“I started the Archaeology program at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse in the Fall of 2013 knowing that I wanted to be an archaeologist, but I had no idea where I wanted to work, I loved it all. After taking courses that discussed the archaeology of the Midwest and working with artifacts from the La Crosse area, I realized the archaeology of the Midwest had stolen my heart. In the fall semester of my third year I began a research project inspired by the research of Colin Betts (2006) examining epidemics during the Protohistoric period, in Iowa and Wisconsin and George Milner’s (2015) research on population decline and culture change in the midcontinent.
I began researching this topic because of my interest in cultural change and cultures in contact. I conducted an analysis of ceramics, comparing those from the late prehistoric La Crosse locality in western Wisconsin and the protohistoric Riceford Creek locality in southeastern Minnesota. I will be presenting the final results of this research at the SAA’s annual meeting in April, but my presentation is not the only reason I wanted to attend.
I wanted to attend the annual meeting for three reasons. First, attending will allow me to not only present my research, but to get feedback on my research and presentation style from other archaeologists. Second, attending the meeting will allow me to interact with other archaeologists and students of archaeology that I would not normally be able to. Finally, my attendance will allow me to see the hundreds of different presentations from many different geographical regions and theoretical perspectives, giving me greater knowledge on the field of archaeology. I will be graduating this spring from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and I hope to attend graduate school after working for a year or two in Cultural Resource Management. In graduate school I would love to continue doing research in the Midwest and all it has to offer. I have been a teaching assistant for four different courses in my time here at UWL and my hope is to become a professor someday after receiving my Ph.D.” (Jaelyn Roland)