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Areas of Expertise
- Archaeology of the Great Basin and northern Colorado Plateau
- NAGPRA Regulations
- Anthropology Grants
- Exhibit Development
- Range Creek administration and permits
Michelle Knoll brings more than 23 years of varied experience to her job as the assistant curator of archaeology. In addition to managing some of the daily operations of the anthropology department, Knoll coordinates the Museum's Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) compliance program, writes grant proposals, handles outside researcher requests, administers permits for Range Creek Canyon, and conducts field research projects.
As one of the team's curatorial experts, her past design experience has helped her to be more in tune with the design process to ensure that the objects and information chosen will best educate the public about archaeology in the Great Basin and northern Colorado Plateau. She manages a federal Save Americas Treasures grant, which funded the preparing and packing of objects for the move to the new facility and for the purchase of collections storage cabinets.
She has successfully written other grants totaling over $10,000. Knoll has published her work in Utah Archaeology and one book. She is regularly asked to speak on current archeological issues and has presented at the Rocky Mountain Anthropological Conference, the Society of American Archaeology (SAA) Conference, and the Great Basin Anthropological Conference (GBAC).
Knoll has been working at the Natural History Museum of Utah since 2006. She was a NEPA specialist with the Utah Department of Transportation from 2005 to 2006, staff archaeologist with P-III Associates from 2003 to 2005, and a crew chief for the Ashley National Forest and Brigham Young University from 2001 to 2002 where she directed crew members during cultural resource inventories and excavations. From 2000 to 2003, she was the research assistant for the New World Archaeological Foundation.
She has four publications: The American Formative Revisited. In Gulf Coast Archaeology: The Southeastern United States and Mexico; Settlement Location as a Reflection of Economic Strategies by the Late Prehistoric Fishermen of Utah Lake, Utah Archaeology; The Research Potential and Challenges of Using Curated Archaeological Collections, Utah Archaeology (in press); and Creating a Nexus to the Past: Science Centers as Role Models for Archaeology Exhibitions (in press)
She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Utah. Her research area of interest lies in the prehistory of the Great Basin and northern Colorado Plateau with an emphasis on the origins of domesticates. For her dissertation project she will attempt to chart the spatial and temporal distribution of Southwestern maize landraces using ancient DNA.