Student Paper Award

Black and gold graphic bar
  March 24, 2004

Margie Yu
Public Affairs Specialist 
(323) 343-3047



Cal State L.A. 
Office of Public Affairs 
(323) 343-3050 
Fax: (323) 343-6405

For immediate release:
Cal State L.A. Anthropology Senior
Garners Student Paper Award

Los Angeles, CA – Cal State L.A. anthropology major Clarus Backes, Jr. (Los Angeles resident) recently received a Student Paper Award for his presentation, “More Than Meets the Eye: Fluorescence Photography for Enhanced Analysis of Pictographs,” at the 38th annual meeting of the Society for California Archaeology (SCA), held in Riverside, CA, March 17-20, 2004.

Selected by a panel of SCA board members, the award-winning paper was based on Backes’ innovative research method of using ultraviolet fluorescence photography for the analysis of rock art, in order to detect and record traces of invisible pigment in deteriorating rock art sites.

Backes, who will receive his bachelor’s degree in anthropology at Cal State L.A. this June, recently presented aspects of his research at the 12th Annual CSULA Student Symposium for Research, Scholarship & Creative Activity and was selected as one of ten students who will represent the University at the Annual CSU State Student Research Competition to be held at CSU Northridge on April 30 – May 1. A Dean’s List student, Backes has been accepted into the Golden Key Honour Society and was named to Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges in 2003-2004.

Backes has also coauthored The Gus Lederer Site, an analysis of a prehistoric sacred site in which he established a relative chronology for petroglyphs based on a comparison of their spectral reflectance properties, and 2000 Acres in the Jawbone Area, a report for the Bureau of Land Management on the discovery and analysis of an important cluster of prehistoric sites in the Western Mojave Desert. As an archaeological illustrator and graphic artist, he has created maps, artifact illustrations and photographic documentation for more than a dozen publications.

He volunteers at the Little Lake Research Group at UCLA’s Rock Art Archive, recording and cataloging a large, endangered rock art site in the California desert. Backes is also a full-time archaeological field crew chief for Ancient Enterprises, Inc. of Santa Monica.

The Society for California Archaeology is a nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to research, understanding, interpretation and conservation of California's heritage. Membership is open to everyone with an interest in California archaeology. SCA promotes cooperation among archaeologists in California by conducting symposia and meetings to share information on new discoveries and techniques; publishing annual proceedings on archaeological research in California and a newsletter on current topics of concern with news and commentaries; and promoting standards and ethnical guidelines for the practice of archaeology.

WORKING FOR CALIFORNIA – California State University, Los Angeles: A comprehensive university at the heart of a major metropolitan city. The 175-acre hilltop campus is located five miles east of Los Angeles’ civic and cultural center. Since 1947, Cal State L.A. has been a leader in providing quality higher education. Today, the campus comprises a faculty of internationally recognized scholars and artists, and more than 21,000 students with a wide variety of interests, ages and backgrounds that reflect the city’s dynamic mix of populations. Cal State L.A. is one of 23 campuses in the CSU system.

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