Deanna Andreschefski (BSc '22) didn't rush through her ULethbridge degree. Instead, she took every advantage to learn and grow by participating in work-integrated learning opportunities and spreading her course load through the summer months.
My most memorable ULethbridge experience so far absolutely has to be the 2021 archaeological field school at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump! We got to live in tents at a campground a few kilometres from the site, and we excavated almost every single day. I'm so glad to have been a part of this team! I made some lifelong friends, and we, as a team, made some amazing discoveries that can hopefully be made public soon.
Meet Deanna| Creative. Problem solver. Leader.
Program: Bachelor of Science | Major: Archaeology & Geography
Why did you choose ULethbridge?
Being from the Calgary area, I wanted to be far enough away from home to be independent of my family but close enough to go home for breaks and just for the weekend if I wanted to. ULethbridge is the perfect distance from my hometown to do just that.
Please tell us about your work-integrated learning experiences at ULethbridge?
I was a member of the 2019 Rock Art Monitoring Program at Writing-On-Stone/Áísínai'pi Provincial Park and UNESCO World Heritage Site during an independent study. Under the direction of Dr. Megan Berry, myself and one other student monitored 52 rock art sites within the park over the course of three weeks and documented any signs of deterioration or changes since the last survey. This project consisted of many long days hiking in 30-plus-degree weather and trying to relocate sites based on sometimes questionable GPS points, but I think that's what made it so fun! It was an incredibly valuable experience that taught me how to survey and locate sites, sometimes given very little information, which is often what archaeological fieldwork entails.
In Spring 2021, I participated in another independent study under Dr. Shawn Bubel and Marcus Dostie from the Department of Geography & Environment, analyzing spatial information about a bison kill site in southern Alberta using ArcGIS Pro. It began with cleaning up a file directory and finding all of the data needed to start the spatial analysis, then loading it into a GIS project to create all sorts of maps. In doing so, I also created a comprehensive lab manual with step-by-step instructions recounting everything I did with the data. This information included where it is stored in the file directory, what tools I used for analysis and why, and several appendices explaining various abbreviations and jargon.
As an extension of the independent study using GIS, Dr. Bubel brought me on as a research assistant from May to June to continue cleaning the data for the project and correcting errors that may be present.
What was your most memorable ULethbridge experience?
It absolutely has to be the 2021 archaeological field school at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump! I was part of a team of 30 archaeologists on this project. We spent five weeks excavating two areas beneath the jump to document the site's use predating the levels of occupation that have already been well documented. We got to live in tents at a campground a few kilometres from the site, and we excavated almost every single day. I'm so glad to have been a part of this team! I made some lifelong friends, and we, as a team, made some amazing discoveries that can hopefully be made public soon.
What was the most important lesson you learned at ULethbridge?
That various subjects and research fields intersect with each other much more than I ever thought they did.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?
There are so many people who have had a significant influence on my time here. The three that I mention below are all from the Department of Geography & Environment.
Dr. Kevin McGeough's Intro to Archaeology class was my first exposure to the field. It was the class that convinced me to switch my major to archaeology & geography from general sciences. I was absolutely positive in my first year that I would have pursued chemistry or biology, but Dr. McGeough's class sparked my passion for the subject and really got the ball rolling to where I am now. He has offered me lots of support throughout my studies and has written me several letters of recommendation that have helped me earn scholarships.
In a conversation with Dr. Shawn Bubel after class one night in my second year, I really fell in love with archaeology. I had asked Dr. Bubel whether the bow and arrow technology was developed independently between North America and Europe, and she replied, "Yes! Isn't it amazing?" I truly felt her enthusiasm for the field, and it sparked my passion for it as well! Dr. Bubel has been incredibly supportive throughout my studies and has given me valuable guidance, connections within the Archaeological Society of Alberta, and a variety of volunteer opportunities.
Dr. Caitlin M. Hanrahan has been incredibly influential on my experience in the last year. In her Inuit studies class, she gave us the option to either write a briefing note on any Inuit-related topic or make a presentation at the WDCAG Conference in March 2021. I chose to do the presentation on Inuit food security with my classmate Megan Fisk, which resulted in us being invited to present again at the ASA Conference in May, where we won an award for the best student paper. We are currently in peer review to publish our paper in Western Geography. I truly never imagined any of this happening during my undergraduate degree, and it's entirely thanks to the first opportunity that Dr. Hanrahan gave us in that class.
Is there anything you wish you knew in your first semester that you know now?
You don't need to take a full course load each semester.
What advice would you give to those about to begin their ULethbridge journey?
There is no such thing as graduating ‘on time.’ I'm taking four and a half years to finish my degree, and I think that the best decision I ever made for myself was to only take up to four classes per semester, especially if I had to take any labs. Taking fewer classes made my course load so much more manageable and less stressful in the long run. Also, take some summer classes! There are usually some really interesting and fun topics, and they're a great way to fill in your liberal education requirements.
I also highly recommend using all of the services available to you on campus, especially Counselling Services. I think that no matter what, everyone can benefit from counselling.
Favourite class: Archaeological Materials Analysis
Favourite social activity at ULethbridge: Halloween Cabaret
Favourite place to study: 11th floor of the library in the curriculum lab. They have giant beanbag chairs!
- Paid work terms
- Hands-on career & research experience
- International study
- Awards, scholarships and a range of student support