Office Phone: x2815
Shannon is a North American archaeologist specializing in the prehistory of the Midwest, particularly the Middle Woodland period (ca. 100 BC-AD 400). Her primary research interests involve the role of exchange interaction in the development and adoption of social practices. Shannon offers courses in North American archaeology, theoretical approaches to archaeological data, methods of material analysis, and archaeological fieldwork. She successfully led the effort to obtain National Science Foundation grant to renovate the anthropology lab spaces. Shannon was heavily involved in developing the new “Doing Anthropology” curriculum which emphasizes teaching students how to design and perform their own anthropological research, whether within or beyond the new lab spaces
Shannon is currently conducting research on the production of pipestone artifacts during the Middle Woodland period. Her research gives students the opportunity to gain experience with the field, the lab, and writing papers using real data. The fieldwork Shannon enjoys most is assisting with field schools with undergraduate participants. She has led over a dozen summer field school programs in locations around the American Midwest, including the Lower Illinois Valley and Lower Rock River Valley, her favorite locations. Shannon has two dogs: Aegir, (‘Aegir-vate’), an exuberant 140 lb. Landseer Newfoundland, and Nevada (‘Nevi’), an equally mellow 110 lb. Great Pyrenees. They are both big favorites at the annual Anthropology Department picnic. Shannon carried over her enthusiasm for dogs into “Familiaris Breeds Content: Dog in the Liberal Arts," a First Year Initiative Seminar she led in Fall 2009.
Professor at Beloit Since: 2002
Ph.D., Anthropology. 2000. University of Buffalo.
M.A., Anthropology. 1990. University of Buffalo.
B.A., Anthropology. 1986. Moorhead State University.
Shannon works to give students the opportunity to have professional research experiences, both through conducting their own research and through participating in summer field school programs. She enjoys leading archaeological field schools and believes that students can engage with the material differently when they are camping. Shannon also teaches the fundamentals of structuring anthropological research, an important skill for professional anthropologists. Students in her classes will learn how to summarize articles, follow proper journal formatting, and write their own research proposals. “I strongly believe that students need to be taught how to do things. They need a good skill base. I believe that students need to be taught the process of how to be an academic.”
Selected Professional Accomplishments
Principle Investigator (along with Co-PIs William Green, Nancy A. Krusko, and Daniel E. Shea, and Project Manager Michael Brady) on the proposal “Transformation through Renovation: Anthropology at Beloit College” to renovate three anthropology laboratory spaces through the National Science Foundation’s Academic Research Infrastructure: Recovery and Reinvestment program. Awarded $349,688 (January 2011).
2009 Assessing Anthropology: Steps to a New Curriculum at Beloit College. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Urbana, IL.
2008 Middle Woodland Ceramic Exchange in the Lower Illinois Valley. Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 33(1):5-40.
Co-published with students:
2006 Smokin! Pipestone Production at Brache #1. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Archaeological Conference, Urbana, IL.
2004 Preliminary Investigations along the Lower Rock River. Paper (revised) presented at the Joint Meeting of the Southeast Archaeological Conference and the Midwest Archaeological Conference, St. Louis, MO.
2010 Archaeology at Beloit College: New Approaches for an Established Program. Poster presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, St. Louis, MO.
2009-2011. Division II Chair and Representative to the Curriculrm Oversight and Administration Committee, Beloit College, WI.
Campus and Community Involvement
2002-present. Faculty Advisor, Women & Girls in Science, Beloit College, WI.
What Students Say
"Shannon emphasizes real life experience in her classroom, and encourages students to seek opportunities to “do anthropology.” When my roommate and I came to her with an idea for a venture grant, she helped us write an award-winning proposal that got us on the road and networking with alumni. As a sophomore, I already feel like I have great connections to professionals in the field of anthropology." –Ashleigh Herrera ‘13
"Shannon takes a very hands-on approach to teaching anthropology at Beloit. In Research Design, we learned how to draft research prospectus and proposals not only by reading about them from the class text, but by creating our own. The practical applications that she used in that course were incredibly useful and equipped me with the basic skills that I will need when working as an anthropologist in the field. I see Shannon frequently while working in the department and she constantly encourages me to use skills that I have developed in my other courses in my anthropological studies. She is always able to answer my questions about a topic, concept, or even about grad school searches. I have received good advice from Shannon." –Julia Friberg ‘12