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Welcome to EIU's Sigma Xi Chapter!

Sigma Xi is an international honorary scientific research society for scientists and engineers that addresses science and education, ethics, research, and public policy. Founded in 1886, its goals are to foster worldwide interactions among science, technology and society; to encourage appreciation and support of original work in science and technology and to honor scientific accomplishments. Sigma Xi has a membership of nearly 80,000 scientists and engineers and includes over 180 Nobel Prize winners as members. As a member of the Eastern Illinois chapter of Sigma Xi, you will form valuable friendships with other scientific researchers.

Sigma Xi membership benefits include a subscription to the award-winning American Scientist and eligibility to apply for Sigma Xi research grants for their graduate and undergraduate students.

Sigma Xi grants financial awards to students of Eastern Illinois University and hosts the annual Sigma Xi banquet as part of ScienceFest at Eastern Illinois University.

Membership requires that full members perform independent research in pure or applied science or engineering as shown by a Ph.D. thesis, patents or at least two first-authored refereed papers. Potential members must be nominated by a current member. Membership requires an initiation fee and an annual membership fee. Contact any Sigma Xi member if you are interested in joining.

ChaseGuest Speaker 2015 - Dr. Arlen F. Chase, Pegasus Professor and Chair of Anthropology (University of Central Florida)

Arlen F. Chase is a Pegasus professor and the chair of the anthropology department at the University of Central Florida. He currently co-directs excavations at Caracol, Belize, the largest recorded Classic Period (A.D. 250-900) Maya center; before that, he was involved in research projects at Santa Rita Corozal, Belize and at Tayasal, Guatemala. His research focuses on archaeological method and theory as applied to the Maya area with particular emph
asis on ancient urbanism, ceramic analysis, landscape archaeology, and the complex relationship that exists between Maya hieroglyphic writing and archaeological data. Most recently, he has pioneered efforts in applying laser-based remote sensing, or LiDAR, to the ancient Maya landscape. He has authored over 125 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters as well as multiple books. Further information and PDFs of his writings may be found at www.caracol.org.

Topic: How Technology is Changing Maya Archaeology: LiDAR and Caracol, Belize

With its ability to penetrate dense tropical canopies, LiDAR has revolutionized the field of Mesoamerican settlement archaeology. Because dense vegetation covers most ancient remains in the Maya area, archaeological documentation of the spatial extent of sites using traditional means was both difficult and usually incomplete. LiDAR was initially applied to the site of Caracol, Belize in April 2009 and yielded a 200 sq km Digital Elevation Model that, for the first time, provided a complete view of how the archaeological remains from a single Maya site its monumental architecture, roads, residential settlement, and agricultural terraces were distributed over the landscape. In May 2013, an additional 1057 sq km of LiDAR data were recorded in west-central Belize. For the site of Caracol, these LiDAR data may be combined with 30 years of continuous archaeological research and excavation to guide interpretations and to formulate temporal parameters. The detailed information that can be extracted from LiDAR is significantly changing our perceptions of ancient Maya civilization by demonstrating both its pervasive anthropogenic landscapes and the scale of its urban settlements. The use of this technology elsewhere around the globe holds similar promise for changing the way that we do spatial archaeology.

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