Budding anthropologist Alexis Cabrera won 3rd prize out of 90 student submissions for her poster presentation entitled, “This Skull Has A Story: Analysis of a Skull Lacking Provenience.”
Three students from the University of Hawai‘i at Hilo presented their research projects at the annual meeting of the Society for Applied Anthropology, a worldwide organization that met recently in Portland, Oregon. Over 2,000 academics and consultants from around the world attended the event.
UH Hilo undergraduate Alexis Cabrera, who did a directed studies project with Professor of Anthropology Lynn Morrison that earned her a slot to present at the annual meeting, won 3rd prize out of 90 student submissions (mostly master’s and doctoral projects) for her poster presentation entitled, “This Skull Has A Story: Analysis of a Skull Lacking Provenience.”
CABRERA, Alexis and MORRISON, Lynn (UH-Hilo) This Skull Has a Story: Analysis of a Skull Lacking Provenience. The Department of Anthropology at the University of Hawaii at Hilo recently acquired a skull from a community member that lacked provenience. The skull was originally acquired under unusual circumstances in North Carolina, and had been housed within a family for over eighty years. The analysis on the skull includes determination of age, sex, ethnicity, and pathology. This skull has a unique combination of cranial and dental features that indicates a complex history. This presentation will include an overview of the cultural context of turn-of-the century North Carolina to gain an understanding of this individual’s origins and thus, story.
Also presenting at the meeting were students Josh Turner and Gabriela Edwards with their poster, “Kilauea Animal Rescue Efforts.”
TURNER, Josh and EDWARDS, Gabriela (UH-Hilo) Kilauea Rescue Efforts. During the Kilauea eruption of 2018 in Hawai‘i, 800 homes were evacuated leaving thousands displaced with domestic pets and farm animals abandoned in the lava zone. Hawai‘i County Civil Defense, Hawai‘i County Fire Department, Hawai‘i National Guard, and other ad hoc organizations coordinated efforts to rescue stranded animals caught between eruptive fissures and lava flows. Over a 3-month period of continual and dangerous volcanic activity, animal rescues were conducted by land, air and sea operations with oversight from civil defense. Using qualitative data, this study will examine the legal and logistical parameters of these animal rescue efforts.
Edwards also did the work she presented as a directed studies with Prof. Morrison. Turner and Edwards also were co-authors on Prof. Morrison’s oral presentation, “Volcanic Eruptions: Saving Lava Animals in Turbulent Times.”
Turner is boosting his studies through the Students of Hawai‘i Advanced Research Program (SHARP), which is funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) and is administered through the UH Hilo Department of Anthropology. The program supports all under-represented UH Hilo students, particularly Native Hawaiians and Pacific islanders, to develop interest and competence in biomedical and behavioral sciences research to help them advance to doctoral studies. Turner’s trip to the meeting was fully funded through SHARP.
Both Edwards and Cabrera received support from the UH Hilo anthropology department, notably through Kathleen Kawelu who serves as chair of the department and who approved a stipend to assist with the students’ travel.
“Thanks to all the support they have received from the anthropology department and the SHARP program, all three are on a pathway to graduate school,” says Morrison.
There are currently three open student positions in the SHARP program. For more information, interested students can contact Prof. Morrison, SHARP director, or use the contact form on the SHARP website.
About the writer of this story: Susan Enright is a public information specialist for the Office of the Chancellor and editor of UH Hilo Stories. She received her bachelor of arts in English and certificate in women’s studies from UH Hilo.