First NERC project meeting in Oregon

The NERC project officially started on the 1st November. Since then we've held interviews for the first PDRA post, and last week I traveled to Oregon for the first project meeting with partners Dr Dennis Jenkins and Dr Tom Stafford, at the Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History. It felt very surreal, finally having got the grant that we talked about for so long, and to be honest, did not quite expect to get! Not that we all don't think it's an amazing and worthwhile project, but getting funding for archaeological science is pretty difficult, and the success rate for NERC is really low (11% for the standard grants, new investigator scheme in 2015). I've made this journey many times, as I have family in central Oregon, but I must be getting old or something as the jet lag really kicked in this time. Still, many coffees later we had a productive meeting, going over the schedule for the next three years, planning the first session of fieldwork in the Spring, and going through the sample archive. The journey from where we are staying in central Oregon, to the university in Eugene, is a great example of a shifting landscape. We go from juniper sage brush high desert into the Cascades mountain range, with the number of pine trees gradually increasing until they dominate the landscape. At this time of year there is also the chance of snow the higher you go - I took some amazing pictures literally 10 minutes apart showing how rapidly the shift is from one to the other!