Faculty Research Grants in Action: Deborah Nichols

A Rockefeller Center grant proved to be a vital source of funding when Professor Nichols sought to explore an Aztec farming settlement northwest of Mexico City theorized to hold the secrets of how large-scale societies first formed and developed.

With questions as to the continued existence of the site with the growth of Mexico City in the fifty years since the last visit, only the accommodating nature of a Rockefeller Center grant provided the backing necessary to make a return visit to the site in 2013, results of which led to a larger grant from the National Science Foundation.

"These small grants can become the seed for initiating larger projects and being able to establish their feasibility," stressed Professor Nichols. Subsequent site visits, including a six week field study in summer 2014, have involved Dartmouth students in their research and further cemented the Rockefeller Center’s social science mission.

-Written by Tyler Stoff '15, Rockefeller Center Student Program Assistant