University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota

Principal Investigators

Kat Hayes
Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities

Hayes’ research, based in various North American colonial contexts, stems from a challenge to the dominant narratives about the inevitability of colonial outcomes, addressing issues of agency, negotiation, resistance, and opportunistic power demonstrated by peoples who history once popularly regarded as having been totally powerless.

Pat Nunnally
Coordinator, River Life

As the coordinator for the University of Minnesota’s River Life program, Pat Nunnally works to establish lasting relationships among the University of Minnesota and groups working on river sustainability, having developed a unique practice as a consulting historian, communications manager and interpretive planner, with a focus on rivers, trails and scenic byways.

Ann Waltner
History, College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities

Ann Waltner, founding and former director of the Institute for Advanced Study, teaches Chinese history and world history at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests lie in the social history of sixteenth- and seventeenth-century China, comparative women’s history, and world history.

Grad/Postdoc Fellows

Nenette Luarca-Shoaf
Art Historian, Curator

Luarca-Shoaf’s current research considers visual representations of the Mississippi River between 1830 and 1861, building on recent scholarship that has dealt primarily with text-based narratives and descriptions, and focusing on images of the river that circulated widely, such as landscape paintings, prints, panoramas, urban views, and river maps. These objects helped to cultivate different aspects of the river’s character.

Jane Mazack
Water Research Science Graduate Program, Twin Cities

Mazack’s current project studies whether D. mendotae and other cold stenothermic insects require cold temperatures to complete their life cycles and whether climate change, specifically warmer air temperatures, will eliminate these cold stenotherms from stream systems and alter the diet and growth of trout that inhabit these streams.

Laurie Moberg
Anthropology, College of Liberal Arts, Twin Cities

Moberg’s research examines the projects of state, local, & NGO stakeholders in negotiating the future politically, economically, socially, and ecologically for Thailand’s rivers, in the wake of unprecedented floods in 2011 that crippled major economic sectors and displaced over 8 million people.


Phyllis Messenger
Grants Consultant, Institute for Advanced Study

Messenger is an anthropologist whose scholarship has focused on archaeological ethics and the management and preservation of cultural heritage. She was the founding director of the Center for Anthropology and Cultural Heritage Education at Hamline University and has carried out archaeological research in Mexico, Honduras, and Minnesota.

Joanne Richardson
Digital Media Manager, River Life

Richardson’s undergraduate work at the University of Minnesota focused on geology, architecture, computer science and French. Having spent many childhood weekends and holidays backpacking through many of the great American landscapes, she developed an early and lasting love of geology that has colored her interests ever since.