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It’s time to vote in the 2014 Elections

Cast your vote by logging in to AnthroGateway, click on the “My Information” page, and then click on the “Vote Now!” button.

This month we’ll take a look at the candidates.

Featured today are the candidates for the Ethics Committee Biological Seat: Julie Lesnik and Bethany Turner

The objective of the Committee on Ethics is a standing committee of the Association, which is responsible for the design and implementation of the Association’s ethics education and advisory program. The objectives of the ethics education program are (1) to increase the number of candidates for all degrees in anthropology receiving training in ethics before graduating; (2) to provide ongoing education in ethical issues for all AAA members; (3) to provide advice to AAA members facing/raising ethical dilemmas, and (4) to provide guidance to the Executive Board about AAA codes and guidelines.

Click here to learn more about the Committee on Ethics.


Julie Lesnik

Lesnik_JulieI have a broad professional history in anthropology, which has furnished me with the experience necessary for a position on the Ethics Committee. I have taught at many different schools in Chicago including small, private establishments, large research-driven public universities, and a minority-serving institute. The student body as well as the faculty at every type of school faces their own challenges. Having worked in many different academic environments, I have an understanding of the challenges that need to be overcome in order to implement ethics training in various anthropology curricula. I have also worked on four field schools on three different continents. I have experience navigating many ethics problems that can present themselves in these settings, such as research team power dynamics, relations with local populations, and ethical treatment of human remains. I am able to advise AAA members who may be currently encountering these issues. Finally, I have been active in the AAA since 2008 and I look forward to contributing more in the years to come. Serving on the Ethics Committee would be a great way to engage with the membership and help promote awareness of the ethical dilemmas we all face in our chosen field.

Bethany Turner

Turner_BethanyI am a social bioarchaeologist working primarily in the Peruvian Andes to study patterns of diet, mobility, health, and identity among indigenous groups who lived in ancient imperial states such as the Wari and Inca, and under Spanish colonialism. I have also collaboratively studied human remains from archaeological contexts in Middle Woodland-Period Florida, Medieval Mongolia, Early-Christian Sudanese Nubia, and Emancipation-Period Georgia. All of these research contexts involved explicit and sustained efforts to engage in context-specific best practices, from excavation to compliance with NAGPRA and museum policies, to engagement with descent communities, to ongoing dialog regarding intrusive analysis and repatriation.

My training involved a strong and consistent focus on skeletal ethics and public engagement, which I now infuse into training and mentoring students in the field and lab. I believe that studying human remains is a privilege, one that imparts a heavy responsibility on the researcher to commit to the nuanced and dynamic nature of ethical practices. Because of this, I have published peer-reviewed book chapters centered on the ongoing negotiation of ethical issues in the study of ancient human remains in the US and abroad. I would translate these experiences and perspectives into productive contributions as a member of the AAA Committee on Ethics.

Log-in to AnthroGateway to vote today!

Insects-as-food Survey

AAA member, Julie Lesnik at the University of Illinois-Chicago is conducting a survey regarding insects-as-food. This survey is open to all researchers who may have observed the practice of eating insects by either a human population or nonhuman primate population. The goal of the survey is to 1) identify general global patterns, and 2) initiate the development of a global database of standardized scientific identifications and nutritional values.

Please go to http://www.entomoanthro.org/survey.html for more information and a link to the survey, or email Julie Lesnik at jlesnik{at}uic{dot}edu.

Julie Lesnik, An Anthropologist Back to School

Today’s guest blog post is by Julie Lesnik (U Illinois at Chicago). Dr. Lesnik has volunteered to lead a program in the Anthropologists Back to School initiative. Her program will take place at The Field Museum. This new initiative seeks volunteers to lead and assist programs at various host sites throughout Chicago on Wednesday, November 20 from 9am to12pm. Share your passion of anthropology while giving back to this year’s host city – Chicago. Learn more about how you can participate in Anthropologists Back to School and register today!

Julie LesnikI moved to Chicago from Ann Arbor, MI in 2011.  I was very active in community outreach in Ann Arbor, especially regarding science education for young girls.  I have not had a chance to get involved with a program yet here in Chicago, so the Anthropologists Back to School initiative is especially appealing to me.

I have spent the last two summers working on an archaeological project and field school in highland Peru. Working in Peru is a new endeavor for me, and I found the prehistoric cultures of the region absolutely fascinating.  I am excited to co-chair the Ancient Americas program at the Field Museum this November and bring what I have learned about the dynamic history of this region to students of the Chicago Public Schools.

My research focus is on bioarchaeology; the analysis of human skeletal remains in archaeological contexts.  One activity that students will be able to take part in includes taking measurements on replicas of skeletal materials and estimating the height of individuals.  I will use this exercise to describe how growing up at high altitude affects the human body, not only through shorter statures, but also through adaptations to breathing effectively in low atmospheric pressures.  I hope that students will walk away from this experience with a better understanding of human variation and adaptation.


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