Hello everyone, my name is Christian, and I’m honored to have been selected as your chapter Outreach Coordinator and Assistant Newsletter Editor. I know that I have some big shoes to fill in my taking over for Allison Kerns, and I will do my best to be as good and capable an Outreach Coordinator as she was.
I’ve been working as an archaeologist since 2003, beginning with the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC) on the University of Wisconsin La Crosse Campus where I was pursuing an undergraduate degree in Archaeological Studies. The awesome archaeologists I worked with taught me the value of doing good science-based archaeology in the service of the idea that you can get people to care about cultural resources if you just share what you’re actually learning. During that time, in addition to my work as a field archaeologist, I did more school presentations, public archaeology days, and site visits than I can count; and I always encountered a great enthusiasm to know more about the past.
In 2010, my wife, my pets, and I came to Colorado so that I could pursue a Master’s Degree in Anthropology. Before leaving Wisconsin, I had decided to specialize in Historical Archaeology, and I came to Colorado to work with Dr. Bonnie Clark at the University of Denver. My Historical Archaeology coursework opened up the study of everyday life in a way that allowed me to investigate the agency of the people behind the material culture that I was working with. Through my master’s thesis work at Amache, a World War II-Era internment camp, I also had the opportunity to do great community-based archaeology through my work with former internees and their descendants. This experience really showed me how archaeology could be truly collaborative while telling the stories of normal people in ways that allow for a more complete and nuanced understanding of our nation’s history.
Currently, I work at the City of Boulder’s Department of Open Space and Mountain Parks as a Cultural Resources program staff member. I am fortunate to be part of a great organization that is responsible for managing and protecting a unique landscape. The OSMP system includes hundreds of cultural resources that tell the story of Boulder and the Colorado Front Range over the last 3000 years, and frankly, it’s an honor to be entrusted with their care.
One of the chief attractions of archaeology for me has always been the opportunity to interact with material culture and landscapes through fieldwork and experimentation. There’s something about the experiences of exploring and recording a site or trying one’s hand at an old craft that allows for a deeper understanding of the choices that people made. My experience as an archaeologist thus far has taught me that those experiences are worth sharing and also that they go a long way in helping to protect cultural resources.
As Outreach Coordinator, I would like to focus this year on creating experiences for the membership that allow us to interact with cultural resources. Some ideas on the table so far are things like cultural resource hikes, survey and recording, and opportunities to learn new skills and maybe even try some experimental archaeology. I look forward to meeting all of you in the coming months and I am always open to ideas, so, if there is something that you would like to see the chapter do, just let me know and we can see if we can make it happen together!