Jonathan Dombrowsky, who is working as a field archaeologist at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center this summer, will speak on Thursday, June 30, on how the range of a now-endangered fish has been affected by human occupation of the landscape.
The title of his talk, and a related research paper, is “Zooarchaeological Data Suggest Broader Early Historic Distribution for Blue Sucker (Cycleptus elongatus) in New Mexico.” It will begin at 7 p.m. at Crow Canyon, 23390 Road K.
Dombrowsky is a zooarchaeologist and doctoral student at the University of New Mexico. He focuses primarily on understanding animal exploitation in late prehispanic/early historic sites in the middle and upper Rio Grande regions. He also has interests in archaeological residue chemistry and the historical archaeology of New Mexico. He serves as production editor for the gold open access journal Ethnobiology Letters.
The significance of Dombrowsky’s research into the blue sucker is multifaceted. First, and most important for researchers strictly focused on the Four Corners area, it shows how archaeological data can be used to understand modern human impacts on the environment by creating baselines for pre-existing environmental conditions.
Further, this research illustrates how archaeologist can explore modern impacts on riverways by studying prehistoric fish remains. Southwestern zooarchaeologists often do not conduct detailed analyses on fish bones. Dombrowsky’s research highlights why they should. All this is especially relevant given the Animas River mine-waste spill last summer as well as water impoundment project throughout the region.
Beyond the Four Corners, this research is important for the conservation of the blue sucker, an endangered species in New Mexico. Dombrowsky shows that habitat reduction is far more extensive than previously thought.
Admission is free, and the public is invited. For more information, call Crow Canyon at 970-564-4362.