Graduate Students: Current and Recent Graduates
But first, a Video Collection of Graduate Student Projects
- A Collage of Graduate Student Projects
- Aaron Pattee's German Castle Research using photogammetry
- Zach Day's Research Using X-Ray Diffraction and 3-D reconstruction of settlements
- Jon Ferguson and Small Scale Coffee Producer Research
- Margie Robinson on Professional Archaeology
- Mayan (Copan) Ceremonial Center
Current Graduate Students
Ellis Codd is currently pursuing a M.A. in Anthropology, specializing in Professional Archaeology, as well as a Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities. He is in his first year in graduate school, and first year in Nebraska. He received his B.A. in 2017 from the University of New Hampshire, with minors in Earth Science and History. Past fieldwork includes survey and excavation of Maya settlements in Belize with the BREA project, and excavation around historical buildings in Portsmouth, NH. He is interested in the use of satellites and digital modeling in the study of Mesoamerica and the Southwest.
Katlyn Likely received her B.A. in archaeology and a minor in sociology from Lindenwood University in Saint Charles, Missouri. She worked in the Lindenwood University Archaeological Laboratory for three years, in which one year she held the position of laboratory director. During her employment and studies at Lindenwood University, she worked on many sites including Daniel Boone Home, the Lindenwood excavation, the Kress Farm Garden Preserve’s prehistoric sites, and many more. She presented her research, consisting of an experimental archaeology project, at multiple local and national conferences. Along with working at Lindenwood’s laboratory, she also held a position with Missouri Department of Natural Resource-Division of State Parks, where she focused on the conservation and interpretation of multiple historic sites near her hometown of Pilot Knob, Missouri. Because of her work with Missouri State Parks, she is interested in public education and the conservation of archaeological sites. She is currently pursuing a M.A. in prehistoric archaeology; hoping to focus on aquatic subsistence methods in the Great Plains. She recently moved to Lincoln in July 2017 with her boyfriend of three years and her 7 year old rescue dog, and all three enjoy exploring the beautiful landscape of Nebraska.
Ryan Mathison received a B.A. in Classics and Ancient Studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota in May of 2016. He has worked with St. Olaf’s ancient coin collection, creating an online database for the college Classics department so that the coins could be more easily viewed and studied. He has also participated in four different excavations in three different countries. One on a Greek and Roman site in a suburb of Athens called Voula during his semester at College Year in Athens. The others were in Oradea, Romania, Murighiol, Romania, and Mackinac City, Michigan. In Oradea, he worked on a CRM operation with the Association for Promoting Transylvanian Archaeological Heritage. In Murighiol, he worked on a Roman fort called Halmyris. In Michigan, he participated in excavations at Colonial Michilimackinac in a fur trader’s house. At UNL, Ryan is working towards his M.A. in Anthropology on the Professional Archaeology track with a desire to work in contract archaeology in the United States. His specific interests are still quite broad, but he has always been fascinated by military history and archaeology in any time period, especially Greek and Roman. In fact, his first real introduction into military history came in seventh grade when he learned about Hannibal and his Carthaginian army.
Sara Anderson received her B.A. in Anthropology and Ancient Civilizations from the University of Iowa in 2012. After graduating, she worked on prehistoric sites in Kansas and Iowa. Her work on a Woodland site near Okoboji, Iowa, specifically the lithic assemblage, was presented at the 2015 Plains Conference. She also presented a more detailed version of this research at the Annual Meeting of the Iowa Archaeological Society in 2016, reporting on an SPSS-assisted analysis of the debitage assemblages from two seasons of field work. Currently she is pursuing a Master of Arts in Anthropology specializing in Professional Archaeology and she is interested in prehistoric trade and exchange networks, and public education outreach. She also enjoys camping and hiking with my mini Australian Shepard, Wiley.
