February Science Pub

Science-PubLoren Davis, an anthropology professor at OSU, will present “Ancient America: Bones and Artifacts Under Our Feet” at February’s Science Pub. Show some support for science with great beer and comfortable conversation, downtown at Old World Deli on Monday, Feb. 13 at the usual 6 p.m. time.

The prevailing theory of human migration into the American continents has been that people walked across an ancient land bridge that once connected what is now Alaska and Siberia. Humans were thought to have then traveled between glaciers that covered much of Canada into the rest of the North and South American continents, leaving behind an assortment of stone tools and bits of butchered, extinct animals.

“Alternatively, or at least in addition to what we call the Ice-Free Corridor model,” Davis said, “archaeologists argue that humans may have skirted the western edge of the ice sheets by moving along the Pacific coastline, entering the New World south of continental glaciers.”

Preserved plant and animal DNA in ancient lake deposits is adding to archaeologists’ understanding of likely migration routes. The Ice-Free Corridor likely did not support the biological resources required by humans during the same time that archaeologists have found evidence of human presence south of the ice. This suggests migration may have occurred along another path, perhaps along the Pacific Coast.

Learn more about evidence and archaeological links from Davis’ investigations along the southern Oregon coast, Idaho’s lower Salmon River, and around the Pacific Rim at Monday’s Science Pub. Ask a few questions about the First Americans or maybe even that mammoth femur Davis helped uncover in Reser Stadium’s north end zone last year.

Next month, on Monday, March 13, Yigit Menguc of OSU’s College of Engineering will present “Enhancing Human Performance Through 3-D Printing and Soft Robotics.”

Science Pub is held on the second Monday of most months from 6 to 8 p.m. downtown at Old World Deli, 341 Second Street. For more information, visit terra.oregonstate.edu/science-pub-corvallis.

By Matthew Hunt