The UNLV Anthropology Department reached out to our very own volunteer intern, Dyann Mones, who's an undergraduate at the University and asked to do an interview on her research project. If you've been following along on Instagram, then you've definitely come across Dyann talking about and showing off what she's been working on for the last year and a half. Hint: It's an archaeology teaching trunk.
She started volunteering during the part in quarantine where it seems like we all had an epiphany and realized we should be doing more of what we love and use our potential to the fullest. As an undergrad who's majoring in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a minor in Anthropology, she remembered how she'd always had wanted to volunteer at a Museum, put in her application, got interviewed by Dr. Rowland and the rest is history (har har). Well, sort of anyway. The Paleo lab had an opening, and with her interest in Indigenous Activism Dr. Rowland thought that she would be the perfect person to sift through boxes of pot sherds that were found in a Backyard in North Las Vegas. Dyann didn't have previous experience with this type of field at all, but she wasn't going to let that stop her. She went forth and learned, cleaned, sifted, learned more, and after months of work, she had her sherds organized.
From this point, she was able to actually study the different sherds and has been able to make an educated hypothesis as to which Indigenous groups from the Southwest the various pieces belong to through analysis of the paint pigments used, and styles of design. She was able to make a research poster and even presented at an archaeology conference with Dr. Rowland. These days Dyann is busy perfecting the power points that will be used in the teaching trunk and is awaiting on approval from our Collections Team before it'll be available for the public to rent for free.
If you'd like to learn more about the making of the project, you can usually find Dyann Fridays and Saturdays in our Paleontology lab downstairs in the afternoon. To learn more about Dyann herself and her journey as an undergraduate, her life, and hear her advice to others, check out the UNLV anthropology club Instagram where they've posted all the intricate details.