Skip to main content Skip to navigation


Welcome to the Environmental Archaeology Research Lab!


Research in the Environmental Archaeology Research Laboratory (EARL) is broadly focused on understanding human-environment interactions in the past. Research at EARL is grounded in environmental archaeology and archaeological science, and applies geoarchaeology, paleoethnobotany, and lithic analysis methods to investigate hunter-gatherer adaptations and landscape use. EARL is focused on understanding the initial settlement of North America and human use of marginal ecosystems, with a regional focus in Alaska and the Great Basin.

Dr. John Blong, EARL

Current Projects


Alaska Range Uplands Project

Archaeologists excavating in the central Alaska RangeThe primary focus of the Alaska Range Uplands Project is to explain the timing, environmental context, and nature of human colonization of the uplands, and to explore how the environment and use of upland landscapes changed throughout prehistory. This project consists of fieldwork in the central Alaska Range, and laboratory research including lithic, paleoecological, and geochemical sample analysis. You can read research outputs from the Alaska Range Uplands Project on Researchgate.


Plants as Food and Medicine in the Great Basin

Excavations at the Paisley Caves, OregonThis project is a study of human use of plants for food and medicine in the prehistoric Great Basin. The Plants as Food and Medicine project reconstructs plant use over time primarily through the analysis of preserved human fecal material from arid cave sites in the Great Basin. The goal of this project is to explore the role of plant foods in maintaining food security across the terminal Pleistocene and Holocene Great Basin.