Speakers and General Meetings

Denver Chapter Meetings

Denver Chapter meetings are on the second Monday of each month, unless otherwise noted. There is no meeting in July and the meeting in December is a special member’s night. Meetings locations will be noted for each meeting.

Chapter meeting dates for 2019:

  • August 12
  • September 9
  • October 14
  • November 11
  • December 9 — members night

All are welcome!

Upcoming Meetings

Monday, August 12th, 2019

Room 241, Cherry Creek Building
Located at the Metropolitan University of Denver, on the Auraria Campus.

7:00 PM

Charles M. Musiba, University of Colorado, Denver, Professor of Anthropology


Current paleoanthropological Research and conservation efforts of the Hominin Footprints Site G and S at Laetoli in northern Tanzania

Cultural World Heritage Sites all over the world are increasingly playing a major role in shaping the socioeconomic, stewardship, preservation, conservation and sustainable use of these sites. Many African countries now recognize that apart from constructing national and socio-cultural identities, cultural World Heritage Sites have the potential to also propel the economic growth for communities surround these sites. If properly managed, these sites have the capacity of not only becoming beacons of peace but they can also become centers of tourism (Ho and McKercher 2004; Mabulla 2000). For many years, the management of cultural heritage sites and the designation of some of them as World Heritage Sites in Africa were based on European ideas of conservation and this disconnected many African local communities from their cultural heritage sites. As a result, local African communities living near cultural heritage sites were not involved in their conservation and management. Discourses on the administration of cultural heritage sites in many African countries, such as Botswana South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, are now making it possible to engage local people in the management of these sites. Part of the strategy of sustainable management of cultural World Heritage Sites in many parts of Africa must include creating opportunities for the local communities to be involved in cultural heritage tourism activities so as to economically empower them and improve their lives. Here I will discuss current paleoanthropological research and some efforts to develop Laetoli World Heritage Site as a research, educational, cultural and tourism center.  Additionally I will share with you some preliminary results from continued research and excavation at Laetoli hominin footprints Sites G and S and their implications for understanding hominin bipedality at Laetoli 3.6 million years ago.

Speaker Bio:

My research focuses on human origins in Tanzania and South Africa with research theme covering the following areas: taphonomy and paleoecology of Laetoli, hominin behavior ecology at Olduvai Gorge, conservation of animal trackways at Laetoli, and the evolution of the genus Homo in Eastern and Southern Africa. I am interested in research questions that link human evolution with climate change, especially the reconstruction of ancient landscapes using multiple sources of data (from fossil faunal remains to stable isotopes, pollen remains, and animal prints) at Olduvai Gorge and Laetoli paleoanthropological sites in northern Tanzania. The aim of my research work at Laetoli (which currently combines research and field-based teaching) is to explore the question of whether combined paleontological data can successfully be used to tease out ecological interpretations of past landscapes and their impact on human evolution at Laetoli.