My name is Katy Leonard-Doll and I am from a small town just about an hour south of Seattle, Washington at the base of Mount Rainier. I attended college at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU) where I graduated this past spring and majored in Anthropology and minored in Religion and Global Studies with a concentration in Cultural Diversity and Transnational Movement. While I was at PLU, I not only took a lot of Anthropology classes but also took a lot of classes revolving around Indigenous cultures and religions in the Pacific Northwest and my senior project/capstone was titled “Northwest Coast Spindle Whorl Designs: A Makah and Stó:lō Comparative Analysis.” I hope to work for a NW tribe someday but in the mean time I plan on getting some first hand field work experience by being a part of this field school and then hopefully getting a Field Technician position. In a year or so I plan on attending grad school but want to narrow my interests before applying.
My interest in archaeology began when I was just four years old. I had taken my first plane ride to visit my great uncle and aunt in Colorado Springs and had never been out of the Pacific Northwest. I was fascinated with how dry and hot it was there in the summer and it was my goal to see a rattlesnake. Then one day we went on a “hike” (it was probably more like a short walk but at four it seemed like a big adventure. As I was walking I came across some old dried out deer bones and thought that was the coolest thing I had ever seen. I wanted to take them home but my parents said no. Then later in our trip we went to Manitou Cliff Dwellings in Colorado and explored the in-wall dwellings and watched some of the shows; I was entranced. We then went to their gift shop and my parents told me I could pick one thing and I went straight for the book about fossils. I was hooked. After that I wanted to be a paleontologist and dig up dinosaur bones but when I was told that archaeologists dealt with the human past, I knew that was what I wanted to be “when I grew up.” Throughout middle school I switched between my desired careers multiple times but always came back to archaeology.
Another big interest of mine is traveling and I’ve had some of the best experiences while studying abroad. I got the opportunity to spend January 2014 in Neah Bay on the Makah reservation where I learned a lot about the Ozette wet site, Makah culture, and how those two interacted and still interact today. Dr. Dave Huelsbeck, Dean of Humanities at PLU who excavated at Ozette as a graduate student, headed this study abroad experience. It was interesting to not only learn from his experiences, but to see how he built a strong relationship with the community which allowed him to bring students to Neah Bay for over 20 years.
My most recent study abroad experience was to Trinidad and Tobago that is the southern most Caribbean Islands where I spent just under five months. This was such a great experience because I got to live and go to school in the community at the University of the West Indies. While there I also got the opportunity to learn the history and current cultural practices on these two unique islands who were colonized so many times. I got to participate in Trinidad’s Carnival as well as the East Indian Phagwa celebration. This trip not only broadened by horizons culturally but also helped me develop as a person.