Student volunteers in lab of Gault School of Archaeological Research at Texas State University.
By Tim Hernandez
While many students may have their sights set on a trip to the beach this May, one young woman has her eye on Iceland.
Meet Alexis ‘Lexi’ Roberts, a modern-day Indiana Jones.
Roberts, initially a design student in her first year of college, is an anthropology sophomore who, last summer, at 19, traveled to Iceland to study the Icelandic language at the University of Iceland on the Háskóli Islands and the University of the Westfjords for three months.
While in Iceland, she summited her first mountain, Snæfellsjökull on the Snæfellsnes peninsula.
This summer she will be returning to Iceland to volunteer in a trail renovation program near Bórsmörk, which is in the mountains near the volcano Eyjafjallajökull that erupted in 2010, interrupting international air travel.
Her work there next summer will be mainly survey work and mapping out trails, as well as taking part in erosion control around the trails.
Roberts will be departing for her second trip to Iceland May 31 for eight weeks.
This year she interned at the San Antonio Museum of Art in the education department. She assisted in running teacher/educator workshops intended to aid teachers and general educators uncover new ways to use art and the resources at the museum to teach their students how to look at the world differently.
This semester Roberts is volunteering at the Gault School of Archaeological Research lab at Texas State University in San Marcos where she helps document and sort pre-historic Paleoindian lithic artifacts from the Clovis period, which archeologist place between 13,200 to 12,900 years ago.
Part of her responsibilities include identifying excavated objects from the Gault Site, located in Bell and Williamson counties, as either flakes, pieces removed from the face of a tool through percussion or bifaces, tools flaked on two sides or faces.
She also determines how to best document them in the lab’s data system along with the other artifacts.
This semester Roberts is enrolled in BIOL 2401, Human Anatomy and Physiology 1, which is a prerequisite for her planned future in human osteology, a branch of anatomy dealing with the bones.
Her goal is to continue her studies in anthropology with a focus in bio-archaeology because she wants to study human and primate evolution in conjunction with cultural development.
Her plans for the future are to transfer to University of Texas in Austin to complete her undergraduate studies and enroll in the University of Arizona to pursue her graduate degree.
Roberts’ advice for those uncertain about their chosen major: “Consume as much information as possible with regards to your potential field of study. Test the waters by acting like your life is dedicated to the field already. Read on it as much as possible, share learned information and find others who can share their own experiences.
She continued, “It’s really all about discovering the heart of the field you might want to pursue. If you feel you’re set on a major, take one class that’s unrelated and see if it pulls you in another direction.
“I wanted to pursue art for six years and one psychology class changed my mind entirely. It helped me discover my love of studying humans and how they interact and respond to their environment.”