Student blog entry: Roger’s experience

From time to time I will be sharing with you the experiences of some of our students. this first student entry of the season is from Roger, an incoming graduate student to the Industrial Archaeology program who brings a lot of field experience to the Cliff Mine archaeology Project.

My name is Roger. I am a new Graduate Student at Michigan Tech University. I received my B.S. in Anthropology from the University of Oregon in 2005. During my time there, I worked on the Southern California Channel Islands Project. I did cartography, lab work and was a computer technical advisor for this project. I studied at New Mexico State University’s Anthropology graduate program. While there, I worked on the Lunar Legacy project. The main focus of this work was preservation of Human Artifacts on the Moon and the Natural Effects that can negatively damage Lunar Archaeological sites. I have given three papers on this subject at three different conferences and co-authored a chapter in the text book, “Handbook of Space Engineering, Archaeology, and Heritage.” I participated at the Rough ‘n Ready Field School, excavating an 19th century stagecoach station. Recently I have been working for the Inyo National Forest for the National Forest Service. I am a co-author on National Register of Historic Places nomination on the Lon Cheney Cabin of the High Sierra.

I have been working at the Cliff Mine Field School. This is my first Industrial Archaeology dig, so I have been excited about it. I have been spending most of my time working with one of our instructors (Tim Goddard) on the cartographic mapping of the site. I have had a little experience in working with the Total Station, so I was chosen to be Tim’s assistant in working the station. Mostly I have been holding the prism for the laser site while Tim shows the other students how to set up and shoot points for mapping purposes. Incidentally if you see nails with flagging tape around it, please do not pull them out. It took a great deal of time and effort to lay those out in tick infested swamps and poor rock piles and it would be a serious blow to our schedule to put them back if they were removed.

Today, a fellow student and I opened up a new unit, SM101.t6. This unit is the first of its type for me to dig as it’s half in an exit for stream run-off. Half of the time we are excavating and the other half ditch digging. Draining this trench unit is a time consuming effort that has been a real, but necessary, pain. Tomorrow I am considering bringing a pump and a length of pipe. Then I can pump and bottle the water to sell it as an all-natural mineral water. I could call it “Old Cliff: the all-natural mine water that tastes like 1850.” Anyway, our unit has some interesting details and soils that has made it enjoyable. So far this has been a good experience, but soon I think I will be returning back to Tick Hollow Clifton to map areas of the townsite. So until next time, Adieu.

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About Sean Gohman

Currently a PhD Degree seeking student in the Michigan Tech University's Industrial Heritage and Archaeology program.

One response to “Student blog entry: Roger’s experience”

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