December 19th, 2016

Student Poster Wins Award at Great Basin Conference

Bethany Wurster in front of her award winning poster

This poster examines evolutionary trends in bison body size throughout the Holocene, otherwise known as bison diminution. The Birch Creek site, consisting of two rock shelters full of faunal remains, is the focus for this poster. I measured various metrics on humerus, radius, tibia, metatarsal, calcaneus, and astragalus elements from all bison specimens. Bivariate plots (scatterplots) reveal that female bisons dominate the Birch Creek bison assemblage. Then, to test for diminution trends at Birch Creek and beyond in the Snake River Plain (SRP), Idaho, I entered the female data into ratio plots. Theoretically speaking, the further back in the Holocene, the bigger the bison. The data from the Birch Creek and other SRP sites suggest that diminution did affect SRP bison herds. I also supplemented the SRP data by comparing it to bison diminution from the Great Plains, where we see similar trends of diminution. 


This poster was one of three winners in the student poster competition at the 35th Great Basin Anthropological Conference held in Reno, NV on October 5-8th. 


Related Stories


Engaged Students, No-Cost Books

CHaSS faculty members are partnering with USU's Merrill-Cazier Library to develop Open Educational Resources (OER) and drive down the cost of course materials.