Heather Walder
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin - Madison, 2015
Visiting Assistant Professor


Dr. Walder is an anthropological archaeologist investigating 17th and 18th century intercultural interaction and colonial encounters across the Upper Great Lakes region of North America. She has extensive teaching, research, and cultural resource management experience in the Midwest. Most recently she directed a Phase III investigation of a multicomponent site in Monroe County, Wisconsin, through Colorado State University’s Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML). 

As a Visiting Assistant Professor at NIU in 2017-2018, Dr. Walder’s research trajectory will continue to investigate colonial-era trade and exchange networks, technological practice, and social interactions through lab-based analyses of previously excavated archaeological artifact collections.  She is currently collaborating with colleagues in Ontario to analyze glass trade beads from 17th century sites there, in order to trace diaspora populations and delineate trade partnerships at the inter-regional level across the Great Lakes. Dr. Walder’s ongoing field project, the Chequamegon Bay Archaeological Survey (CBAS), is a community-based participatory research program seeking to locate and investigate historically-documented Wendat (Huron) and Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) communities along the southern shore of Lake Superior, near Ashland, Wisconsin.

Dr. Walder is a dedicated teacher-scholar with a passion for undergraduate experiential learning, and an advocate for integrating faculty research into all classroom levels. She brings innovative and collaborative approaches to the investigation of colonial situations in the Midwest with the hope of better understanding the social and economic aspects of human intercultural interactions past and present. 


Selected Grants

  • 2017-2018 - Graduate Women in Science Nell Mondy Fellowship and Vessa Notchev Fellowship ($10,000)
  • 2016 - UW-La Crosse College of Liberal Studies Small Grant, for publication support ($3,500)
  • 2014 - Mellon-Wisconsin Summer Fellowship for Dissertation Writing ($6,000)
  • 2013-2014 - National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, BCS-1321751 ($20,000), with Sissel Schroeder (Doctoral Advisor).
  • 2012 - Graduate Women in Science, Beta Chapter, Ruth Dickie Scholarship ($2,500)

Selected Publications

Walder, Heather (In Press). “Small Beads, Big Picture: Assessing Chronology, Exchange, and Population Movement through Compositional Analyses of Blue Glass Beads from the Upper Great Lakes.” Historical Archaeology 52(2):#.

Paquette, James R. and Heather Walder (In Press). “Glass Trade Beads from the Goose Lake Outlet #3 Site (20MQ140), Marquette County, Michigan.” Manuscript submitted to Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology.

Dussubieux, Laure and Heather Walder (2015). “Identifying American Native and European Smelted Coppers with pXRF: A Case Study of Artifacts from the Upper Great Lakes Region.” Journal of Archaeological Science: 59:169-178.

Walder, Heather, Yolona Ngandali, and Jeffery Behm (2015). “Revising the Community Plan of the Bell Site (47 WN 009): Processes and Outcomes of GIS Spatial Analyses.” The Wisconsin Archeologist 96 (1): 5-26.

Walder, Heather (2013). “Stylistic and Chemical Investigation of Turquoise Blue Glass Artifacts from the Contact Era of Wisconsin.” Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology 38(1):119 – 142.

Walder, Heather (2013). “Laser Ablation – Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS) Analysis of Refired Glass Pendants from the North American Upper Great Lakes.” In Archaeological Chemistry VIII, edited by R. A. Armitage and J. H. Burton, pp. 365-396. American Chemical Society Symposium Series, Vol. 1147.