Andrea Kruse received her BA in Anthropology in 2008 from Luther College, with a Field School looking at 20th century and Woodland culture sites in Iowa. After Luther, she served in the Peace Corps in Bulgaria where she held an archaeology camp for two different orphanages and fell in love with the country and its world's oldest worked gold. Received an MA in Organizational Leadership with an Ethics and Leadership Certificate; went into the business world for a bit. Most recently has been working for the USDA Forest Service in the Routt National Forest in Northwest Colorado as an Archaeology Tech. Currently, Andrea is in the MA Anthropology program focusing on Professional Archaeology along with a Certificate in Digital Humanities. Her interest are public archaeology and outreach, GIS, heritage management, Rocky Mountains, Paleoindians, lithics, and the rise and fall of the Vikings. In her spare time she likes to bike, hike, ski, and travel.
Jade Robison received a B.A. in Archaeology with a minor in Classical Studies from The College of Wooster in Ohio in 2016. Her undergraduate studies focused largely on Mediterranean island archaeology, having completed a senior thesis investigating the Late Bronze Age Phoenician colonization of Sardinia, Italy. In 2013 she studied with the Archaeological Conservation Institute in Italy, working on the preservation of 1 c. AD Roman material, and contributed to fieldwork at the Bronze Age Nuragic site in Sardinia. In 2015 she participated in fieldwork with the Athienian Archaeological Project in Cyprus at an Archaic – Roman period rural sanctuary, through funding from an NSF-REU grant. Presently she is pursuing a Master of Arts in Anthropology and works as an intern with the Collections Department at the National Park Service Midwest Archeological Center. Other research interests include identity formation, collections management, and investigating cultural exchange networks. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, stargazing, and exploring new landscapes.
Maxwell Rooney received his B.A. from Luther College with a major in anthropology and a minor inclassical studies. While studying at Luther he was a collections assistant for the college’s anthropology laboratory specializing in its’ archaeological collections. While at Luther, Maxwell was able to experience many different facets of anthropology, most notably the typing of the projectile points from Luther’s extensive Gavin Sampson Collection, 3 weeks of cultural fieldwork examining ecotourism’s effect on the pastoralist Maasai of northern Tanzania, and a multi-institutional collaborative research project investigating the flattening of the C6 and C7 vertebrae in a collection of remains unearthed on the hilltop archaeological site of Magone, near the basin of Mexico. While his research has been multifaceted, Maxwell’s main anthropological focus remains in biological anthropology, and he is working towards a master’s degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln focusing on human osteology and forensic anthropology.
Brian Goodrich received his Bachelor of Arts in History in 2008 from Northwestern College (Iowa) with a focus on Medieval Europe. In 2007 he spent a semester abroad in Bangor, Wales and while not in class, traveled extensively across the British Isles. After visiting numerous archaeological sites he decided to pursue a graduate degree in historical archaeology. Currently, Brian is in his first semester in the Master of Arts program on the Professional Archaeology track. His interest is primarily focused on, but not limited to, Scandinavian expansion and trade in the Early Middle Ages, as well as the use of digital media in museum exhibits. Along with his interests in archaeology and history, Brian enjoys archery, backpacking, and spending time with his wife, Kim.
Amy Neumann is pursuing a M.A. in Anthropology with a specialization in Professional Archaeology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She completed her B.A. in Anthropology at Luther College in 2012. Her past fieldwork includes excavating Roman and Medieval sites in England, Colonial and Taino sites in the U.S. Virgin Islands, and 20th century and Woodland culture sites in Iowa. Amy is currently employed at Homestead National Monument of America as an archives technician. Her academic interests include ceramic analysis, trade networks, digitizing archaeological and archival collections, and collection management. Amy also enjoys rock climbing, nature photography, and spending time with her husband and two cats.
Shauna Benjamin is completing her Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology with a minor in Quantitative and Qualitative Research Methods. She studied Chinese language and culture for four years at the Center for International Studies and received her Bachelor of Science Cum Laude in Sociology with an Anthropology concentration in 2011 at the University of Nebraska - Omaha. Shauna’s narrative account of “Homefront Heroines: Nebraska’s Rosie the Riveters” and accompanying archival research were published in UNO’s Women’s Archive Project. Prior to graduate school, she worked for a reproductive justice organization doing issue-advocacy, community organizing, and strategic planning. Her academic interests include applied anthropology, faith expression, and Central Asian ethnic minority identity. Since joining the anthropology program, Shauna has worked in direct service for immigrant and refugee populations, with research methodologists at a multinational research and polling corporation, and as an instructor. Her free time is spent with her flat coated retriever, Brynna, and playing cards or board games with friends.
