Love for archaeology grew from childhood

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Delta College student Alex Coburn is slowly becoming a modern “Indiana Jones,” only without the whip.

The graduating archeology student is known as the “fedora zoo guide” at the Micke Grove Zoo. His role at the zoo is a long way from his early start in the field, digging through dirt in his own backyard.

When Coburn was a kid his mother gave him a book with information about archeologists.

His immediate thoughts were: “You could get paid to dig in the dirt.”

He thought that would be cool.

Coburn’s father is a historian, so Coburn gained a background in history while growing up.

Coburn believes he is doing much of the same. Simply taking it in a different direction.

“I love history, I feel like I can preserve it and share it. I love that aspect,” he said.

Even with his current background in archeology Coburn is going to continue his education transferring to California State University, Sonoma because he feels he has experience with the people there and believes the transition to be one far easier than any other location.

At Sonoma State, Coburn will be working in the Anthropological Study Center on campus.

In the last two years, Coburn has taken part in four digs, one of which involved finding a bottle that could be dated back to the 1800s.

In other digs he has taken part of, he has found a mortar, obsidian and what is believed to be a human toe, but has not yet been confirmed.

Over the summer, Coburn is going to be working with the Micke Grove Zoo in a summer camp program. He’ll teach students about primates while also maintaining the bones, including cleaning and restoring the artifacts.

Coburn said all of his success is thanks to a nudge from Dr. Peggy Scully-Linder. After Coburn informed her that he wanted to become an archeologist and she helped him to get connected to and involved with ways to move forward in the career field.