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CWC students present at archaeology conference

May 10, 2018

photo of student Sara Bales presenting a presentation at an archaeology conference

In April, Central Wyoming College archaeology students successfully presented several research papers to a large audience at the joint conference of the Wyoming Association of Professional Archaeologists and both the Wyoming and Montana Archaeological Societies in Billings, Montana.

“This conference is a great opportunity to learn about the field we are entering,” said Bailey Lewis, CWC student. “Not only do we get to see the projects professional are doing, but we also get to converse about the practicality of the job market we will be entering.”

CWC sophomore, Sara Bales, from Lander, earned the “Best Student Paper” award for her project titled, “The Long Walk South.” Bales’s paper discussed her Lipan Apache ancestors’ migration from the Yukon to the deserts of the US Southwest more than a thousand years ago. She outlined lithic, ceramic, linguistic, geological and genetic evidence for the migration.  


Being able to participate and present at such an important conference is an amazing opportunity. Doing research for my paper and putting it together took a lot of time and hard work, but it all paid off in the end. ”

Sara Bales

Bales, who is an exemplary scholar, will join the University of Wyoming Honors College when she transfers to Laramie in the fall to continue her studies in anthropology.

Students from several universities in Montana and Colorado, as well as from UW, presented papers along with professionals from around the region discussing their various projects.

Other CWC students who presented papers included, “Where Should We Start Looking? A Predictive Model for Bison Jump Sites in the Wind River Mountains, Wyoming,” by Mara Gans, “Which is Better? Side-by-Side Comparisons of Three GIS Technologies in Archaeological Site Mapping,” by Ashley Harris, “The Bomber Falls Crash: A World War II B-24 Liberator Crash in Wyoming’s Wind River Mountains,” by Bailey Lewis, “Manifestations of the Ten Forts Site (48NA5597) in the North-Western Laramie Mountains: Battlefield, Hunting, or Spiritual Complex?” by Rebecca L. Mashak and William G. Elder, “Mountain Bison? Isotopic and metric analysis of bison crania collected above 3,048masl/10,000ft in the Wind River Mountains, Wyoming,” by Falon Norford, and “The Dinwoody Bison Jump –  2017 Field Season Discoveries At This Controversial Site,” by Morgan Robins. All the student research projects were conducted under the guidance of CWC Professor of Anthropology and History, Todd Guenther.

“As a student at CWC it was an incredible experience to be able to travel to the joint conference,” Gans said. “I am so grateful to be able to study at a school where professors like Todd empower students to pursue what they are passionate about and to take that passion beyond the classrooms to the real world. One of the best experiences at the conference was seeing how enthusiastic and excited other professional archaeologist were to hear about my work and to contribute ideas to improving it.”