The Archaeology of Alpine Snow and Ice in the Mid-Latitude Mountains of the Greater Yellowstone and Beyond
By Craig M. Lee
November 2, 2017
Join us for the November Draper Natural History Museum Lunchtime Expedition lecture. Dr. Craig M. Lee presents The Archaeology of Alpine Snow and Ice in the Mid-Latitude Mountains of the Greater Yellowstone and Beyond.
Just as the technological development of the aqualung and submersibles opened the oceans to archaeology and other research opportunities, global warming is opening the cryosphere as a new research frontier. The discovery of rare, unique, and important artifacts and paleobiological specimens at melting ice patches holds the potential to revolutionize anthropological theories and concepts pertaining to human colonization and adaptations. Consistent with the oral traditions of many Native peoples, the ice patch record allows scientists to conceptualize the alpine—in ancient times at least—as an ecosystem in balance with prey species and humans alike taking advantage of a seasonally enriched biome.
In April 2016, the Camp Monaco Prize was awarded to Lee and his colleagues Greg Pederson (U.S. Geological Survey) and David McWethy (Montana State University) by the Buffalo Bill Center of the West’s Draper Natural History Museum, the University of Wyoming’s Biodiversity Institute, and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation-USA. Lee’s talk includes some of the exciting results generated by the fieldwork and analyses stemming from that project.
About our speaker
Lee is a Research Scientist II/Associate Professor at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research (INSTAAR), an Adjunct Instructor in the Department of Sociology & Anthropology at Montana State University, and a Principal Investigator at Metcalf Archaeological Consultants. He earned his PhD from the University of Colorado at Boulder, an MA from the University of Wyoming, and a BS from Montana State University. He serves on the boards of directors for the PaleoCultural Research Group and the Lamb Spring Archaeological Preserve, and volunteers with numerous organizations, including Montana’s Site Stewardship Advisory Council. His research interests include the human ecology and landscape archaeology of alpine and high latitude environments with an emphasis on sharing the process and results with numerous audiences, including the professional scientific community, descendant Native American communities, and the public. Lee’s research has been published in numerous venues, including Antiquity, American Antiquity, Arctic, and The Holocene.
Draper Natural History Museum Lunchtime Expeditions are supported in part by Sage Creek Ranch and the Nancy-Carroll Draper Foundation.
Join us the first Thursday of each month February through December for a Lunchtime Expedition! These free lectures explore a variety of natural history subjects and issues. Lectures take place in our Coe Auditorium at 12:15 p.m. and are free and open to the public.
Upcoming Lunchtime Expedition:
- December 7: Dan Thompson with Resurgence of the Carnivore: Realities in the World of Large Carnivore Conservation and Management