blog postsA night in grizzly countryJul 21, 2016 9:45 am359 views We spent last night in Yellowstone’s backcountry, at Grebe Lake, a lovely lake at the base of the Washburn Range. For most of the students, this was their first experience backpacking: carrying a tent, sleeping bag and food into the backcountry. They had to learn a few new skills, like how to hang food from a bear pole. Some also had to adjust emotionally to the idea of sleeping in the middle of grizzly country.Between wilderness, tourism and civilizationJul 18, 2016 4:15 pm343 views We spent yesterday in Grand Teton National Park, hiking Cascade Canyon. Today we’re in Jackson, Wyoming, just south of the park and a very different settingBLOG: Discovering the bones of Tam Pa LingApr 4, 2016 1:30 pm341 views Tam Pa Ling cave sits at the top of Pa Hang Mountain, in Hua Phan Province, Laos. Every day, we climb the mountain and descend into the cave to dig. The view from outside the cave is spectacular, but its location means that the only equipment that we can use to dig through the wet clay of the cave floor is what we can carry up the mountain.Double the traps, double the turkeysApr 10, 2018 8:45 am337 views I scan the woods around me, carefully eyeing the tree-line through the darkened windows on each side of my blind. I see no turkeys and go back to reading my book. After a few pages, I glance up again and jump in surprise as turkeys emerge over a hill in the field to my right. They are about 40 feet from the Netblaster. I text my crew to let them know our prey has arrived!From pythons and ferrets to coughing parrots: Adventures in exotic animal medicineNov 1, 2017 8:15 am322 views Working with exotic animals in the Small Animal Clinic involves a lot of thinking on my feet. Each type of animal comes with unique needs and challenges. Parrots often have nutritional deficiencies and, like humans, can develop atherosclerosis – the result of a poor diet and too much sedentary time. (We sometimes refer to them as “perch potatoes.”) Reptiles and mammals tend to develop fungal infections on their skin. Birds, snakes and mammals need stimulation and like to explore – with sometimes tragic results.Pet burials blur the line between human and animal ritesOct 13, 2016 9:30 am306 views A new book by anthropology professor Jane Desmond explores humans’ complex relationships with other animals.Chamber singers, laughter and schnitzel with music: A few of my favorite thingsJul 31, 2017 2:30 pm290 views Illinois Chamber Singers got a taste of Europe this summer.BLOG: Expedition to the highest lake in the world: Changes in plansJan 20, 2016 9:15 am288 views We thought that the expedition was over. My husband's altitude sickness left only three of us to climb Ojos del Salado, make our way up the mountain in the thin air, find the lake, collect the biological samples and get back down safely. It wasn't feasible. Then we learned something that changed the entire expedition.Symbols of ServiceNov 17, 2016 11:00 am258 views The Symbols of Service exhibit at the University of Illinois Library tells the stories behind the tattoos of student veterans.Stink bug babiesSep 5, 2017 8:45 am234 views While hiking in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, looking for unusual things to photograph, I found a hidden world of newly hatched stink bugs clustered around their empty eggshells.Chasing waterfallsFeb 13, 2018 4:00 pm217 views MIRI, MALAYSIA — We awake from our post-training slumber at 6:30 a.m. for an activity unlike any of the team-building exercises we have experienced so far. This is only the first week of training for the Fulbright Program here. There are nearly 100 of us on this waterfall hike, braving the rain and humidity together to swim in one of Malaysia’s hidden pools.Image of Research: Kinetic structuresApr 2, 2018 8:30 am213 views As an architecture student, I came across a whole new world of kinetic structures. I learned that almost any form can be given mobility and deployed by calculating its geometry accurately and by strategically selecting the joints to allow rotation.Poetry inspired by paintingOct 12, 2016 8:45 am93 views Poet Janice Harrington wrote her poem "Domino Players, 1943" based on a painting by African-American artist Horace Pippin.Image of Research: Bare WitnessApr 4, 2018 8:15 am66 views Deaths from homicides, accidents, disasters or armed conflicts can result in unknown human remains that require identification before further investigation. To identify these remains, an anthropologist can piece together details about a person’s life from their bones. The accuracy of such anthropological methods depends on the diversity of available skeletal research collections, of which there are few around the world.