Current MA Students

Trent Carney is a first-year graduate student in the Department of Anthropology specializing in Professional Archaeology.  He received his Bachelor's Degree in Anthropology from UNL in 2016 with minors in History and German. He has taken part in fieldwork in Honduras with Professor Heather Richards-Rissetto (UNL) during the 2016 field season. In July 2018 he attended the Gotland Archaeological Field School in Eke parish on Gotland, Sweden, directed by Associate Professor Dan Carlsson (Gotland University). He just returned from volunteering at the Ness of Brodgar 2019 excavation, part of ‘The Heart of Neolithic Orkney’ UNESCO World Heritage Site, in Orkney, Scotland.  He is an eagle scout and avid outdoorsman.  He and his fiancee have acreage near Greenwood Nebraska.

Trent Carney in an excavation site

Olivia Thomsen came to UNL from Missouri, where she earned her B.S. in anthropology from Missouri State University. During her time at UNL, she is excited to work on research in Southwest archaeology, specifically examining gender roles in Chaco Canyon during the Classic Bonito phase. In 2018 she started her archaeological experience with a field school at Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, CO. More recently she held an interpretive internship at Chaco Culture National Historical Park, where she was able to learn more about archaeology and share her knowledge with the general public. She is excited to be joining the anthropology department here at UNL!

Olivia Thomsen at an excavation site with others

Anna Dempsey is currently pursuing her M.A. in Anthropology, specializing in Professional Archaeology. She received her B.A. in Anthropology and Archaeology from the University of Virginia in 2013. Since that time, she has worked as an archaeologist in a variety of contexts including historic house museums, non-profit organizations, private CRM companies, the Forest Service and, most recently, the Midwest Archeological Center of the National Park Service. Most of her professional experiences have been in the Four Corners area of Colorado and Utah and the Chesapeake region of Virginia. Her archaeological interests include Ancestral Puebloan archaeology, particularly Chaco and its widespread influence, gender, colonialism, ground stone technology, heritage management, and public and collaborative archaeology. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and baking.

Anna Dempsey

June Weber received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies with a Classical Archaeology focus from Pennsylvania State University in May of 2017. While studying at Penn State she assisted a graduate student with material collections and tree analysis in the environmental lab on campus, as well as data collection and interpretation. Her studies in Classics brought her to a field school in Tel Akko Israel, where she is still currently involved in excavations of the multiple occupational sites spanning from the Early Bronze Age into the Hellenistic period. During her time off in between studies, she has worked with several different CRM companies in New England and the Mid-Atlantic region interacting with both Pre-historic and Historic materials. Currently, at UNL, June is pursuing her MA in Professional Archaeology as well as a Certificate in Digital Humanities. Although her interests are currently mixed, she is looking at the interpretation of trade implications on material culture as well as the integration of GIS and photogrammetry into the documentation of older collections.

June Weber

Hello, my name is Amy Peterson. I am currently in the Professional Archaeology program, with Dr. Richards-Rissetto as my advisor. I have a Bachelor’s in History from the University of Nevada, Reno, and a Master’s of Liberal Arts from Tulane University. I have been studying the Maya for the past 20 years, and was fortunate to spend six weeks in Guatemala learning about the Kaqchikel Maya culture, language and history from the Maya themselves. I have learned the basics of Nahuatl, Yucatec and Kaqchikel Maya languages, and can read some hieroglyphs, all thanks to my studies at Tulane. Outside of school, I have worked several jobs, including at the Nevada Test Site, the Nevada Legislature, Louisiana State University, Tulane University, and at my elementary school where I taught Kindergarten. I have two dogs, Sully, who is an 8 year-old Rott/Lab mix, and Dora, who is an 11 year-old Rott/Pitt/Bassett Hound mix. I love being in Lincoln!

Amy S Peterson

Bailey Oettel received her B.S. in Anthropology from the University of South Dakota with a minor in interdisciplinary sciences. While at South Dakota she completed an internship with Colorado Mesa University at the Forensic Investigation Research Station (FIRS). She used her time there to conduct research on the relationship between body mass index (BMI) and the rate of decomposition seen in the human models at FIRS. This research was presented at the University of South Dakota’s research symposium, IdeaFest, as well as being the topic of her undergraduate honors thesis, which was successfully defended this past May. She also attended the ARCHAEOTEK Bioarchaeology field school in Romania, which was taught by Dr. Bethard. There she worked in the lab on medieval juvenile bones and helped with the analysis of the skeletal collection. Bailey is currently working towards a Master’s degree from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln in Biological Anthropology with a certificate in Forensic Anthropology.

Bailey Oettel

Sarah Ghannam received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, with a minor in Anthropology in 2017. During her undergraduate career, she attended a field school on Rusinga Island in Kenya and focused on the paleontology and paleoanthropology of the region. Sarah also held an internship position in a biological anthropology lab at the U of M, working with computer software and developing 3D models of primate skulls from raw scan data, models that she later used as a sample to take measurements from and compile into a morphological study for her final senior paper. With her primary research interests focused on the Middle East, Sarah also attended the first Saudi Archaeology Convention in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in November of 2017. Sarah Ghannam is currently working towards her Master of Arts degree in Anthropology at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, with an emphasis on Biological Anthropology.

Sarah Grannam

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.

Ellis Codd

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.

Katlyn Likely


Maxwell Rooney received his B.A. from Luther College with a major in anthropology and a minor in classical 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.

Maxwell Rooney