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About PowderRiver

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Eastern US
  • Interests
    Finished PhD, 2016
  • Application Season
    Not Applicable
  • Program
    Faculty, PostDoc
  1. I posted earlier about what I wear when I teach, TA, or am just around the department, but didn't think about the rest of the time. I wear scrubs when I'm in the lab or dissecting, and put them in a bag with some shoes to put at my desk. Some labs have lockers that you can use/rent, so I'd look in to that if you don't want a pile of stuff at your desk. I'm teaching a summer course right now, and change into slacks/polo or collared shirt to teach.
  2. It sounds like you're building a solid foundation. Every program is different, so any experience you can build can be helpful depending on where you apply. As far as field schools go: I think that experience is key. As long as you know how to excavate, you'll be fine and will want to emphasize this on your applications. It may be particularly helpful in larger departments, since other subfields may have a say in your acceptance and you'll benefit from a broad range of experience within the field. No one will look at a forensic/physical applicant and frown upon their ability to excavate and
  3. Add a minor or certificate: biology, chemistry, statistics, technical writing, or some sort of justice minor all look good on a biological anthropology application. Second (and third) languages are also a fantastic addition. All of these allow you to expand your interests and help fill out your CV and personal statement. You can also look for internships, depending on your current school, in any related areas; anything that gets you in to a lab of some sort looks good. You could also look within your own department to see if there are fieldwork opportunities available, even if it's volunteer w
  4. I've heard of some students taking one of the Kaplan courses or getting a tutor and thinking it made a huge difference in their scores, and I've heard of others who don't really prep that much at all. If you're not so good at taking tests, you might find any of the books that come with a program that will score your test so that you can get the format down before you start studying. I bought one of those $20 Princeton Review books and worked through one of the practice tests before I took the GRE. I'm not sure it if it helped or not; I have a math/stats background and wasn't too worried ab
  5. The last thing you want to do is treat a PhD as a continuation of an MA by just increasing the dataset or adding a few sites and a little more theory. If you focus more on theoretical backgrounds and specialties and applying these to different regions, I think you could be a good applicant for a lot of schools. You won't be (and don't want to be) a mirror-image of your advisor, so I don't think getting an MA in bioarchaeology will pigeon-hole you into studying Rome for the rest of your academic career. You just need to focus on technique and method rather than the time period. There is a limit
  6. I agree with NoSleep: I think anyone in paleopathology would be able to work with your interests, and if they can't they'll let you know after your email. My chair studies in a different region and this was clear from the beginning of my application process, and there haven't been any issues at all. You could try applying to researchers with the same regional interest that don't have a paleopath or bioarch background, but this may be more of a stretch unless you can line up another person to help along the way.
  7. Anthropologygeek hit all the major areas. It's not a "competition thing" at all, but it takes time and effort. Apply to funding within your department (which obviously varies between schools). Then apply to other departments (again: school-specific). Then apply to any available regional funding. Then apply to funding from professional organizations in your field (AAA, AAPA, SAA, etc.). Then apply to the national funding sources (NSF, NIH, Wenner-Gren). Then look around for any labs/colleagues that need help with their work. Then look for summer jobs if you have to. Graduate students in
  8. Kaitlyn721: I drive by those apartments every week. You're right across the street from a big Target store, and the buildings are very new. East Liberty is changing quite a bit and used to be a lot more run down. There is a ton of new construction in the area, and the addition of a lot of new restaurants and business (Google, Trader Joe's, and a lot of new offices are right up the street in Bakery Square, which is adding another huge office building). I imagine noise will be your biggest concern, as the intersection of Penn and Centre is very busy. There are lots of bus route nearby for quick
  9. Forbes and Murray are the two busiest streets in Squirrel Hill. The 61 bus line splits there, with the 61a and 61b staying on Forbes and the 61c and 61D heading down Murray. There are other buses that run through the neighborhood but the 61 is one of the main lines to/from Pitt. These two streets are also the loudest and most crowded in the area with bars, restaurants, the big grocery store, banks, and so on. The 67 and 69 buses run down Wilkins and I know quite a few live near here, though it may be a bit more expensive; I can't think of the line that runs down Shady, but that's an option too
  10. Just echoing what everyone else said: it's always better to overdress rather than underdress. There will be jeans at the AAPA's, but there will also be a lot of business attire. I'd suggest you go to any workshops you can fit into your schedule, where you'll have a chance to meet professionals and talk with them about everything from post docs to getting jobs to interview skills to any other topic they decide to add. I went to one last year about interviews in academia and was happy that I was wearing nice attire: the entire panel showed up in suits. There is usually a lot of socializing a
  11. The major lines through campus are the 61 (a,b,c,d) and 71 (a,b,c,d), and between the two lines you can find all sorts of livable areas. They all go downtown via campus. They are by no means exclusive to campus, as there are a lot of other buses you could use to get here, but they would be a good starting point.
  12. I've presented posters at the AAPA's, but it's been a few years. The majority of feedback I received was: -"Give me the three sentence summary of your poster." -"Where do you go from here?" -"Why did you pick these samples/populations?" If you can, print out a number of smaller copies of your poster and have them with you. I've received far more feedback after giving out a few of those at conferences, and they're a great way to make and maintain contacts. No one will tear you apart, but you will get a few probing questions that you should be able to handle if you've read similar stu
  13. My bus ride is about 25-30min each day. As long as you're not switching buses downtown, you should be fine. We have people in our department that have much longer commutes than that, and they seem to get along just fine. The only really issue would be if you're switching buses downtown, but that isn't even that big of a headache. The buses in Pittsburgh are pretty easy to use; most of the major bus lines pass through campus, and you just have to scan your ID and you're all set.
  14. I switched from a Windows laptop to a MacBook Air last March, and I love it for the most part: light, battery lasts forever, and basically everything everyone has already said. It's durable, which means a lot to me- I spend my summers in the field covered in mud, sand, sweat, and all sorts of other fun stuff, and this thing didn't miss a beat. Only drawback is that a few people I work with love Access, so I have to use workarounds. My current school is set to work with Macs, so using it to teach and give talks is easy but I always have to keep that "workaround" mentality in mind, especially if
  15. Well, that escalated quickly. If anyone wants some advice about living in Pittsburgh, feel free to PM me. I moved here two years ago and now help new PhD students to our department get situated in and around Pittsburgh. I am happy to help.
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