Dr. Charles “Andy” Speer, a first year assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University (ISU), is the Idaho Museum of Natural History’s (IMNH) newest curator. Speer will be heading the Anthropology division at IMNH.
Tells about yourself, Andy:
I am an assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University. My research primarily focuses on geochemical analysis of knappable stone to determine mobility patterns of prehistoric hunter-gatherers. I am currently working on developing large databases of geochemical information of knappable stone throughout the Inter-mountain West, the Great Plains, and South Central North America with which to compare Paleoindian artifacts. My other research areas focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the peopling of the New World, lithic technology, experimental archaeology, 3D modeling, and GIS predictive modeling.
What are you plans for the anthropology division?
My plans for the anthropology division are based on a series of short and long term goals. A primary short term goal is to have students engage more of the museum’s collections for senior
research topics and masters theses. I have plans for several exhibits over the next few years that I hope will evolve from student research. I hope to engage local communities and show various topics in wide ranging contexts of interpretation. The first exhibit I hope to develop highlights the role of the horse in the Inter-mountain West since its introduction by the Spanish in the 16th century; from its influence on Native American tribes to Western expansion. We have some spectacular examples of horse accoutrements to incorporate from the collections. A primary long term goal is to provide training, opportunities, and experience for students and volunteers in a museum setting that they can translate into future careers. Other long term goals are reinvestment in a museum based anthropological journal, provide long term projects and funding for the Idaho Virtualization Laboratory, and development of a museum-based CRM firm.
We look forward to working with you and welcome to the Team!