November 1, 2018 at 9:06 am

Happy Beginnings | Meyer Continues Anthropology Research in Grad School

A smiling Rachel Meyer standing in front of file boxes

Rachel Meyer at the Geier Collections and Research Center, standing in front of the collection from the Hahn’s Field Site excavations

Editor’s Note: The Happy Beginnings series features recent College of Arts & Sciences graduates who are getting started in careers, graduate school and service.

Rachel Meyer ’16 is a second year master’s student in Anthropology at the University of Cincinnati.

She graduated from the College of Arts & Sciences at Ohio University with B.A. degrees in Anthropology and Classical Civilization and a minor in German. She took a year off while working temp jobs at OHIO and taking Dr. Sabrina Curran‘s zooarchaeology class, which helped her prepare for her thesis.

She is in the process of writing a grant proposal for her thesis to get funding for stable carbon and nitrogen isotope ratio analysis of domestic dogs, wolves, and deer from a Madisonville phase site in Hamilton County. She will be comparing the diet of the wolves to that of the dogs to see if there is a difference between these two populations due to the availability of food from the site.

Meyer loves that she is able to continue working with biological material and learn new techniques at the same time. This is the first time she is working with stable isotopes.

She enjoys being able to explain and talk about the past in a way that has not been done before. What she does not enjoy is having to constantly edit everything she writes, she says.

Her OHIO Experience

When she started at OHIO, she expected to work in forensic anthropology. Meyer’s undergraduate experience helped change her direction to a focus on biological archaeology. She says is it is surprising to be working with faunal remains since she did not start looking at them until her senior year.

“I think one of the most important things that I gained from OHIO,” Meyer says, “was the practical experience that most of the classes provided.”

Some of the other graduate students in her program never had the opportunity to work on a field site or in an osteological lab during their undergrad.

“I also think that the professors at OHIO were integral in helping me prepare for the work load of a master’s degree while also helping me to figure out what path was the best for me personally.”

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