Dr. Heather Walder

Position title: Ph.D. 2015, Alumna (Anthropology), Affiliated Researcher

Email: heather.walder@gmail.com

Exchange, Interactions, and Technological Practices in the upper Great Lakes c. 1630-1730
Dr. Heather Walder

Heather is a anthropological archaeologist, a former Ph.D. candidate at UW-Madison, and a Lecturer at UW-La Crosse . Her dissertation research project is a regional study gathering new data from more than 30 archaeological site collections dating to the 17th and 18th centuries in the Upper Great Lakes region. The goal of her project is to apply archaeological methods to better understand the dynamic interactions among the indigenous inhabitants of the region, displaced Native newcomers, and European explorers, traders, and missionaries of this early historic period. Through chemical compositional analysis of glass beads and physical attribute analysis of copper-base metal objects such as beads or “tinkling cones” cut from trade kettles, Heather has identified patterns related to the chronology and spatial patterning of interaction during initial European contact through the early colonial period. A focus on “hybrid” material culture, such as tinkling cones and glass pendants made from trade beads, has clarified how ethnicity or tribal identity shaped the development of trading relationships and the production of personal adornments in different areas of this region. Heather is passionate about undergraduate education and public outreach, and she actively involves students in her current research, including training in data collection and management strategies. She has also served as the Crew Chief for the UW-Oshkosh spring archaeology field school (2013), developed the content for a museum exhibit at Rock Island State Park, and presented public lectures about her research throughout the Midwest. Heather employs social media and web-based content in her teaching, and her Introduction to Anthropology course is on Twitter at #ANT101UWL.

  • Wisconsin and Great Lakes Archaeology
  • Colonialism
  • Intercultural interaction
  • Technology Studies