Happy World Wildlife Day!
I believe I’ve set a world record for time elapsed between blog posts, as it’s been three weeks since my last entry. Here’s what’s been going on, along with some exciting news.
I’ve been spending increasing amounts of time on archaeology. For starters, I volunteer in the Cleveland Museum of Natural History’s archaeology lab when I can, helping to sort and catalog their vast collection of artifacts.
I’m also in a second volunteer archaeology group called Firelands Archaeology, and we’re currently revitalizing the organization.
Lastly, I’m continuing to write about archaeology for StoneAgeMan. Speaking of which…
I’ve now completed five articles for StoneAgeMan, the new website by Untamed Science’s Rob Nelson.
Here’s a video from Rob Nelson about the nuances of a specific hunting system:
So far I’ve been learning and writing about basic components of archaeology, such as dating methods. Soon, however, I’ll be taking on more exhilarating topics.
In late May I’ll be heading back to Belize to write about the fascinating work being done by the Programme for Belize Archaeological Project (PfBAP).
The PfBAP is the archaeology field school that I attended in 2017. Before I signed up for that program, I knew nothing about archaeology, or what I was getting myself into.
When I finally made it to Belize, I was amazed to find a vibrant, scientific community operating out of the jungle, and I knew that I had to return there to write about it.
Now, I will.
Rob has graciously agreed to purchase a series of articles about the PfBAP’s research for StoneAgeMan. Our plan is as follows:
I’ll attend the PfBAP field school this spring as a volunteer. I’ll assist with the various research projects operating out of Texas Camp, and write about how they fit into the larger body of knowledge about the ancient Maya.
Even though I’ll be covering a wide range of projects, each of my articles will be connected by a common theme.
StoneAgeMan is all about helping people to live healthier, happier lives. When it comes to history/archaeology, our goal is to use information about humanity’s roots to better understand who we are as a species, and how we want to move forward.
Hence, the central question I’ll be exploring while in Belize will be: “How can learning about the Maya help us today?”
While I could answer this question by reading articles and conducting phone interviews, going into the field has distinct advantages:
- I’ll be interviewing archaeologists while they’re doing what they love.
- Living with scientists, students and volunteers from around the world will allow me to learn why people from such different backgrounds are drawn to Mayan archaeology.
- By helping to excavate Mayan ruins directly, I’ll be able to generate more informed opinions than if I simply talked to experts via phone.
- It’ll be fun.
Of course, I have a lot to do to prepare for my time in Belize. For starters, I need to earn money to pay for the trip.
I’ll be taking on a second ‘real’ job, in addition to writing, starting next week; I’ll be working as a Nutty Scientist.
This will be a combined acting and teaching position in which I’ll be putting on fun and educational science shows for kids.
While I hesitate to speak too soon, I suspect that I’ll enjoy being a Nutty Scientist: I love science, I have a fair amount of acting experience, and I used to like working with kids. Thus, this might be the sort of position that I’ll do well at.
The Future of this Blog
I won’t be able to do much with this blog until I’ve completed the Belize articles for StoneAgeMan. Once those are finished, I’m not sure what I’ll do.
I’ve previously said that I can’t keep maintaining this site for free. I’ve looked into monetization options; but, to be honest, the amount of work it’d take to start generating revenue from this blog wouldn’t be worth it.
More importantly, my interests are now much broader than big cat conservation, and I’ve already stretched The Jaguar and Allies too thin.
What this means is that I’m considering launching a new, more professional website. This site would be optimized for mobile use and SEO, and would be a platform that I could grow into and expand for many years.
I don’t want to act on these ideas until I’m back from Belize, because my current priority is to focus on making that trip a success. Nevertheless, I’ll let you know what I decide to do once I commit to a specific course.
I’m not sure what the future holds, but 2020 is shaping up to be quite the year.