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Summer 2015 Lecture Series: “Packrat Middens and Megafaunal Extinctions”
September 9, 2015 @ 6:00 PM - 7:15 PM MDTFREE
At the end of the last Ice Age, North America was populated by mastodons, woolly mammoths, lions, tigers, one ton sloths, camels, and other exotic animals. As humans began to populate North America, most of these megafauna went extinct.
Dr. Shawn Collins, a paleoethnobotanist from the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center, will share studies of ancient tree rings and packrat nests, or “middens” to understand how the environment affected these animals–and humans–over time.
Dr. Shawn K. Collins is a grant-writer at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center. She has used microscopic plant remains (primarily phytoliths) to track the relationship of climate to agriculture and prehistoric population shifts in Mesoamerica. Shawn has analyzed plant remains to reconstruct past environments and human-environmental interactions across the tropical and temperate areas of the Western Hemisphere, and has studied agricultural features on the prehistoric landscape of the American Southwest.