Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Trip to the SHA's

The FSJ staff, past and present, that were in attendance
at the conference
This year’s Society for Historical Archaeology’s Conference on Underwater and Historical Archaeology was held at the Omni Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas for its 50th anniversary. This is one of the bigger conferences that archaeologist attend throughout the year, so we saw a lot of people from past Fort St. Joseph field seasons that had gone on with their careers to do many great things. This year Liz and I attended the conference as well as Dr. Nassaney and we all had something different to present on. Liz presented a poster that discussed the various things we do at FSJ to involve the community through public outreach and the activities we partake in. Several of the people that we met at the conference talked to us about how they were involved when the project first started. I presented a paper and video about the GoPro video that Erika Loveland and I made throughout the 2016 field school. Our goal was to attract younger people to archaeology through this video. We then had a survey that looked at how younger generations react to the video. I discussed how our survey results show that the videos did indeed make the younger generations want to know more about archaeology as well as wanting to know how to get involved with the project. I also submitted several photos that I took throughout the field season into the photo competition; one of them won first place and people’s choice.  Dr. Nassaney gave a presentation on the “Advances in Methods and Theory” but, unfortunately, we were scheduled to present at the same time and I was not able to see him speak. This conference had so much to offer. There were quite a lot of presenters that discussed their findings from underwater wrecks that were fascinating to watch and learn about.

Picture of the Cattle Run through the Historic Stockyards
Outside of the conference there was an array of things to see and do around Texas. Liz and I went down early so that we could attend the Cotton Bowl because Western Michigan was playing Wisconsin and since we were already heading there for the conference, why not attend the game as well? The other neat thing about Fort Worth was the Historic Stockyards. It is set up like an old west town with brick roads and old salon looking buildings all over the place. They even do a cattle run through downtown and have rodeos on the weekends. While I was there I attended a Wild West show and got a true Texas-style steak. Definitely one of the best experiences I have ever had and to top it off I got to experience an amazing conference. I can’t wait until next year when we go to New Orleans to present.

- Austin George