Geographical areas of specialization:
- American Midwest; south-central Andes
- lithic analysis; south-central Andes; Mississippian archaeology; historical archaeology; archaeological ethics; anthropological pedagogy
I am particularly interested in the interface between ceremonial behavior and craft industries. I have been researching how people in different cultural situations use lithic tools to manufacture other tools and objects.
My technical specialty is in the examination of wear traces using light microscopy and high-power magnification to reconstruct artifact function. My research in Peru concerns understanding the organization of technology and behavior at preceramic sites along the southern Peruvian coast. My methodology involves applying functional studies of lithic technology to anthropological problems dealing with both foraging as well as complex societies.
My newest research interests concern centers for the production of ceramic and glass tableware in the late 19 th and early 20th centuries in North America. In particular, I am interested in the ways in which the production of dinnerware, driven by changing domestic lifestyles, has influenced the development and economic sustainability of pottery towns in the Ohio valley.
I also am involved in research into the ways in which we teach anthropology, create course materials, and write textbooks.
I also study college teaching and learning related to archaeology and ethical responsibility.
I teach courses on lithic technology, historical archaeology, industrial archaeology, the ancient Andean region, and other heritage-themed topics relating to archaeology, tourism, museums, and preservation.