Erin Carr was born and raised in Yuba City, CA. She graduated with an Associates of Arts from Yuba Community College in 2008. In 2012 she completed her Bachelors of Arts in Anthropology with two minors in Archaeology and Art History from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. She is currently working on her Masters of Arts in Anthropology with an specialization in Professional Archaeology. Her Master’s thesis focuses on the geophysical signatures of sod structures in Custer County, NE. She currently works as an archaeological technician for the National Park Service Midwest Archeological Center in Lincoln, NE.
Rebecca Salem is pursuing simultaneous MAs in Anthropology and Art History at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln. She received her BA in History and BS in Anthropology from Loyola University Chicago in 2010 and her MA in Managing Archaeological Sites from University College London in 2013. She has previously worked with the Centre for Applied Archaeology in London, Global Heritage Fund UK, English Heritage, and at the UNESCO regional headquarters in Bangkok, where she worked on the publication of Asia Conserved Volume II. Her previous fieldwork in archaeology includes work with ArchaeoSpain at the Roman city of Clunia, the British School at Rome on the Segni Project in Italy from 2012-2014 and in 2015 as a site supervisor at Porta Nola, Pompeii. Most recently she worked on the Mazi Archaeological Project in both 2016 and 2017 as the tile specialist. Her research interests include Greco-Roman Art and Architecture, cultural exchange and connectivity, and heritage management.
Life After Graduation: Stories from our Recently Graduated MA Students
Nora Greiman (2016)
I graduated in May 2016 with an M.A. in Anthropology with the specialization in Professional Archaeology. In my thesis I focused on the effects of environmental change over time in the Sand Hills. My thesis was a pilot study to see what we could learn from previously collected artifacts about past peoples' change in behavior over time, possibly as a response to the changing environmental conditions around them.
I currently work for the Midwest Archeological Center, which is an archeological support office and museum repository for the Midwest Region of the National Park Service. I get to work in two worlds, doing fieldwork with the Park Archeology Program and also as the Museum Registrar with the Collections Program. As the Registrar, I keep track of everything that comes in to the Center from field projects that we conduct, from parks, from researchers, and from contractors. I am also responsible for project archives, making sure things are turned in, packaged in archival material, and then stored in our repository.
I was at UNL when the CDRH was gaining notoriety and there were a lot of opportunities to explore the digital humanities realm. I completed the Graduate Certificate in Digital Humanities along with my M.A. It was fascinating to learn about all the new techniques and instruments that can be applied in archeology beyond the traditional "digging in the dirt" approach - GIS, geophysical prospection, photogrammetry, 3D scanning, to name a few. I also performed optically stimulated luminescence (OSL) dating on my thesis samples myself, which was fun to do instead of sending it off to a lab.
One of the big draws of the UNL program for me was the internship component. The fact that the department had relationships with MWAC and other organizations like the state's archeology program meant that there were great opportunities for real experience that, for me, led to my current position. I also still get to work with people who were my instructors in the program, which is great because not only did I enjoy their classes but we have a previous relationship to build on.
