At the tail end of 2016, I realized my dissertation project could benefit from some extra support. I’d designed two large projects in parallel and wanted to gather a serious amount of field data in the summer of 2017. As I began sketching out my methodologies based on the best literature I could find, I realized that many of the projects that came before mine relied on teams of people working together to gather field data. So, I took a look at my project and identified some places where a set of extra hands could really push the research forward.
In the spring of 2017, I conducted interviews for a paid research assistant position and was lucky to have some awesome candidates. In the end, I chose to hire the student that I thought would benefit most from the kind of fieldwork I had planned and who demonstrated an aptitude for research. That brings me here, where I’m excited to introduce my research assistant: Madelyn T. Gonzalez.
“Hey! My name is Madelyn and I’m Paepin’s research assistant. I’m a junior (as of fall of 2017) majoring in anthropology and minoring in geography. I love studying geography and being a part of this project with Paepin. After I earn my bachelor’s degree I want to attend graduate school to work toward a Ph.D. in archaeology.
Ever since I was young I’ve wanted to be an archaeologist. The study of humans – past, present, and future – is so interesting to me. From this project I hope to gain field experience that I can call upon in grad school. Even though this summer 2017 project is geography-focused, many of the methodologies Paepin and I are using are similar to methodologies used in archaeology. Through this project, I’ll gain experience in repeat photography, quadrat sampling, transect sampling, and the management of field data.”