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Katherine A. Adelsberger


Katherine Adelsberger

Chair & Professor of Environmental Studies; The Douglas and Maria Bayer Chair in Earth Sciences

2 East South Street

Galesburg, IL 61401-4999



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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Professor and Chair of Environmental Studies; The Douglas and Maria Bayer Endowed Chair in Earth Science

Katherine Adelsberger

General Interests
"I'm interested in the geologic side of human-environment interactions. As a geoarchaeologist I look at site formation and the taphonomic processes acting on archaeological sites, but I also want to identify the larger-scale paleoenvironmental conditions present during human history and determine how (and whether) societies reacted or adapted to environmental change. My recent work has focused specifically on understanding desert pavement development, identifying spring deposits and tracking the paleochannels of ancient river systems. As a field geologist I spend a lot of time digging holes and walking around in the desert; it's not real science if you're not getting dirty!"

Years at Knox: 2008 to present

Ph.D., 2008, Washington University.
A.M., 2005, Washington University-St. Louis.
B.S., 2002, Beloit College.

Teaching Interests
Geoarchaeology, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, and geographic information systems.

Selected Professional Accomplishments

Knox Faculty Research / Creative Work Grant: Soil Nutrient Testing as Pilot Data and Honors Project Preparation, 2016-2017
Knox Faculty Research / Creative Work Grant: Dhiban Field Project, with Danielle Fatkin, 2016-2017
Knox Mellon Faculty Career Enhancement Grant - Teaching with Technology: Purchase of Differential GPS equipment and software licenses, 2016-2017
National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation Grant, with Diana M. Cermak, Helen M. Hoyt, Mark Shroyer: Acquisition of a 400MHz Spectrometer for Research, Undergraduate Research and Training, and Curricular Reform, 2014
Seminar in Advanced Interdisciplinary Learning (SAIL), Associated Colleges of the Midwest, with Danielle S. Fatkin and Daniel J. Beers: Sustainability on the Margins: Investigating Adaptation and Change in Jordan, 2014
Faculty Career Enhancement (FaCE) Grant, Associated Colleges of the Midwest (with Danielle S. Fatkin): The Dhiban Excavation and Development Project: Paleolandscape Assessment, 2009.
Dean's Dissertation Fellowship, Washington University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, St. Louis, Missouri, 2007-2008.
Geological Society of America Student Research Grant, 2007.
Claude C. Albritton, Jr. Award, Geological Society of America Archaeological Geology Division, 2007.
Douglas C. Kellogg Award, Society for American Archaeology Geoarchaeology Interest Group, 2007.
Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research, 2006.
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2003-2008.

Publications (* indicates undergraduate co-author)
"Sedimentology," Encyclopedia of Geoarchaeology, edited by Allan S. Gilbert. Dordrecht: Springer Reference, 2017.

Bravard, J.-P., Mostafa, A., Davoli, P., Adelsberger, K.A., Ballet, P., Garcier, R., Calcagnile, L., & Quarta, G., "Construction and Deflation of Irrigation Soils from the Pharaonic to the Roman Period at Amheida (Trimithis)," Dakhla Depression, Egyptian Western Desert. Géomorphologie 22.3 (2016): 305-324.

"A Center in the Periphery: Recent Research on Middle Islamic Dhiban." Routledge, Bruce, Benjamin W. Porter, Danielle S. Fatkin, Katherine A. Adelsberger, and Andrew Wilson. Proceedings of the 7th International Congress on the Archaeology of the Ancient Near East. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, In press.

"Geochemical and mineralogic characterization of Middle Stone Age tools of Laetoli, Tanzania, and comparisons with possible source materials." Adelsberger, K.A., K.R. Wirth, A.Z.P. Mabulla, and *D.C. Bowman. In Harrison, T. (Ed.), Paleontology and Geology of Laetoli: Human Evolution in Context 1 Geology, Geochronology, Paleoecology and Paleoenvironment, Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology, DOI 10.1007/978-90-481-9956-3_7, Springer Science+Business Media B.V., Ch. 7 (2011): 143-165.

"Paleolandscape and paleoenvironmental interpretation of spring-deposited sediments in Dakhleh Oasis, Western Desert of Egypt: Catena." Adelsberger, K.A., and Smith, J.R. 83 (2010): 7-22.

