"I chose to come to SFU because it was the only dedicated Archaeology program in Western Canada."

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Student Profile: Kristin Oliver

October 19, 2021
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Archaeology master's student in the Faculty of Environment

I am a second-generation Canadian of British and Danish heritage who has the privilege of working with the K'ómoks First Nation during my degree and the Stó:lo First Nation during my day job. My favorite part about archaeology is using the techniques as tools for conservation. When I'm not doing archaeology you can find me puttering around the garden with the dog and chickens.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO COME TO SFU?

I chose to come to SFU because it was the only dedicated Archaeology program in Western Canada.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR RESEARCH OR YOUR PROGRAM TO A FAMILY MEMBER?

My research looks at the relationships between humans and fish. By analyzing the bones of fish from archaeological sites, we can gain a better understanding of the ecosystems, population numbers, and species that were available in the past. We can also understand the quantities of different species that were fished for. A big component of my research involves 'fingerprinting,' which is where we look at the genetic markers of (in this case) salmon, to determine the species that were present in the past, because you cannot identify salmon to the species level looking at their bones. By understanding what species were present in the waterbodies in and around K'ómoks Estuary on Vancouver Island, we can contribute better information to peoples and organizations that are trying to conserve what is left of the populations.

WHAT ARE YOU PARTICULARLY ENJOYING ABOUT YOUR STUDIES/RESEARCH AT SFU?

I thought doing my MA online during the pandemic would be a challenge, but I have actually quite enjoyed the flexibility that it provides and I'm thankful that the department and my cohort has made efforts to bring people together in creative ways, despite the challenges of COVID-19.

HAVE YOU BEEN THE RECIPIENT OF ANY MAJOR OR DONOR-FUNDED AWARDS? IF SO, PLEASE TELL US WHICH ONES AND A LITTLE ABOUT HOW THE AWARDS HAVE IMPACTED YOUR STUDIES AND/OR RESEARCH.

BC Graduate Scholarship; SSHRC.

 

Contact : kaoliver@sfu.ca

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