Skip over navigation

Alumni Newsletter: July '08 to July '09


In the spring of 2009, Brown undergraduate Elise Nuding approached several faculty and staff in the Geological Sciences Department for help on a project on which she was working.

Her project -- to create a “site report” for the archaeology of Rhode Island Hall -- was originally undertaken as an independent study under the direction of Christopher Witmore of the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. It has continued and grown from there.

Elise’s primary “fieldwork” was begun during the Spring semester of 2008, and her research goals were threefold. First, she wanted to collect all materials relevant to the history of Rhode Island Hall. Second, she wished to document the final semester of the building's use before its radical transformation into the new Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. Third, she wanted to deploy archaeological practices in an altogether different field of production: documenting everything in a wiki.

Photo from the department's archives: Geology faculty outside the east front of RI Hall, (left to right): Charlie Wilson Brown, Alonzo Quinn, F. Donald Eckelmann, Thomas A. Mutch. Photo c. 1968-71

Since the Department of Geological Sciences was, for over 65 years, housed in Rhode Island Hall (1915-1982), Elise naturally found a wealth of images and memories during her field research within the department. She even devoted an entire section of her wiki to "Memories from the Department of Geological Sciences".

For anyone who has their own memories of RI Hall, or for those who are curious about the historical significance to the department and Brown of this campus landmark, check out Elise's wonderful wiki at:

back to top