Submerged New World 2009 Explorers
Dr. J. M. Adovasio achieved world acclaim as an archaeologist in the 1970s with his excavation of Meadowcroft Rockshelter, 30 miles southwest of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Meadowcroft has been widely recognized as the earliest well-dated archaeological site in North America, with evidence of human habitation dating to about 16,000 years ago. Dr. Adovasio received his undergraduate degree in anthropology from the University of Arizona, in 1965, and his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Utah, in 1970.
From 1972 to '73, he was a post-doctoral Fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, and from 1973 to '90, he was professor and chairman of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh, where he founded the Cultural Resource Management Program. In 1990, Dr. Adovasio assumed the positions of chairman of the Department of Anthropology/Archaeology and director of Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute. Noteworthy in his fieldwork are the ongoing multi-disciplinary investigations at Meadowcroft Rockshelter; Mezhirich, Ukraine; Dolni Vestonice/ Pavlov, Czech Republic; and Caesarea, Israel.
During his 37-year career, he has specialized in the analysis of perishable material culture (basketry, textiles, cordage, etc.) and the application of “high tech” methods in archaeological research, particularly in closed site contexts (i.e., caves and rockshelters). He has published nearly 400 books, monographs, articles, and technical papers on subjects related to these topics, and presents regularly at national and international meetings.
Dr. Thomas Loebel is an archaeologist working at the University of Illinois – Chicago. His research interests include Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene archaeology, hunter-gather adaptations, stone tool technology and microwear analysis, underwater archaeology, and remote sensing. His research over the last decade has been aimed at exploring issues surrounding the colonization of the New World, and he has excavated at and worked on Paleoindian sites from across North America. This is his second year of involvement in the Exploring Submerged New World project.
Ashley Lemke graduated from the University of Texas in 2004, with a degree in anthropological archaeology. She is currently working on her doctorate at the University of Michigan. Lemke’s primary research interests are the earliest occupants of North and South America, called Paleoamericans, and the peopling of the new world. Lemke has participated in archaeological projects throughout the United States and Europe. Committed to public participation in archaeology and preserving cultural heritage, her projects to make archaeological research available to a wide audience include creating a public online atlas of archaeological research in Texas and teaching volunteers and students about archaeology. Recently, she became interested in underwater archaeology as a data collection method to answer her research questions; and she is being trained as a scuba diver.
Jessi Halligan is working on her doctorate at the Center for the Study of the First Americans at Texas A&M University. During the past 14 years, she has worked on archaeological sites of all time periods over much of eastern and central North America. Her dissertation focuses on submerged Paleoindian sites in the Aucilla River of northwest Florida, specifically discussing the geological processes that have impacted these sites before, during, and after people utilized them.
Justin Halteman is currently a graduate student working on his master's degree in archaeology at Harvard University Extension School. His main archaeological interests are in Paleoindian and submerged prehistoric settlement sites.
Cliff Brown is a graduate student at the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom. His areas of research include underwater archaeology, sea level rise after the last ice age, and the peopling of the Americas. His background and undergraduate education are in finance and accounting, and his entrepreneur experiences have been invaluable in terms of organizational management and in understanding the “business” side of archaeological endeavors. Brown serves on the board of the Gault School of Archaeological Research in Austin, Texas; he is a current member of the Society for American Archaeology.
Ben Wells will receive his BA in anthropology, with a concentration in archaeology and a history minor, from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania, in 2010. He plans to pursue underwater archaeology at the graduate level. Recently, he served as a teacher’s assistant at the Mercyhurst Archaeological Institute’s field school in Taos, New Mexico, and worked as an excavator at several historic and prehistoric sites throughout the United States. Before working on the 2009 Exploring the Submerged New World project, he had been leaning toward further studies concerned with historic matter but has since broadened his scope to include submerged prehistoric work.
Oceanographer Nicolás Alvarado is a member of NOAA's Office of Ocean Exploration and Research (OER) science division and has been the Ocean Exploration grants program manager since 2005. In 2004, Dr. Alvarado was awarded the John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship, and he served as an executive fellow staffing to NOAA's Science Advisory Board. He has been scuba diving since 1993 and is an advanced trimix full-cave diver and closed-circuit rebreather diver. Dr. Alvarado received his BSc in chemistry and MSc in earth sciences from the University of Ottawa, and his PhD in chemical oceanography from Texas A&M University, where researched the chemical characterization of natural products from microbes and phytoplankton in the Gulf of Mexico. Alvarado serves as the resident open-circuit, technical, and closed-circuit diving expert within OER and is both an American Academy of Underwater Sciences diver and a NOAA scientific diver.
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