N. Ft. Valley Rd.
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
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When MNA was founded, research was one
of the pillars of the institution. MNA has continued this role
throughout its history through a long line of distinguished curators
and research associates.
conducts original research, with an emphasis in past and present
natural and cultural diversity on the Colorado Plateau. The Museumís
curators are committed to continuing the tradition of excellent
research, increasing MNA's knowledge about regional science and art,
and our understanding of how the Colorado Plateau came to be over
time. MNA's research is structured by disciplines, with increasing
interdisciplinary collaborations and disseminating research results
through interdisciplinary exhibits.
In addition to exhibits, MNA's
research is published in independent research publications, MNA
Bulletins and MNA's award-winning Plateau: The Land and People of
the Colorado Plateau.
Anthropology research at MNA addresses
the synthesis of Southwestern archaeology in three principal research
areas: macro-regional scales in the North American Southwest,
archaeology of the greater Flagstaff area and west-central Arizona,
history of Southwestern archaeology and museums. Dr. Kelley
Hays-Gilpin is the Edward Bridge Danson Jr. Chair of Anthropology.
C. Hart Merriam explored the biology of
northern Arizona in 1889, describing the life zones that exist in this
region. Unfortunately, there has been little direct follow-up to
Merriam's research by the scientific community. MNA's Biology
Department is focused on filling this knowledge void with an intensive
biological inventory of the Grand Canyon region and analysis of
biological distribution. Dr. Larry Stevens is Honorary Curator of
Ecology and Conservation.
Fine Art research at MNA focuses broadly
on exploring artists' biographical information and provenances of
their work in MNA's Fine Art Collection. This research results in
exhibits with intellectual context accompanying the artwork on
display. Dr. Alan Peterson is Guest Curator of Fine Art.
The Colorado Plateau is a rich
laboratory for exploring the geological, biological and biotic history
of the region. In recent years MNA's research has successfully
excavated plesiosaur skeletons, an assortment of fossil fish and
sharks, and a variety of invertebrates and plants. These collections
include at least four new species of plesiosaurs and a new species of
dinosaur. Research has focused on the Cretaceous Periods. Dr. David
Gillette is Colbert Curator of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Hopi Iconography Project
This is a collaborative project between
MNA and the Hopi Cultural Preservation Office, with funding support
from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller
Foundation. The project is focused on the expression of Hopi values
and lifeways in pottery, mural painting, basketry, petroglyphs, and
other media, past and present. Project Director Dr. Kelley Hays-Gilpin
is Guest Curator of Anthropology.
Ceramic Field Identification Manual
The ceramic field identification manual
is designed to help archaeologists and others identify the most
frequently encountered decorated pottery wares and types found on the
Colorado Plateau and in central Arizona. The manual is based on Harold
S. Colton's and Lyndon L. Hargrave's work at MNA in the 1930s to
1950s, with significant infusions from the work of Harold Gladwin and
updates from recent research by Patrick Lyons, members of the
Homol'ovi Research Program, and others. The manual includes
photographs of type collections from the Museum of Northern Arizona
and Northern Arizona University, and whole vessels from MNA and other
museums. Project Director Dr. Kelley Hays-Gilpin is Guest Curator of
American Southwest Virtual Museum