DFC-AAS: February 8th – Jesse Ballenger
Jesse Ballenger, Ph.D., presents Mammoth Hunters, Water Tables, and the Demise of the Murray Springs National Historic Landmark as a Record of Human Colonization, Climate Change, and Extinctions in the American Southwest. The Murray Springs Clovis site was excavated over multiple seasons in the late 1960s and early 1970s under the direction of Dr. C. Vance Haynes, Jr. At that time, it was a prime example of mass extinction, the human colonization of North America, and the cyclical nature of wetlands and arroyos in the American Southwest. Years later and despite its importance as a world-class landmark of human and environmental events, it became the receiving end of groundwater injections intended to protect the San Pedro Rover as a viable stream. This talk reviews the amazing record of the site as well as the trade-off between water conservation and national heritage. Murray Springs is located in southeastern Arizona near the San Pedro River and the site is unique for the massive quantity of large megafauna (i.e. mastodons, mammoths, giant sloths, bison, and saber-toothed cats) processing and extensive Clovis tool making.
Dr. Jesse Ballenger is a native of Oklahoma who serves as a Principal Investigator/Project Manager for EcoPlan Associates, Inc. in Tucson, Arizona. He earned a B.A., University of Oklahoma 1995 and M.A., University of Oklahoma 1999. He came to Arizona in 2000 in pursuit of his Ph.D. and received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. His dissertation was on the topic of mammoth hunters in the San Pedro River Basin in Cochise County, Arizona and he was a recipient of the Emil Haury Dissertation Fellowship. Jesse Ballenger's primary interests include the study of late Ice Age and early Holocene hunter-gatherers, their archaeological remains, and paleoenvironmental reconstructions. Since 2004, his research at the Murray Springs site has focused on its remarkable archaeological and paleonotological record, and its continued preservation. He subsequently conducted an archaeological and paleoenvironmental damage assessment of the Murray Springs National Historic Landmark directly related to a reclaimed water recharge operation upstream from the site.
Reception and socialization at 7:00 pm, program begins approximately 7:30 pm.