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Updates from EAL Alumni

Fall 2023

Report by Melanie Cham (’23)

Nina Hirai ('23)

Nina is now at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama. STRI is a satellite campus of the Smithsonian where most of the research is focused on tropical biodiversity. They are working on photographing and digitizing artifacts to preserve and share them with the world. The collections are mainly zooarchaeological including cultural artifacts with animal iconography. Panama is home to some of the oldest artifacts in the Americas, but there is little research or published works on these artifacts. Nina is also dipping their toes into the world of paleontology as the STRI collections in Panama have hundreds of ancient megafauna (>10kya) boxes that have yet to be analyzed or identified.

Ruby DiCarlo ('23)

Ruby DiCarlo is working for the US Forest Service in the Cleveland National Forest in California.

Kiran Kowalski ('23)

Kiran is working for the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in Saipan, an island in the Northern Mariana Islands.

Nick Bowman ('23)

Nick received a Fulbright Award to study as a Masters student of Maritime Civilizations at the University of Haifa In Israel. He is interested in pursuing questions relating to Mediterranean maritime and landscape archaeology, transmarine networks of exchange, ship technology and construction, and the lives of ancient seafarers. His undergraduate honors thesis explores maritime connectivity and mobility in the southeastern Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean during the Neopalatial Period of the Late Bronze Age. Using modern wind speed and direction data in conjunction with sailing performance metrics of Neopalatial vessels he approximates sailing times and likely routes of travel between coastal settlements using GIS, which he compares to extant ceramic assemblages from those sites. As a Fulbright recipient, Nick plans to expand upon his undergraduate research by exploring interregional maritime connectivity between sites on the Israeli coast with other coastal settlements across the eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age.

Fletcher Levy ('23)

Fletcher is a paleontology assistant for the National Park Service at Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico.

Andy Tan ('21)

Andy is a PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Colorado in Boulder.

Yu Kai Tan ('20)

Yu Kai is a PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Michigan, studying the evolutionary drivers of developmental modes and dispersal strategies in marine mollusks. He has authored a couple of invited book chapters/essays on the nature-culture relationalities in post-colonial states, one of which were published earlier this month. In December 2023, he will be curating an exhibition of the art of indigenous peoples throughout the Malay Archipelago from a very special collection of a Penangite naturalist, interpreting the objects through a new conservation-focused lens.

Yu Kai with bullwhip kelp wig at Cattle Point, San Juan Island, WA