McNair Summer Research 2017 – Ryan Peterson

On September 1, 2017, twelve McNair Scholars presented the findings of their summer McNair-funded research projects. Each student had 15 minutes to give a power point presentation and to take questions from the audience.

This blog post features Ryan Peterson, a junior majoring in Anthropology. It is the seventh in a series about our summer researchers.

Project Title:  Cultural Resources Management Internship on Isle Royale National Park

Research Advisor:  Mr. Seth DePasqual – Cultural Resources – National Park Service

LOL My Thesis Title:  Five Grown Adults Search Desperately for Holes in the Ground, and Thimbleberries

What is one thing that you learned from this research experience?

I learned about the Cultural Resources side of Archaeology, specifically about Sections 106 and 110 of the NHPA.  I also learned how to monitor and record archaeology sites.

What surprised you?

I was surprised by how shallow some of the mining pits were during our survey.

What frustrated you?

The most frustrating part was living on an island, but that being said, it was an experience I wouldn’t trade.

Tell us something about your research mentor.

My research mentor, Seth DePasqual, was a great help and an amazing guy.  He is a very qualified archaeologist and is an expert on Isle Royale archaeology.

If you had the project to do over, what would you do differently?

I would give us more time surveying than we allotted for ourselves.

Any advice for your fellow McNair Scholars who will do research next summer?

Don’t be afraid to go in the field and immerse yourself in your project.

Does this research experience make you more or less likely to apply to graduate school?  Please explain.

It makes me more likely.  I will need a higher education to pursue a job in a career related to my internship.

Is there anyone that you would like to publicly recognize/thank who helped you with your project?

Yes – I would like to publicly recognize Seth DePasqual and Marley Chenoweth for being so helpful and allowing me to work with them.

Any other thoughts to share?

Isle Royale is a special place that I would love to return to one day.


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