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Science HAPPENINGS February 2019

Utah Professional Archaeological Council’s Annual Conference

Southeast Utah 500 Women Scientists
Mission and Values:

Our Mission:
  • To share the importance of science.
  • To support one another as a community of women scientists in Southeast Utah
  • To be in service in the name of science to the communities of Southeast Utah.

Our Values:
  • Being a supportive group for women scientists in Southeast Utah
  • Advocate for inclusivity in our group and in science at large
  • Increase scientific literacy for locals and tourists
  • Mentor and support students of science (especially girls)

The Utah Professional Archaeological Council’s (UPAC) annual conference will be held in Moab February 21st through the 23rd. The annual UPAC meeting highlights the latest archaeological research in Utah and the region, and the work of Utah based archaeologists elsewhere. In addition to the usual posters and presentations, this year’s conference will include a special session on women and gender in the archaeological record and an evening panel discussion on sexual harassment and gender discrimination in archaeology.

When we think about history and the past, it is normally seen as the domain of men. When gender and gender roles aren’t expressly called out in study, the implicit bias is that the subject of study is the cis adult male. The depth of the human experience, obviously and happily, is much more complex than that! The Women and Gender symposium, which will be presented in the morning on February 22nd, will include close to ten presentations that range from gender expressions in Basket Maker II rock art and female spaces at a Puebloan site in southeast Utah, to imposed and complex gender identities of 19th century Overseas Chinese populations in the west, and expressions of women and families at a 19th century rural mining site. While the presentations will all be interesting and informative, carving out spaces to discuss how gender is expressed in the archaeological record reminds us, as archaeologists, that these signatures in past material culture are present and should be identified and called out so that our collective understanding of culture is more inclusive of the whole of the human experience.

Another special UPAC meeting event will be a panel discussion about sexual harassment and gender discrimination in the workplace. The panel, which will be at Star Hall on Friday evening will include a discussion about the idea of safe space at work, identifying and speaking out about sexual harassment and gender discrimination, the ways in which we are exposed to sexual harassment and discrimination, and the responsibilities of employers and peers. Archaeologists and archaeological work are present in government, the private sector, academia, museums, and the non-profit sector. Our work experiences overlap with numerous other scientific fields and so UPAC is welcoming anyone who is interested in the panel discussion to come to the talk. 500 Women Scientists, Southeast Utah will record the panel discussion, so it will be available to anyone who may be interested.

Find more information about the UPAC meeting at and if you are interested in obtaining access to the recorded panel, email
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