Geoscience Major King Awarded NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Fellowship

Posted on 4/15/2015 3:34:43 PM

Jon King, a junior in the BS in Geology program at IUP, has been accepted into a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program titled “Multidisciplinary Training for Students in Environmental and Social Sciences through Archaeological Research.” This fellowship includes a $4,000 stipend for the eight weeks of the project, the housing costs in the field and at Indiana University, a $300 travel allowance to the research site(s), and a $500 allowance to attend and present at the Midwest Archaeological Conference in fall 2015.

This eight-week summer program sponsored by Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI) will examine how warfare and demographic change affected Mississippian-era settlements in the Ohio and Illinois River Valleys. This summer’s field and lab investigations will focus on a fortified, late Mississippian (AD 1250–1400) village near the Sangamon River in the southern half of the central Illinois River valley. The goals of this research are to understand how this community coped with climate change, persistent threats from neighbors, and resource shortfalls by constructing fortifications and ceremonial mounds.

The REU student fellows will document the timing and potential relationships between population, settlement and landscape changes related both to climatic factors (i.e., Medieval Climate Anomaly and Little Ice Age) and human-related land-use practices by combining lake sediment core records of climate, soil geochemistry, and landscape nutrient status (for human impact factors) with archeological records from major pre-Columbian settlements in the Illinois and Ohio River valleys.

Artist's rendering of a Mississippian mound site courtesy of Yu Shan, Eastern Decor and Art

(Artist’s rendering of a Mississippian mound site, courtesy of Yu Shan, Eastern Decor and Art)

Department of Geoscience