Monthly Archives: May 2017

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May 2017 Meeting Photos

Jim Chatters Presents Naia’s Hard Life at Society for American Archaeology Meeting

During Jim Chatters’ presentation on March 26, NPA members and guests got an exclusive sneak preview of new discoveries coming out the Hoyo Negro underwater cave in Mexico, including some information that can’t be discussed pending formal scientific publication. One of topics that can be mentioned now was how X-rays of the bone structure of the teenage girl Naia’s skeleton reveal a hard life, with periods of nutritional stress, and evidence of pregnancy and injuries. On March 30, a few days after his NPA presentation, Chatters gave a more technical version of the Naia story at the 2017 meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in Vancouver, Canada, as reported in the journal Nature and elsewhere.   Read More →

Caroline Strömberg Gets Charles Schuchert Award

Burke Museum Curator of Paleobotany and UW professor Caroline Strömberg has received the 2017 Charles Schuchert Award from the Paleontological Society in recognition of her ground-breaking work on fossil phytoliths as a way to understand ancient plants and environments, and in particular grasses and the animals that feed on them. Phytoliths are tiny silica bodies that form in the tissues of some plants. Because phytoliths are made of mineral, they are preserved in soils when plants die and decompose, and thus may leave no other fossil traces. The microscopic shapes of phytoliths are distinctive to particular plant groups, sometimes down to the species level. However, the role they play in plants is not completely understood. Phytoliths make grasses gritty for animals to chew–according to traditional thinking, leading to the evolution of high-crowned (hypsodont) teeth that grow as they are worn away, as in horses and other grazing animals. Read More →

John Rogers Elementary School Visit

Gregg, Gretchen and Tom represented the NPA at John Rogers Elementary School in North Seattle!

Friday, April 21

May 2017 Hands-On Activity Photos

Guest Speaker Brody Hovatter – Sunday May 21, 2017

We will begin our May 21, 2017 NPA Meeting a bit differently…

Brody Hovatter will provide a tour of the Burke collections at 1 p.m. on the 21st. The tour should only take 30 to 40 minutes, and a class from UW will be in on the tour too.

1:00 pm: Burke Collections Tour
1:35 pm: NPA Meeting starts in Burke Room
1:50 pm: Presentation by Brody Hovatter

Brody will be our speaker addressing:
Mammal Diversity and Ecology Across the KT Boundary
(and up to 1.2 million years afterwards)

Brody Hovatter is the Assistant Director of the DIG Field School and manager of the Wilson Paleontology Lab at the University of Washington. In addition to serving as Assistant Director, he has been an instructor for the program since 2014. He graduated with his Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Washington in 2014. His research in the Wilson Lab focuses on fossil mammals from northeastern Montana, for which he has received funding from the Mary Gates Endowment as well as departmental awards within the Biology Department. He has presented his research at numerous conferences, including the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology and Undergraduate Research Symposium at the University of Washington. Brody has loved teaching since an early age, and has served as a research mentor or co-mentor for numerous undergraduate students at the University of Washington. He also enjoys participating in local scientific outreach, and has served as a tutor for many middle school and high school students in the Seattle area.

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the May 21st meeting!

(Also: Another reminder about our Hands-On Activity in the Burke Room this Sunday, May 7th 10-2pm)