published a study of diatom-based paleolimnological reconstruction of climate and local land-use change over the last 11,000 years based on cores from a 21-m deep sinkhole lake (Lake Annie) on the property of the Archibold Biological Station in southern Florida. The research was published in the Journal of Paleolimnology.
- March, 2013: Great Plains Climate Change Research and Neotoma Database
- On March 1, Dr. Eric Grimm presented an invited seminar on his research of climate variability and landscape response in the northern Great Plains at the University of Victoria to students and faculty member from the University of Victoria and other nearby universities, personnel from the Canadian Forest Service, and curators from the Royal British Columbia Museum. He also gave a Tilia/Neotoma Workshop under the auspices of a grant from the National Science Foundation for the Neotoma Paleoecology Database.
- February, 2013: Training Session for Neotoma Paleoecology Database
- On February 28, Dr. Eric Grimm presented a training session for Tilia software and the Neotoma Paleoecology Database. Tilia, written by Dr. Grimm, is the data input software for the Neotoma database. Twenty individuals participated in the training, including students and faculty members from the University of Victoria and other nearby universities, personnel from the Canadian Forest Service, and curators from the Royal BC Museum. The session was funded by the University of Victoria and the Royal BC Museum.
- February, 2013: Curator Discusses Historical Research
- Dr. Terrance Martin and Claire Martin participated in the 2013 Illinois History Symposium. The symposium theme was “Slavery and Emancipation: Global Perspectives” and was sponsored by the Illinois State Historical Society. It was held at the University of Illinois Springfield. On February 28, Dr. Martin served as a session commentator for “Session II: Archaeology, Slavery, and Emancipation in Southern Illinois,” which included presentations by Dr. Mark Wagner (SIU-C) on the Crenshaw House site and Ms. Mary McCorvie (Shawnee National Forest) on the Miller Grove site February 28 (attendance: 20).
- February, 2013: Art Researcher Visits Museum