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Catherine Yansa

Title: Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Madison
Department: Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences
Phone: 517-353-3910
Email: yansa(at)

Catherine Yansa's research focuses on reconstructing past environments in north-central North America since the last glacial maximum (over the last ~20,000 years) by studying plant fossils (pollen and plant macrofossils) preserved in lake sediments. The objectives and implications of her research are documenting past responses of plants to climate changes at various temporal and spatial scales and using these as analogs for potential responses of plants to predicted global warming; and interpreting the landscape contexts for prehistoric Native American occupations to explore long-term human-environment interactions. She also works to interpret the landscape contexts for prehistoric human occupations by investigating plant fossils from archaeological contexts as well as from wetland sediments adjacent to archaeological sites. Time periods investigated range from Paleo-Indian to Upper Mississippian just prior to Euro-American contact.