A new Veterans Curation Program satellite lab has opened at the WSU Museum of Anthropology in Pullman. The staff has set up their lab space to receive collections and training on the VCP’s standard curation methods. Three student veterans have been hired and are being trained to curate collections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Portland District, gaining skills in data entry using Excel and Access, report writing, quality control methods, digital photography, scanning, and attention to detail. They will be cataloging, digitizing, and rehousing at-risk collections for long-term preservation. The curation of these cultural materials is a crucial step to aid future researchers and stakeholders in accessing and using the collections and will contribute to the organization of materials from the Corps’ Northwest Division.
Bill Andrefsky retires from WSU
Professor William “Bill” Andrefsky officially retired from WSU in August 2018 and now serves as a professor emeritus.
Bill joined the Department of Anthropology as an assistant professor in 1990. He served as the department chair 2000–2010. In 2013, he became dean of the Graduate School and served in that role until last year (2018). A retirement celebration was held at this year’s Society for American Archaeology meeting April 10-14 in Albuquerque.
Barry Hewlett talks Ebola, culture, politics
The Ebola virus causes a frightening and deadly disease most commonly found in central and western Africa, and the most effective efforts to control it combine both medical intervention and cultural understanding of the people it threatens the most. Without context, the fact that village people often flee, refuse to cooperate, and sometimes physically attack members of intervention teams seems confusing, but these local responses to epidemics are rooted both in culture and in human nature.
Barry Hewlett, professor of anthropology at WSU Vancouver, was the first social scientist to be invited by the World Health Organization to work on Ebola control efforts in central Africa.
Presenting at “Science on Tap” in Vancouver, Washington, Barry shared his improbable journey through the heart of Africa and his discovery regarding how local people view epidemics and how their knowledge and practices help to control outbreaks. He explained how other countries might use the insights of anthropologists to design more effective public health campaigns around other epidemics.