"Desert pavement development and landscape stability on the eastern Libyan Plateau, Egypt." Adelsberger, K.A., and Smith, J.R. Geomorphology 107 (2009): 178-194.

"Basin-scale reconstruction of the geological context of human settlement: an example from the lower Mississippi Valley, USA." Kidder, T.R., Adelsberger, K.A., Arco, L.J., and Schilling, T.M. Quaternary Science Reviews 27.11-12 (2008): 1255-1270.

"Climate Change, Landscape Evolution, and Human Settlement in the Lower Mississippi Valley, 5500-2400 Cal. B.P." Adelsberger, K.A., and T.R. Kidder. Edited by Wilson, L., P. Dickinson, & J. Jeandron. Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, Reconstructing Human-Landscape Interactions, Chapter 5 (2007): 84-108.

"Alluvial Geoarchaeology of a Middle Archaic Mound Complex in the Lower Mississippi Valley, U.S.A." Arco, L.J., Adelsberger, K.A., L.-y. Hung and T.R. Kidder. Geoarchaeology: An International Journal 21.6 (2006): 591-614.

Presentations and Published Abstracts
"Reconstructing Quarternary groundwater availability in Dakhleh Oasis, Egypy," Geological Society of America 125th Annual Meeting, Denver, CO, October 2013.

"Identification of Occupational Contexts at Tall Dhiban, Jordan." Co-authored with Fatkin, Danielle S. Routledge, Bruce , Porter, Benjamin W., and Wilson, Andrew, 2010. Geological Society of American Abstracts with Programs, 42.7, p. 153.

"Geoarchaeology at Dhiban: Research Potentials of a Multiperiod site in Central Jordan." Co-authored with Danielle S. Fatkin, Benjamin W. Porter and Bruce Routledge. Paper presented at the 75th Annual Society for American Archaeology meeting, St. Louis, Missouri, 2010.

"The 2010 Excavations at Dhiban, Jordan." Co-authored with Fatkin, Danielle S. Paper presented at Monmouth College as part of the 2010-2011 lecture series of the American Institute of Archaeology, Western Illinois Society, 2010.

"Accretionary desert pavements as taphonomic surfaces." Co-authored with J.R. Smith. Paper presented at the third Developing International Geoarchaeology conference at McMaster University, Ontario, Canada, 2009.

"Iron-Rich Deposits from Extinct Springs: Formation, Modern Analogs and Archaeological Significance: Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs". Co-authored with J.R. Smith. 41.7, p. 436.

Field Work
Geologist, NYU Excavations at Amheida, 2010-present.
Co-director, Dhiban Excavation and Development Project, Jordan, 2009-present.
Dakhleh Oasis Project, Egypt, 2004-present.
Abydos Survey for Paleolithic Sites, Egypt, 2005-2008.
Kharga Oasis Prehistory Project, Egypt, 2004-2008.
Tensas Basing Coring Project, Louisiana, 2004-2008.
Dubai Desert Survey, United Arab Emirates, 2007.
Mound A Excavation, Poverty Point State Historic Site, Louisiana, 2005.

Professional Service
Member, Public Relations Committee, Geological Society of America Archaeological Geology Division.
Member, Kellogg Award Committee, Society for American Archaeology.
Member, American Geophysical Union.
Member, American Quaternary Association.
Member, Geological Society of America.
Member, Society for American Archaeology.
Member, Phi Beta Kappa.
Member, Sigma Xi, the scientific research society.

Campus & Community Involvement
Knox Campus Representative for the Geological Society of America.
Secretary, Knox College Phi Beta Kappa.
Faculty Advisor to the Outdoor Recreation Club.

What Students Say
"Professor Adelsberger is the type of no-nonsense, straightforward teacher I wish my entire college career could be made up of. She is always there to answer questions, but I think the thing that most impressed me about her as an educator was her humbleness—whenever a student asks her a question she is unsure of the answer, she will simply say, 'don't know, but I will find out.' By the next class period, she will have the answer, embellished with visuals, other resources to learn more about the subject, and sometimes more. On top of that, she is amazingly resourceful in the lab and in field experiments, as well as very patient. Fantastic person and teacher."
-Ashley Blazina, Environmental Studies Major, English Lit Minor

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Printed on Wednesday, April 24, 2024