Topic ID #27568 - posted 3/9/2013 3:01 AM

NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) - Angel Mounds State Historic Site

Jennifer Palmer

The Department of Anthropology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) and the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at Indiana University-Bloomington are pleased to offer a new National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program entitled “Angel Mounds REU Site: Multidisciplinary Training for Students in Environmental and Social Sciences through Archaeological Research” (NSF Award No. 1262530). The eight-week program will include five weeks of fieldwork at the Angel Mounds State Historic Site in southwestern Indiana, a late Pre-Columbian town and National Historic Landmark site occupied during the Mississippian cultural period (A.D. 1050 to 1450) and highlighted by 11 earthen mounds and a series of palisades. This will be followed by three weeks of laboratory training at IUPUI and IU-Bloomington, analyzing materials and data from the fieldwork.

The goal of this project is to foster a new generation of scholars that can work across disciplinary boundaries to craft cogent, meaningful and empirically sound interpretations. Nationally recruited undergraduates from the environmental and social sciences and humanities, as well as other science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines will be provided with field and laboratory training in archaeology, geophysics, geoarchaeology and geochemistry. Over the program’s three years, REU participants will conduct original research on the Native peoples that inhabited Angel Mounds through investigation of earthwork construction (Year 1), reconstruction of the paleoenvironment (Year 2), and exploration of the timing and relationship between fortification construction, settlement development and subsequent site abandonment (Year 3).

Angel Mounds Dig

The educational programming of the Angel Mounds REU will promote undergraduate professionalization and enhance their skills by providing training in multidisciplinary field methods and hands-on use of sophisticated instruments. In the laboratory settings, students will learn to process, analyze and curate the artifacts, ecofacts and data collected. Analytical techniques taught in the laboratory will include basic identification and quantification of artifacts and other field data, as well as advanced methods of geochemical detection and estimation. The training provided to analyze geophysical data, sedimentology, pedology, and archaeological results, including GIS development and database management, will enhance many important 21st century skills such as digital literacy, database implementation and management, inventive thinking, and the understanding of complex interrelationships. Through this diverse and multidisciplinary training, students will gain a solid foundation in field and laboratory research and begin to form peer and professional relationships that will serve them for the rest of their careers.


The 2013 Angel Mounds REU will run from May 28th through July 26th. The five-week field component at Angel Mounds State Historic Site (Evansville, IN) will occur between May 28th and June 29th. A one-week break for July 4th and prepping of the labs and materials will occur between July 1st and 5th. The three-week lab component at IUPUI and the Glenn A. Black Laboratory of Archaeology at IU-Bloomington will run from July 8th through 26th.

Recruitment & Prerequisites

Angel Mounds Dig

The Angel Mounds REU will 1) increase disciplinary connections of undergraduates through peer-to-peer relationships, 2) provide students with the vocabulary to communicate with peers from other disciplines, 3) create a greater awareness of the importance of multidisciplinary research, and 4) increase overall diversity of archaeological research environments. We seek a diverse set of students, which will allow them to bridge existing disciplinary boundaries and build a broad network of professional relationships.

Sophomores and juniors in their respective programs with an interest in interdisciplinary science are strongly encouraged to apply to the Angel Mounds REU. While the research questions revolve around an archaeological site and time period, we encourage talented undergraduates with diverse majors and programs of study ranging from geology, environmental studies and biology to anthropology, geography and Native American studies to apply to our program. Members of groups underrepresented in the social sciences, humanities, and STEM disciplines are strongly encouraged to apply. This includes Native students currently enrolled at higher-education institutions. Preference will also be given to applicants from colleges and universities that do not have substantial research opportunities or the STEM disciplines at the graduate level. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 (out of 4.0) is preferred of all applicants.

Additional Information

Participants in the Angel Mounds REU will receive a $500/week stipend ($4,000 for eight weeks). The program will also cover all housing and the requisite field and laboratory equipment in Evansville, Bloomington, and Indianapolis. In addition, a $300 allowance will be provided to participants for travel to the REU site from their institution or home. A $500 allowance has also been budgeted for student presentations of research findings at a regional archaeological conference in the fall subsequent to project participation.

More info here.


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