IGERT Program for Archaeological Sciences

In 2002 the National Science Foundation awarded the University of Arizona a grant of $2.9 million from its Integrated Graduate Research Education and Training (IGERT) Program for a five-year interdisciplinary training program in Archaeological Sciences.  Between 2003 and 2008 some 30 faculty and scientists from Anthropology, Geosciences, Materials Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Geography, the Arizona State Museum, the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, and the Accelerator Mass Spectrometry Radiocarbon Laboratory, as well as staff from two private archaeology companies (Statistical Research Inc. and Desert Archaeology Inc.) collaborated to educate and supervise students from five academic Departments (Anthropology, Geography, Geosciences, Materials Science and Engineering and Chemistry). Students were funded by the program for periods ranging from one semester and two years.  As a condition of support, students were required to take courses in archaeological method and theory as well as courses in science, to have interdisciplinary graduate committees, and to participate in the weekly IGERT seminar, which was addressed by many leading American and foreign scholars in the fields of archaeological sciences and paleoenvironmental studies. Each of them also spent 5 hours per week assisting a K-12 teacher to develop lesson plans in history, chemistry or environmental studies. In three of the years we also ran a 2-week summer school in archaeological science for Tucson K-12 teachers.

28 PhD dissertations have been completed as of March 2016, with three more in progress. These are listed below with Department and major advisor.


Amy Clark (2015). Spatial structure and the temporality of assemblage formation: a comparative study of seven open air Middle Paleolithic sites in France. (Anthropology: Steve Kuhn). Amy was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Toulouse, France, in 2016.

Jill Onken (2015). Late Quaternary climatic geomorphology, volcanism, and geoarchaeology of Carrizo Wash, Little Colorado River Headwaters, USA. (Geosciences: Vance Holliday). Jill is an independent consultant geoarchaeologist based in Tucson.

Randy Haas (2014).  Forager mobility, constructed environments and emergent settlement hierarchy: insights from Altiplano archaeology. (Anthropology: Steve Kuhn and Mark Aldenderfer). Randy is now a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Wyoming.

Andrew Kowler (2014). Radiocarbon-based paleohydrologic reconstructions and archaeological geochronology from paleo-lake and wetland successions in the Southeastern Basin and Range. (Geosciences: Vance Holliday).  Andrew is now an NSF Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Earth, Planetary, and Space Sciences, UCLA.

Erica Bigio (2014). Late Holocene fire and climate history of the San Juan Mountains, Colorado: results from alluvial stratigraphy and tree-Ring research.  (Geosciences/Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research: Tom Swetnam). Erica is currently a lecturer in the School of Geography and Development, Univerity of Arizona.

Joshua Reuther (2013). Geoarchaeology and terrestrial paleoecology inthe lowlands of the Middle Tanana Valley, SubArctic Alaska. (Anthropology: Vance Holliday). Josh is now an Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, and a Curator of Archaeology at the Museum of the North.

Fumie Iizuka (2013). Early pottery in the tropics of Panama (4500-3200 BC): production processes, circulation and diagenesis. (Anthropology: Michael Schiffer and David Killick).  Fumie is now in Japan..

Tammy Buonasera (2012). Expanding archaeological approaches to ground stone: modelling manufacturing costs, analyzing absorbed organic residues, and exploring social dimensions of milling tools. (Anthropology: Mary Stiner). Tammy is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of La Laguna, Tenerife, Spain.

Meg Blome (2012). Lacustrine paleoecological records and modern training sets from Lake Malawi: implications for African paleoclimate and connections to human prehistory. (Geosciences: Andrew Cohen). Meg is now a micropaleontologist for Shell Oil.

Alyson Thibodeau (2012). Isotopic evidence for the provenance of turquoise, glaze paints and metals in the southwestern USA. (Geosciences: Joaquin Ruiz and David Killick). Aly is currently an Assistant Professor of Earth Science at Dickinson College, Pennsylvania

Jessica Munson (2012). Temple histories and communities of practice in early Maya society: archaeological investigations at Caobal, Petén, Guatemala.  (Anthropology: Takeshi Inomata). Jessica is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Lycoming College.

