Northwest anthropologists are in Eugene for annual meeting

2015 Northwest Anthropological Conference

More than 500 anthropologists will be in Eugene Wednesday through Saturday, March 25-28, to attend the 68th annual meeting of the Northwest Anthropological Association.

The University of Oregon's Department of Anthropology and Museum of Natural and Cultural History are hosting the event, which is being held at the Valley River Inn. Registration is Wednesday followed by 27 sessions Thursday through Saturday. Poster presentations about current research by students and scientists also will be on display throughout the event.

Participants include scientists from universities, government agencies and other organizations, as well as students, from across all anthropological subfields, said UO anthropology professor Scott Fitzpatrick, who is co-chair with UO archaeologist Dennis Jenkins on the association's local arrangements committee. Also attending are stakeholders who benefit from anthropological research, including those working in cultural resource management, members of tribal and First Nations groups, museum professionals and interested community members.

Thursday sessions include symposiums on the challenges of studying and measuring maternal and infant health issues and on archaeological excavations that have shed light on 200 years of Oregon's military heritage.

Friday morning, researchers will present work related to public archaeology and heritage management, including the coordination of efforts with local governments and dealing with issues related to cultural affiliations. Another symposium will focus on stone tools made by native peoples in the Northwest. Editors of a new book, "Toolstone Geography of the Pacific Northwest," which is being made available for the first time at the conference, are hosting the session.

Friday afternoon, a symposium will look at the experiences and collaborative approaches that emerged in the aftermath of the March 2014 mudslide that swept through Oso, Washington.

Friday's activities will close with a keynote address by Jon Erlandson, executive director of the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History, during the conference banquet that begins at 7 p.m. Erlandson will speak on "Coast to Coast: New Insights in the Peopling of the Americas."

Saturday morning's events include a symposium that will focus on current perspectives related to the Northwest coastal ecologies, especially those involving human-environmental interactions, resource use and resource rights. Another session will feature reports on archaeological research on the tide flats of Seattle's Smith Cove, a small shantytown occupied from 1911 to 1941. Construction that began last year uncovered the remnants of the community.

Complete information is available by viewing the full program and conference schedule.