Zachary Day (2016)
In May of 2016 I received my Master’s Degree in Professional Archaeology from the University of Nebraska – Lincoln’s Anthropology Department with my Master’s thesis focused on using chemistry based techniques, specifically X-Ray Diffraction, to characterize
and test the validity of the methods to source the clay materials used to construct ceramics from the Central Plains tradition, a local Nebraska group dating back to approximately 900 to 1200 A.D. Since receiving my Master’s degree, I have moved on to the University of Kansas, with a position in their Anthropology Department as part of the Ph.D. program with a specific focus in Archaeology. The skills I acquired at UNL, digital reconstructions of historic sites and landscapes, GIS based software experience, 3D modelling techniques and software have assisted me in a number of projects here at KU, in addition to the chemistry based techniques which have assisted me in furthering my dissertation topic here at KU. Additionally, the valuable time I spent as a Graduate Teaching Assistant (GTA) at UNL has not gone to waste here at KU. Building upon my experience as a GTA at UNL, I have been given the opportunity be one of the GTAs for the Archaeology Fieldschool held this past summer in addition to my current position as the Lead GTA for the Anth 160/360 course (The Varieties of Human Experiences) here at KU. Skills developed at UNL have assisted in my development here at KU, skills which include: which entails teaching four discussion sessions a week related to the overall courses lectures and reading material, in addition to designing the exams and questions, grading, teaching new GTAs and assisting them in their development for the Anth 160/360 course, as well as taking charge of several lectures for the overall lecture course. Additionally, we are in the process of developing a course of my own which will focus very much on the digital skills I developed while attending UNL for my Master’s degree.
Jon Ferguson (2017)
I graduated in the summer of 2017 with a specialization in cultural anthropology. My thesis entitled “Coffee Quality, Land Use, and Processing in Cajamarca, Peru” focused on coffee quality, land-use, and processing in three different villages in Cajamarca, Peru. My thesis research was supported by Champe and Weakly grants from the Anthropology Department at UNL. During my time at UNL I was a GTA for a number of undergraduate course both live and on-line (Blackboard).
Writing a thesis built advanced skills in Microsoft Word and refined the usage of trusted databases found through the UNL Library system. Presentation and communication skills were further developed throughout the Master’s program. Receiving two research project approvals by the Institutional Review Board (IRB) helped me gain clear insight on the standards and protocol necessary for ethical and informed research compliance.
Currently, I work for the Arbor Day Foundation, where I am responsible for the procurement of coffee from multiple countries. I am also playing a critical role in the development and implementation of an international coffee agroforestry recognition program. I have developed most of the purchasing strategy guidelines and framework for the Arbor Day Foundation’s Project 2050 coffee producer recognition program, in addition to concentrating on how to better connect consumers in the process of contributing to climate change mitigation strategies by developing a platform allowing coffee roasters and cafes to purchase carbon offsets from sequestration projects in Peru, in addition to purchasing coffees from Arbor Day Foundation recognized farms. I have developed and continue to refine purchasing guidelines influenced primarily through the research conducted while pursuing a Master’s degree in Anthropology, including aspects of Participatory Action Research and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Click on this link to view our program.
Jeremy Brunette (2016)
I am a Cultural Resources Manager for Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL). My primary responsibilities are maintaining a program that manages over 400 buildings across the Laboratory that are either 50 years or older, or exceptionally significant under NHPA guidelines. Of those 400 buildings there are 41 that are designated as Candidates for Preservation. Of this number there are 17 buildings that are either eligible for, or are included in the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. I work with the Laboratory and with Park Service staff to ensure all 41 buildings are maintained to NHPA standards. I work with LANL Decommissioning and Demolition staff to document National Register eligible buildings that are scheduled to be torn down. I assist with site documentation and recording of over 2,000 archaeological sites. I am the co chairman of the LANL History Committee. I regularly provide tours to LANL staff and visitors. I am also developing a site stewardship program for the laboratory in which archaeological sites located within developed areas of the Laboratory will be monitored and maintained by volunteers who are interested in archaeology.
Aaron Patee (2016)
I graduated from UNL with a Master of Arts in Anthropology, a specialization in Historical Archaeology, and a Certificate in Digital Humanities from the Center for Digital Research in the Humanities (CDRH) in May of 2016. My thesis focused upon the integration of a photogrammetric technique called Structure from Motion (SfM) with Terrestrial Laserscanning (TLS) to generate a high resolution 3D model of castle Hohenecken in southwest Germany. The purpose was to record and document the site using state-of-the-art technologies in conjunction with medieval documents in the form of deeds and charters dating from 1162-1689 A.D. to establish a holistic understanding of the castle and its place within the archaeological record. The project was made possible through the endless support of the anthropology faculty and the Champe-Weakly Travel Grants that I received to travel to Germany to collect the data and present my research at international conferences.
