Omaha in the Anthropocene

Congratulations are in order to Dr. Adam Sundberg and his students for the excellent presentations Tuesday  (Nov. 28) evening at the Durham Museum for “Omaha in the Anthropocene.”  (Keep reading.  We’ll tell you what it means in a little bit.)  The students used artifacts, mostly from the collections of the Durham with one from Creighton’s University Archives, as starting points for environmental history studies.  Who knew you could learn so much from street car tokens, coffee cans, radiation warning signs, and many other common items?

Lindzey Sanchez and Kassidy Smith with Anthropocene artifactsAll of the students did well, but (in our humble and very biased opinion) the stars of the evening were Lindzey Sanchez (above in tan jacket) and Kassidy Smith (above in black sweater).  They used something from University Archives holdings – a piece of original transcontinental telegraph wire, which is part of a plaque given to Creighton University by Western Union in 1961* – and also conducted research with the Creighton Family Papers for their project.

“Omaha in the Anthropocene” is a collaborative partnership between Creighton’s History Department and the Durham Museum.  In addition to the student presentation earlier this week, the Durham will feature an exhibition of the artifacts – including our plaque – that will open in Spring (I think March?) 2018.  The Durham has a good description on its website.

A quick series of thanks:
  • To Kassidy and Lindzey – for the great presentation, and for being so nice to the archivist while you researched
  • To Dr. Adam Sundberg – for giving us a chance to be involved and for the kind words on Tuesday
  • To Emma Sundberg – for your great work throughout this project, including what is to come in Spring 2018

Explanations (as promised)
Anthropocene
is the name for a proposed new geological era, the Age of Humans, currently under consideration by the International Commission on Stratigraphy.
The International Commission on Stratigraphy is the part of the International Union of Geological Sciences that decides what is (and what is not) a geological era.
Stratigraphy is a branch of geology that studies rock layers.

Let us know if you have any questions.
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* We first mentioned the plaque during Founders Week in 2015.
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