Archeologist Gary Nolf Visits Jeffrey and Ryerson
Recently, the Jeffrey and Ryerson Elementary school communities were excited to host local amateur archeologist Gary Nolf to work with third graders on their first unit, Our Changing Land. Nolf develops programming in conjunction with the Hammonasset Nature Center as well as the Office of State Archeology at the University of Connecticut. He brought unique artifacts, many of which were thousands of years old, for the students to see and sometimes handle. A highlight included the atlatl demonstration in which students could try their hand at hitting a cardboard mastodon using the prehistoric technology. Our Changing Land is a unique interdisciplinary unit that combines studies of geology and glaciers from science along with mapping skills and human interaction with the land from Social Studies. Students investigate many community and regional locales to accomplish these learning goals.
Gary Nolf is a local gem who generously donates his time and expertise to many local events and committees, including Madison Public Schools. Gary is often the first person called upon when a potential archaeological find is revealed in the shoreline area to determine site authenticity and promise. Gary is a frequent presenter at local events at Bauer Park, the Hammonasset Nature Center, and the Bushnell Farm, where he works to reconstruct Native American structures, such as wigwams, to better understand ancient lifeways and technology. A highlight, of course, is always the atlatl competitions. He has even been featured on the Late Show with David Letterman, when he demonstrated his world champion atlatl throwing skills! We are fortunate to have Gary as a member of our shoreline community!