Rachael became Curation Assistant in August 2015 after working at UWAR for several months and volunteering in the curation lab before that. She received a B.S. in Anthropology and a GIS Certificate from Iowa State University in 2012, an M.A. in Anthropology from University of Wyoming in 2014, and is currently a Ph.D. student at UW.
In addition to her collections management work, Rachael has conducted cultural resource management fieldwork with Iowa State, the Iowa Office of the State Archaeologist, and private CRM firms in Iowa and Missouri and with private firms in Montana. She has also participated in academic-based excavations in Iowa, Nebraska, Montana, and Wyoming. Rachael is involved in public outreach and education, giving research presentations at professional meetings, leading archaeology-based activities with school children, and educating the public about archaeology and excavation through outlets such as the archaeology fair and site tours.
Rachael’s primary research interest is human-animal interactions in prehistory, specifically focused on the functions of domestic dogs in hunter-gatherer and non-industrial societies. She studies the topic from several perspectives, including sociocultural and ecological. Her recent work involves skeletal trauma and pathology of dogs, wolves, and coyotes to look at the concepts of compassion, care, and abuse from a zooarchaeological perspective. She also acts as a consulting faunal analyst, interpreting animal bones from archaeological projects that others are conducting.