Beloit professor dies during Chile trip

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Gazette staff
Thursday, June 21, 2012
— A longtime Beloit College professor died Tuesday while accompanying students on a research trip in Chile, according to a news release from the college.

Dan Shea, an anthropology professor at the college since 1968, died after a fall Tuesday night, the college announced Wednesday.

Shea and five Beloit students arrived in Chile on June 8 and were scheduled to remain in the country until June 27, but preparations are being made for the students to return home as soon as possible, according to the release. A Beloit College alumnus and an adjunct professor from the college also are on the trip and remain with the students.

In a letter to the campus community, President Scott Bierman noted Shea's long service to the college and his great regret in having to deliver such news.

"I admit to finding some comfort in the knowledge that when he passed, Dan was in a place that he loves, doing what he does best—introducing students to the archaeological wonders of Latin America," he wrote.

No details regarding services were available Wednesday.

Shea was primarily interested in Latin American archaeology with minor interests in Latin American geography and history, according

to his biography page on the college website. He was working on dendrochronology,

or tree ring analysis, on samples he collected from the

Atacama Desert during

the trip. The data is tied to

climate change, and Shea hoped to use it to gather more information about global warming.

Last updated: 8:44 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012

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