Jack Johnson (PHC Washington 2008)
Research Interests: Archaeometry, geoarchaeology, monumental architecture, climate change; garbology; Peru
"My past research projects have involved the development of methods for applying luminescence dating to prehistoric monumental architecture and agricultural canal systems in the Peruvian highlands and north coast, as well as the use of luminescence dating for documenting the evolution of Corsican fluvial valleys in the Holocene.
My current projects are more varied. My ongoing dissertation work continues my interest in luminescence dating, and uses single-grain IRSL to build chronologies of Holocene El Nino-caused landscape change in north coastal Peru. As part of this research, I am undertaking a systematic comparison of dates derived using different luminescence protocols, with the goal of demonstrating which approach to luminescence dating of El Nino sediments produces the most accurate results. Another component of this research involves the development of ways to use portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometers to derive elemental concentrations (for dosimetric purposes) which can accurately predict estimates derived from independent methods. Lastly, my dissertation research involves testing the utility of single-grain resolution in dose rate data for luminescence dating (as opposed to single-grain equivalent dose data combined with bulk matrix dose rate data, as is the industry standard at present).
In addition, I am also currently conducting a (non-dissertation-related) garbology project on the University of Washington campus, and the purpose of this project is to use archaeological methods to help improve the efficiency of our local waste management practices. Finally, my semi-hobby project involves the collection and digital archiving of all film and television (fictional, documentary, and pseudoscientific) archaeologists I can get my hands on. To date I have amassed an archive of several hundred hours of digital video showing archaeologists confronting a range of topics and issues. Since studies show that most people learn about archaeology by watching movies and TV, I find this digital collection to be a very useful resource in exploring archaeology (especially its modern social roles and popular misconceptions about these roles) in the classroom."
UW Garbology Project: http://uwgarbology.weebly.com/