• Curator of Archaeology, Natural History Museum of Utah
  • Assistant Professor, Anthropology Department

Current Courses

Fall 2019

  • ANTH 4850-001
    Intr Museum Collections

Professional Organizations

  • Utah Native Plant Society. 03/01/2016 - present. Position : Member.
  • Society of Ethnobiology. 01/01/2011 - present. Position : Member.
  • American Quaternary Association. 01/02/2006 - present. Position : Member.
  • Society for American Archaeology. 09/01/2005 - present. Position : Member.
  • Pacific Climate Workshop (PACLIM). 03/01/2005 - present. Position : Member.
  • Great Basin Anthropological Association. 03/01/2004 - present. Position : Member, Program Co-chair.

Courses I Teach

  • Anth 4340 - Paleoethnobotany
    Paleoethnobotany (sometimes called “archaeobotany”) is the study of plant remains from archaeological sites and how people in the past utilized plants. Several kinds of information can be derived from archaeological plant remains, including subsistence strategies, past diets, plant domestication, environmental change and social differentiation. This class will introduce you to the methods and applications of paleoethnobotany, including macro- and microbotanical remains. Labs will primarily focus on macrobotanical analyses while seminars will address theory and applications. You will develop a comprehensive understanding of paleoethnobotany and learn how archaeologists, paleoecologists and even forensic anthropologists use plant remains to inform them of past human behavior and environmental conditions.
  • Anth 2350 - Humans in the World of Plants
    Human welfare is inextricably bound to the diversity and abundance of plant life on earth. Plants provide the food and material sustenance of human societies. As foundations for terrestrial ecosystems, they constitute major determinants and indicators of environmental conditions. This class will first give us an understanding of the biology of plants, including details of their structures (e.g. roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruit, seeds) and their incredible diversity (e.g. ferns, conifers, angiosperms). This introduction will enable students to have a full appreciation of how plants supply foods, structural materials, medicines and support functioning of ecosystems. This leads naturally to applications in archaeology, ethnobotany, anthropology and human geography as well as the place of people in the biosphere.
  • Anth 4850 - Introduction to Museum Collections
    The Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) is offering students a unique opportunity to gain experience at a state-of-the-art museum with professional staff in the Division of Anthropology. This experience is invaluable because students will get to explore career options in museum studies, archaeology, ethnography, collections and records management, archival sciences, etc. Our collections range in age from 14,000 years ago to the present and represent cultural groups from around the world, with a focus on the Great Basin and Colorado Plateau. In this course, students will be trained in the proper handling and care of museum objects, protocols used in collections work, and collections management. Projects will encompass artifact and associated records cataloging, archiving, collections care, and EMU database training. This is a 3 credit course with an expected 4 hours of work each week.
  • Anth XXX - Introduction to Starch Grain Analysis
    This course is an independent study that covers processing and identification of starch grain analysis in archaeological contexts.

Teaching Projects

  • Methods in Paleoethnobotanical Analysis. Project Lead: Lisbeth A. Louderback. N/A 11/25/2014 - present.

Student Projects

  • Starch Granule Analysis on Basketry from Cowboy Cave, Utah. Lauren Lewis. 01/07/2019 - 01/06/2020
  • Re-evaluating the Earliest Evidence for Wild Potato Use in South-Central Chile. Ellyse Simons, Nicole Herzog. 03/01/2017 - 07/02/2018
  • Pinyon Pine Caches in White Pine County, Nevada. Ellyse Simons, Margaret Baker, Cassandra Olivera. 02/01/2017 - 03/31/2017
  • Analysis of archaeobotanical remains from a burial context in Bluff, Utah. John Myler. 06/01/2016 - present
  • Evidence for Chenopodium domestication from archaeological deposits at Cowboy Cave, Utah. Margaret Baker. 11/25/2014 - present
  • Pollen Analysis from archaeological deposits from the Sigurd to Red Butte Project. Kate Magargal. 08/24/2015 - 03/31/2016
  • Systematic study of starch grains from the Four Corners potato (Solanum jamesii). Anne Lawlor. 08/24/2015 - 12/31/2015
  • Comparative Reference Collection for Plant Macro- and Microfossils in the western North America. Nicole M. Herzog. 09/15/2014 - present
  • Revisiting the Blue Lake pollen core for vegetation change around Bonneville Estates Rockshelter . Kaylee Jones. 07/02/2018 - 04/30/2019

Current Students

  • Jory Lerback, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Project Type: Dissertation. Role: Member.
  • Kate Magargal, Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Project Type: Dissertation. Role: Member.
  • Elizabeth Whisenhunt, Master of Arts (M.A.), Project Type: Thesis. Role: Member. Institution: Brigham Young University.
  • Justin Dolinar, Master of Science (M.S.), Project Type: Project. Role: Chair.
  • Margaret Baker, Other, Project Type: Thesis.
  • Caroline Kisielinski, Master of Arts (M.A.), Project Type: Thesis. Role: Member.