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Award Abstract #1229061

MRI: Acquisition of a system of geophysics instruments for archaeological geophysics research and training.

NSF Org: BCS
Division Of Behavioral and Cognitive Sci
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Initial Amendment Date: August 14, 2012
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Latest Amendment Date: August 14, 2012
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Award Number: 1229061
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: John E. Yellen
BCS Division Of Behavioral and Cognitive Sci
SBE Direct For Social, Behav & Economic Scie
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Start Date: August 15, 2012
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End Date: July 31, 2015 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $110,321.00
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Investigator(s): Andrew Creekmore III andrew.creekmore@unco.edu (Principal Investigator)
Robert Brunswig (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: University of Northern Colorado
Office of Sponsored Programs
Greeley, CO 80639-6900 (970)351-1910
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NSF Program(s): MAJOR RESEARCH INSTRUMENTATION
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Program Reference Code(s): 1189
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Program Element Code(s): 1189

ABSTRACT

This Major Research Instrumentation award to Dr. Andrew Creekmore funds the acquisition by the University of Northern Colorado (UNC) of a system of geophysics instruments for research, training and education in the fields of archaeology, earth science, biology, and physics. These instruments include a magnetometer, resistivity meter, conductivity meter, ground-penetrating radar, and down-hole susceptibility sensor attachment for an existing magnetic susceptibility meter. Each of these measures different properties of the earth; together, they form an integrated research system for state-of-the-art applications. These instruments will be shared with researchers and educators at regional institutions including Colorado State University, the University of Denver, and Laramie County Community College. Researchers include eight collaborators, as well as graduate students and future colleagues.

These instruments will support several ongoing and new research initiatives, including: 1) A regional-scale, interdisciplinary archaeological, paleoenvironmental, ethnographic, and historical cultural-landscape study of Colorado prehistoric and historic Native American and non-native populations from the Late Pleistocene to the early 20th century. Geophysics survey can improve understanding of these cultures by identifying buried remains that help the analysis of mobile forager behavior and responses to environmental change; 2) An archaeological and historical study of Front Range trading forts of the mid 1800s. These forts were a key part of westward expansion characterized by trade between Native Americans and Euroamerican immigrants; 3) An interdisciplinary study of the structure and history of the early 20th-century African American settlement at Dearfield, Colorado. This settlement demonstrates African American resilience in their efforts, inspired by Booker T. Washington, to attain economic security, equality, and social justice; 4) A geophysical study of the internal structure of rattlesnake hibernacula. This study contributes to a better understanding of snake lifecycle and behavior; 5) Analysis of climate history and change through study of rock glaciers and moraines. This work informs current water-use policies because runoff from the watershed in which the rock glaciers occur is diverted for agricultural irrigation on Colorado's eastern plains; 6) Development of a grant-funded archaeogeophysics test site for testing and calibrating instruments, and training students; 7) Undergraduate research projects in physics, earth sciences, archaeology, biology and other disciplines.

The requested instruments will enable UNC and collaborating institutions to provide opportunities for hands-on education and research, including courses in anthropology, earth sciences, and physics; geophysics workshops; and the archaeological field school. Investigators will train students in the theory and application of geophysics in these fields, engage students in research, and prepare students to incorporate geophysics into graduate or professional work in their respective fields. Investigators will engage Front Range communities and area K-12 students through geophysics workshops, field days, and city and private museum exhibits designed to connect students and the public to science. Results will be presented at local community workshops, regional and national meetings, and submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals. This award will make it possible to expand collaborations with area scholars in a variety of fields, advancing knowledge and understanding in archaeology, earth science, biology, and physics.

 

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