Monthly Speakers

Our FREE General meetings are held on the 4th Tuesday of each month, except December (and summer months) at 7:30 pm. Come early to mingle, socialize, and network with fellow archaeology-minded folks – and enjoy light refreshments. Our June lecture begins our Summer Series for SDCAS. Our meetings will be held on the fourth Saturday of the summer months, June, July, and August, and we will start slightly later in the evening at 8:00pm.

We are now back to our regular 7:30pm 4th Tuesday meeting times.

October 24, 2017 (Fourth Tuesday), at 7:30 pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe
Title: Beware, here there be pirates!
Presenter: Karen Lacy and Sandra PentneyAhoy, Mateys! Sandra and Karen are trying out their sea legs with this year’s presentation. Have you ever wondered what drove people to piracy and the impact that piracy had with modern day culture? Perhaps you had a fascination with a certain pirate and his treasure, making your friends follow a map to where X marks the spot. Then lend us your ears, bring your ditty bag and cutlass and join us as we set sail for uncharted waters. Just remember, all land-lubbers and landsmen will be required to sign the pirate’s code, all breakers of the code with be sent to Davey Jones’ Locker. Karen Lacy has over 18 years of museum and writing experience as well as a Master’s degree in Museum Science and a Bachelor’s in History with minors in Art History and Anthropology. She is currently working towards a second Masters in Anthropology, which will be completed in early December 2017. Karen recently co-founded Muse Curatorial Consulting Group, a company that specializes in collections care, training, grant writing, and exhibit development of archaeological, historic, library and archive materials. Previously, Karen was the Collections Manager of the San Diego Museum of Man for seven years and the Curator of Exhibits of the San Diego Air & Space Museum for 5 years.

Sandra Pentney has called herself an archaeologist for 18 years. Born, raised and educated in Canada, she moved to the US after said education showed her that choosing a career based mostly on being out of doors in a climate where the out of doors was frozen and under two feet of snow for 5 months of the year wasn’t the best choice. She spent the first five years in the U.S. enjoying fieldwork in the very temperate climate of California, and now is firmly planted indoors at a desk for 49 weeks out of the year. Sandra received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and her Master of Arts in Archaeology from the University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, which no one outside of Canada seems to be able to pronounce.

September 26, 2017 (Fourth Tuesday) at 7:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe
Title: All Aboard! San Diego’s Trolleys: A Discussion of the History and Archaeology of the San Diego Trolley System.
Presenter: Douglas W. Mengers
Starting with the first horse-drawn trolleys introduced by the San Diego Streetcar Company in 1886, San Diego’s history included the growth and decline of several trolley systems. After electricity arrived, San Diego was the site of early experimentation for electric trolleys on the West Coast and home to a short-lived cable car system. In the 1890s, sugar baron John D. Spreckels purchased these failed lines and consolidated them into the San Diego Electric Railway. This railway expanded rapidly, leading to the development of new trolley suburbs at the turn of the century, including North Park, Normal Heights, and Mission Beach. Ridership waned with the Depression and the introduction of autobuses, and though it temporarily rose during the war years, this decline led to the dismantling of the trolley system in April of 1949.
Douglas W. Mengers is a 20-year resident of San Diego. His passion for San Diego history was sparked when he moved into a 1920 Craftsman home in Mission Hills and began researching the family who built the house. He has since lived in several of San Diego’s old “trolley neighborhoods.” Mr. Mengers has degrees in anthropology, archaeology, and history from University of California San Diego and San Diego State University. A Senior Archaeologist/Historian with Carlsbad-based environmental consulting firm PanGIS, Inc., he is listed on the Register of Professional Archaeologists and the Directory of Professionals in Public History, and serves on the Board of Directors of the San Diego County Archaeological Society. Mr. Mengers has presented at archaeological conferences on subjects including historical glass artifacts, Spanish-era irrigation systems, and marine archaeology. His historical research focuses on Southern California transportation infrastructure, consumerism, and migration patterns of the late 19th to early 20th century.


August 26, 2017 at 8:00pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Title of lecture: Insights from Archaeological and Historical Investigations in Downtown San Diego
Dr. Sinéad Ní Ghabhláin has recently retired from ASM Affiliates after over thirty years working as an archaeologist in southern California and in Europe. In addition to her CRM work in California, she has also directed research excavations of a medieva monastery site on the Aran Islands, Ireland.

Sinéad Ní Ghabhláin will discuss archaeological and historical investigations in downtown San Diego that have provided fascinating insights into social and economic conditions in this small border town around the late nineteenth century. Her recent projects have included a luxury hotel catering to the wealthiest travelers, boarding houses of the working poor, and a saloon and brothel in San Diego’s red light district, all dating to San Diego’s boom years of the late 1880s.

July 22, 2017 at 8:00pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Lecture reschedule of our delayed May lecture, Richard Shultz will discuss recent archaeological work from a site in La Jolla.

Mr. Richard Shultz has nearly 30 years of experience in Cultural Resources Management. Work opportunities have taken him throughout California, as well as allowed him to lead numerous projects across the greater West. His interests within the discipline are wide-ranging including land use planning, architecture, lithic analysis, gender politics, geomorphology, history, among many others. Mr. Shultz has been a long-time member of the Sea Level Rise Coastal Survey Project, and has been known to “get stuck in” whether it be accidently surfing 10-foot waves, traveling to Japan without remembering the language learned two decades before, or striking out for a solo over-night in Joshua Tree National Park.

