Recycle Award 2016 winner Kelsey M. Reese

Recycle award logo

Every year CAA presents the Recycle Award to recognize those who breathe new life into old data. This year the award is supported by Springer and the winner is presented with a $250 book gift certificate.

We would like to congratulate all applicants who took part this year, and in particular Kelsey M. Reese: the 2016 CAA Recycle Award winner. Kelsey has received a certificate in recognition of her data re-use activities presented at CAA as “From the Empirical to the Conjectural: Settlement Patterns on the Mesa Verde Landform“.

The Recycle award selection committee made the award to Kelsey on the basis that:

she made innovative re-use of data, including NADBI site records, and some of it going back to the 19th century, in order to predict and analyse the location of North American Southwestern sites within an area of the Mesa Verde where archaeological fieldwork is no longer allowed.

Summary of Kelsey’s award winning paper:

Restricted access to archaeologists on private land limits our ability to understand the complete picture of what is occurring in a region. On the Mesa Verde landform in the U.S. Southwest, we are very fortunate to have nearly 100% survey coverage within the boundaries of Mesa Verde National Park, however, this accounts for less than 1/3rd of the landform on which it resides. Furthermore, new research in the Park has been limited for the past 40 years, and therefore we are bound to data collected from the late-1800s through the 1970s. My previous research has looked at settlement patterns and areas of likely intensified interaction among contemporaneous households, but these analyses were limited to known habitation sites. Trying to understand the complete magnitude of the population on the landscape and the extent to which people were occupying this area prompted me to produce this predictive model. We may be limited pre-existing, but there is still much we can learn and pull out of that data by using new and innovative techniques to understand how households organized themselves on the landscape centuries ago.