Since September of 2016, I have been a doctoral candidate at the Institute of European Art History and the Interdisciplinary Center for Scientific Computing (IWR) at Heidelberg University, Germany. My current research is entitled CITADEL (Computational Investigation of the Topographical and Architectural Designs in an Evolving Landscape). The project is using computational methods to determine the effect that the medieval landscape had on the design, position, and strategy of six medieval sites (including castle Hohenecken) that served as key components to a larger network of fortresses built throughout the region of the Pfalz from 1050 to 1300 A.D.
The opportunity to expand upon my Master’s research would not have been possible had it not been for the support of the Anthropology Department and the skills I developed while at UNL. The coursework developed my analytical skills and working as a GTA provided an opportunity to work with students. The UNL Department of Anthropology Master’s program offers an incredibly supportive network of faculty and fellow students, will provide you the funding to pursue research of your choosing, and will equip you with the tools necessary to complete your task. As a discipline, anthropology is uniquely suited for the modern world in which cultures that had previously been separated both socially and geographically now regularly interact within all spheres of life.
[Aaron's research at UNL is featured in a video at the top of this page]
Luke Hittner (2015)
I graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Anthropology Program Spring 2016 with a Master of Arts in Anthropology on the Professional Archaeology track. My thesis research was split into two sections. First, I developed and tested a methodology for quantifying RGB color with ultra-violet light in order to distinguish two visibly similar lithic materials (Knife River Flint and White River Group Silicates). Secondly, I developed and refined public interpretation methodology to use for the "Artifact Roadshows" in order to assist the gathering of data from private collections in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming. A paper about the processes of the "Artifact Roadshow" has been published in the Journal of World Archaeology (http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00438243.2017.1309299) along with Dr. Matthew Douglass, recent graduate Michael Chodoronek, and UNL alumni Dennis Kuhnel.
My first position within the fields of interpretation and archaeology was at the Hudson-Meng Education and Research Center, as a seasonal United States Forest Service GS-03 Information Receptionist. Throughout my career, I have worked as a seasonal Archaeological Technician or Lead Interpretive Park Ranger for the USFS in South Dakota, Nebraska, California, and Wyoming. I received a permanent position to work for the Idaho BLM as the GS-09/11 Burley Field Office Archaeologist in November, 2016.
I currently manage cultural resources on nearly 1 million acres of federally managed lands in Idaho. Within that area, we manage the American Falls Archaeological District which is a significant cultural landscape to the Shoshone, Bannock, and Paiute peoples of the Great Basin. I am responsible for assuming the duties of Tribal Liaison to the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes of Fort Hall, and the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of Duck Valley which include regular government-to-government consultation, technical staff-to-staff meetings, and the Wings & Roots Tribal Campfire consultation process. I am responsible for maintaining and updating cultural resource GIS databases, conducting cultural resource survey projects, assisting as a member of NEPA Interdisciplinary Teams, assuming the roles of a wild-land firefighter and resource adviser, and contracting archaeological consultants for Class III cultural resource surveys within the Burley Field Office.
Coming from an interpretation background, I have been developing a field office interpretation plan for publicly accessible cultural resources including the California Trail, Oregon Trail, and the American Falls Archaeological District. Additionally, we are developing scoping processes to bring the methodology of the "Artifact Roadshow" to Idaho in the near future.
My M.A. from UNL allowed me to develop, harness, and grow relationships that have strengthened my desire to manage cultural resources and engage with the public about the work both federal and private archaeologists do for the benefit and enjoyment of the American people. The "Artifact Roadshow" program that was developed with the help of Dr. Matthew Douglass, and the United States Forest Service is a direct result of my time learning and interacting with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Anthropology department. I believe that, we, as archaeologists have an intrinsic duty to become the storytellers and interpreters of the resource of which the American public entrusts us as stewards for. In turn, we must listen to the public to understand what stories they want to know more about.