Jessica Conroy (2011). History and dynamics of climate variability in the Asian monsoon region and tropical Pacific during the late Holocene. (Geosciences: Jonathan Overpeck). Jessica is an Asssitant Professor in the Departments of Plant Biology and Geology at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Sam Duwe (2011). The prehispanic Tewa world: space, time and becoming in the Pueblo southwest. (Anthropology: Barbara Mills). Sam is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Oklahoma.

Deanna Grimstead (2011). Applications of evolutionary theory and stable isotope geochemistry shed light on North American prehistoric human behavior and regional procurement systems. (Anthropology: Mary Stiner and Jay Quade). Deanna is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Ohio State University.

Susan Mentzer (2011). Macro- and micro-scale geoarchaeology of the Ucagizli Caves I and II, Hatay, Turkey.  (Anthropology: Vance Holliday). Susan is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Zentrum für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters, Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany.

Britt Starkovich (2011). Trends in subsistence from the Middle Paleolithic through the Mesolithic at Klissoura Cave 1 (Peloponnese, Greece). (Anthropology: Mary Stiner) Britt is currently a Researcher in the Zentrum für Naturwissenschaftliche Archäologie, Institut für Ur- und Frühgeschichte und Archäologie des Mittelalters, Eberhard-Karls Universität Tübingen, Germany.

Thomas Fenn (2011). Applications of heavy isotope research to archaeological problems of provenance and trade. (Anthropology: David Killick and Joaquin Ruiz). Tom is currently a lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, California Polytechnic University, Pomona.

Troy Knight (2011). Dendrochronology on the Tavaputs Plateau, northeastern Utah: insights on past climate, woodland demography and Fremont archaeology.  (Geography: Tom Swetnam). Troy is Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Saint John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

Jonathan Scholnick (2010). Apprenticeship, cultural transmission and the evolution of cultural traditions in historic New England gravestones. (Anthropology: Steven Kuhn and Mary Stiner). Jon is currently a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Linguistics, University of California at Davis.

Lesley Frame (2009).  Technological change in southwestern Asia: metallurgical production styles and social values during the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age. (Materials Science and Engineering: Pam Vandiver and David Killick). Lesley is currently an Assistant Professor of Engineering at the Univerity of Bridgeport, Connecticut.

Caitlin O'Grady (2009). Journeys of our ancestors: Conservation Science approaches to the analysis of cultural material. (Materials Science and Engineering: Nancy Odegaard). Caitlin is currently a Lecturer in Conservation at the Institute of Archaeology, University College London.

Amanda Reynolds (2009). Geochemical investigations of mineral weathering: Quantifying weathering intensity, silicate versus carbonate contributions, and soil-plant interactions. (Geosciences: Jay Quade). Amanda is a staff scientist with Exxon-Mobil in Houston, Texas.

James Mayer (2009). Late Quaternary landscape evolution, environmental change, and Paleoindian geoarchaeology in Middle Park, Colorado. (Geosciences: Vance Holliday). James lives in Oregon and is an independent geoarchaeological consultant.

Kevin Jones (2009). Mollusc shell radicarbon dating as a paleoupwelling proxy. (Geosciences: Jay Quade and Greg Hodgins). Kevin is a staff scientist in the U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia.

Noah Thomas (2008). Seventeenth-Century Metallurgy on the Spanish Colonial Frontier: Transformations of Technology, Identity and Value. (Anthropology: David Killick). Noah lives in Ventura, California. He develops wind turbines with his father and plays trumpet and theraminwith the gypsy blues band D.on Darox and the Melody Joy Bakers.

Kevin Anchukaitis (2007). A stable isotope approach to neotropical cloud forest paleoclimatology.  (Geosciences: Michael Evans). Kevin is an Associate Professor in the School of Geography and Development, and a faculty member in the Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, at the University of Arizona.

Timothy Shanahan  (2006). West African monsoon variability from a high-resolution paleolimnological record (Lake Bosumtwi, Ghana). (Geosciences: Jonathan Overpeck). Tim is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences, University of Texas, Austin.

Amy Margaris (2006). Alutiq engineering: the mechanisms and skeletal technologies of Alaska’s Kodiak Archipelago. (Anthropology: Steve Kuhn).  Amy is an Associate Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Oberlin College, Ohio.

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