Mr. Shultz will be discussing Nearly Lost: How Small Units and Deferring to Authority Obscured the Big Picture and Nearly Resulted in a Missed Buried Deposit in La Jolla, California

For many years small excavation units – 50×50 to 50×100 cm – have been utilized to gain understanding of the contents and contexts of sediments below the sod and streets of La Jolla Shores. As practice this is simple enough. However, add to this a 1920s grading operation, professional experiences with previously undocumented fill profiles, and when combined with small excavation unit archaeology almost missed the big picture, until a recent recovery-oriented excavation program exposed sediment profiles that were not what they were presumed to have been.

First Summer Lecture June 24, 2017 at 8:00pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe
Kumeyaay Themed Game Night
Presenter: Barona Cultural Museum
Starting off our Summer Series, representatives from the Barona Cultural Museum will once again be sharing Kumeyaay-themed game with SDCAS! Get ready for Bingo in ‘Iipay Aa. Be prepared for a vocabulary lesson in addition to a lively and interactive evening.  There will be prizes!

*NOTE: This will be the first of our Summer Meetings this year, held on Saturday evenings in the courtyard at Los Peñasquitos Adobe. The Summer Saturday Evening Meetings will replace the usual 4th Tuesday Programs during the summer months
only. There will be no 4th Tuesday Programs in June, July, or August.

May 23, 2017 at 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe meeting was canceled due to power outage.
Lecturer: Richard D. Shultz
Title: Nearly Lost: How Small Units and Deferring to
Authority Obscured the Big Picture and Nearly
Resulted in a Missed Buried Deposit in La Jolla,

April 25, 2017 at 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Lecturer : Dennis R. Gallegos
The author’s career in archaeology began in 1969 working for State Parks, followed by BLM Desert Planning Staff, and private sector CRM work for Wirth, Westec, SRI, and Gallegos & Associates (1990-Present). Publications by Gallegos or with others include: Cultural Resource Inventory of the Central Mojave and Colorado Desert Regions; Management Plan for Otay Mesa; Review and Synthesis of Environmental and Cultural Material for the Batiquitos Lagoon Region; Patterns and Implications of Coastal Settlement in San Diego County: 9000 to 1300 Years Ago; Environmental Change and Coastal Adaptation in San Diego County; Five Thousand Years of Maritime Subsistence at Ballast Point; Antiquity and Adaptation at Agua Hedionda; Southern California in Transition: Late Holocene Occupation; and, Archaeology in America, San Diego Area.

First People by Land or by Sea – This presentation provides a review of the earliest sites in San Diego County and identifies potential sites/areas for First People. Fresh water, not always available in the desert, was always available in San Diego County and provided the magnet for continuous occupation throughout the Holocene. Native American occupation was affected by environmental change which included sea level rise, sand transport, health of lagoons, and the creation of San Diego Bay and Lake Cahuilla. The hypotheses of First People by land and/or by sea, along with continuous occupation and environmental change are all part of this 12,000 year history.

Copies of Dennis Gallegos’ new book will be available for purchase at the lecture next week for $25 each.

 March 28th, 2017 at 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Celebrate San Diego’s diversity by learning about how immigrants from Asia have made important contributions to San Diego history beginning in the 1800s. The stories of the families that grew up and thrived in this neighborhood are explored and remembered through photographs and museum archives.

The Asian Pacific Historic District Walking Tour at SDCHM takes you to see many of the historical buildings and locations discussed in this lecture.

Lecturer: Kathleen Shiu-Yee Dang serves as the Education & Events Coordinator of the San Diego Chinese Historical Museum. Dang is a Master’s of Education Candidate at National University who will receive a California Teaching Credential on Social Studies and History. As coordinator, she facilitates all of the museum education programs such as tours, lectures, and field trips for students of all ages while updating the curriculum to match with current state and federal education content standards.

February 28, 2017 at 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Topic of the Night:
This presentation is a field report from Nicholas’s experience at the field school he attended last summer, including the poster project he will be presenting in March at the SAA annual meeting.

Nicholas Case
BA Anthropology
Archaeological Technician with ASM, Atkins, and panGIS

This study presents results from the photogrammetric documentation of rock art in western Mongolia. Unlike many traditional rock art documentation techniques practiced in Mongolia, photogrammetry presents unique advantages for the study and preservation of cultural heritage. These include the production of a digital 3D model, preservation of color and original lighting conditions, ease of documentation, and the inclusion of contextual information such as surrounding features, panel orientation, and geologic context. Using photogrammetric techniques, we documented ten late Bronze Age standing stones and three separate rock art localities in the Khangai mountains of Bayankhongor province, western Mongolia. By taking images at different times of day, we were able to produce high-visibility images of “deer stone” stelae, obviating the need for chalk or other substances which can damage the stone surface. By integrating our data with aerial photography, we produced high-resolution digital maps of our study sites. Results suggest that 3D photogrammetry may be profitably integrated into future research of late Bronze Age monuments in Central Asia.

January 24, 2017 7:30pm-8:30pm at Los Penasquitos in the adobe

Topic of the Night:
Peñasquitos Adobe and the City College Archaeology Program: An Update on the Research and the Students

Lecturer: Dr. Timothy Gross
PhD Assistant Professor of Anthropology San Diego City College

For over 20 years students from San Diego City College have been excavating at the Peñasquitos Adobe as part of the college’s anthropology curriculum.  The excavations are an integral now part the Certificate of Performance in Archaeology program at City which is designed to prepare students to work as archaeological field and lab crew. This presentation will describe the program and discuss some of the history of the work done by City College students, and it will include information from the latest field season, spring 2016, as well as some of the analytical results from the recently-completed Artifact Analysis class.  Some of the success stories of the program will also be discussed.

Previous Years

2012 Monthly Speakers

2013 Monthly Speakers

2014 Monthly Speakers

2015 Monthly Speakers

2016 Monthly Speakers