MEET THE BOARD
Mark Giambastiani – President
Dr. Mark Giambastiani has more than 20 years experience in conducting Phase I (Survey), Phase II (Testing), and Phase III (Data Recovery) studies throughout California and Nevada and has served as Principal Investigator on many different projects of all phases in both states. His regional expertise centers in the Mojave Desert, where he has worked for many years on major military installations (Fort Irwin, Edwards Air Force Base, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake), and in the Great Basin, where he has completed many different projects for various federal agencies (U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) and private enterprises (mining, water, and alternative energy development). Dr. Giambastiani has also led and/or participated in a number of archaeological projects for Caltrans in Kern, Mono, Inyo, and other counties for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and for the Fort Hunter Liggett military installation on the California coast.
Dr. Giambastiani’s doctoral dissertation focused on prehistoric obsidian use on the Volcanic Tableland in Owens Valley, Inyo County. He specializes in prehistoric archaeology, being an expert in artifact analysis and in the study of lithic technology, obsidian use and conveyance, toolstone exploitation, and subsistence/ settlement reconstruction. He is also learned in historical archaeology, particularly in Nevada, and has extensively studied topics such as charcoal production, Depression-era mining, and early military forts.
Jonah S. Blustain – Vice President
Mr. Blustain is a cultural resource professional based out of Central Nevada. He holds a B.A. in Archaeology and Anthropology from Boston University and a M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Nevada in Reno. Jonah’s research interests revolve around Industrial Archaeology, Cold War Studies, and Architectural History. Believing that archaeology is a “public or perish” proposition, he is heavily involved in public outreach and interpretation.
Sarah Branch – Treasurer
Ms. Branch has over 13 years of experience in cultural resources management gained through projects in Nevada, California, Idaho, Utah, Colorado, Oregon, and Alaska. Though she specializes in documenting and evaluating prehistoric and historic archaeological resources in the Great Basin, she is also skilled in conducting archival research and has recently found much joy in identifying unique and wonderful names in late nineteenth century census records. In a former life, Sarah believed she was destined to make a career of studying dinosaurs and to that end, completed a BS in geology at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR). Since much of Nevada was still under water for most of the Mesozoic, her love of all things saurian was of necessity redirected toward micropaleontology and biostratigraphy – culminating in an undergraduate honors thesis examining Mississippian and Devonian radiolarians from the Toquima Range in central Nevada.
Sarah got her first experience with archaeology in 2004 on a data recovery project at a late-nineteenth to early-twentieth century ranching property in Washoe City and was immediately hooked. She returned to UNR to continue her archaeological education, earning her MA in anthropology in 2014. Her primary research interests lie in the Great Basin and while at UNR, she used chemical sourcing of fine-grained volcanic tools from western Nevada to help elucidate patterns in prehistoric mobility, lithic procurement, and settlement in the region. After spending over a decade as an archaeological technician at a large environmental and engineering firm, Sarah joined the staff of ASM Affiliates in 2015. As a Senior Archaeologist and Principal Investigator at ASM, she has been working on a variety of projects in Nevada and Northern California, and now serves as co-director of the Reno ASM office. Sarah has been a member of the NAA since 2007 and joined the Board in 2017.
Sean McMurry – Secretary
Dr. McMurry has worked in the archaeological field since 2002, participating in both prehistoric and historic projects in Nebraska, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Oregon, California, Arizona, and Nevada. She has led and worked as a crew member on numerous excavation and survey projects for universities, federal and state agencies, and private clients. Her graduate research at the University of Nevada in Reno, focused on historic mining resources in Nevada, with a Master’s thesis that examined Depression-Era placer gold mining, and a PhD dissertation that investigated a 20th-century sulfur mining townsite. She has significant experience in Section 106 compliance, oral history management, historical research, artifact processing and curation, GIS data collection and processing, historic artifact analysis, and report preparation for both government and private clients. Dr. McMurry’s personal research interests include GIS, mining, 19th and 20th-century archaeology, and public outreach, and she has presented and published numerous popular and scholarly articles devoted to these and other topics.
Jackson C. Mueller – Social Media Officer
Jackson originally hails from northern Wyoming, and first came to Nevada in 2003 to attend UNR, then went on to earn a M.A. from the University of Montana where he studied the Bicycle Corps, a 19th century infantry unit stationed in Fort Missoula. Returning to Reno a few years later, he currently serves as staff archaeologist for a local firm.
Outside of work, Jackson is involved in several volunteer projects including the recovery of a howitzer lost during John C. Fremont’s 1843 expedition, and writes poetry.
Cassandra Albush – Membership Officer
Cassandra has worked as an archaeologist in Nevada since 2003. While originally drawn to the area because of its exciting Paleoindian research she couldn’t help but fall in love with the ‘Old West’. Today she lives in Tonopah, Nevada – once the ‘Queen of the Silver Camps’- with her husband, Jonah, their four cats and one dog. Working as an archaeologist for the Bureau of Land Management she helps to preserve Nevada’s rich history and prehistory so that future generations will also have the opportunity to fall in love with the past.
Pat Barker – Member at Large; Handbook
Dr. Pat Barker earned a Ph.D. in Anthropology in 1982 from the University of California, Riverside. Since 1986 he worked as an archaeologist for the Bureau of Land Management and since 1988 was the lead archaeologist for the BLM Nevada State Office. Dr. Barker retired from the BLM in 2006. His archaeological research experience includes work in Southern California, the Mojave Desert, Eastern California and the Great Basin and his ethnographic experience includes work in Samoa, Southern California, and the Great Basin. Dr. Barker’s long-term archaeological interests in the Great Basin include: political evolution, prehistoric sandals and other textiles; and prehistoric rock art. He is a Research Associate in Anthropology at the Nevada State Museum and at UC Davis. Dr. Barker is a past President of the Board of Directors of the Nevada Rock Art Foundation and of the Board of Directors of the Great Basin Anthropology Association. His teaching experience includes upper division and graduate level courses on historic preservation law and policy; the history of Indian-White relations in the United States; and Great Basin archaeology and ethnography.
Amanda Harvey – Member At Large; Student Grants
Dr. Amanda R. Harvey has worked throughout the United States, including the Deep South, the Great Basin, and California and in other countries, such as Belize and Mexico, during her 11 years as an archaeologist. She earned her Master’s degree in 2011 at the University of Southern Mississippi, specializing in bioarchaeology and paleopathology. Dr. Harvey completed her doctoral studies in May 2018 at the University of Nevada, Reno. Her dissertation research explored Maya identity, oral health and food consumption at the beginning of Spanish Colonialism in Belize. She is an expert in Spanish Colonial archaeology, bioarchaeological excavation and analysis, and intersectionality theory. Dr. Harvey has worked throughout the Great Basin and California on a wide variety of cultural resource management projects for the last seven years in both the federal and private sectors. She has a background in historic period mining and logging activities in the western Great Basin and Sierra Nevada Mountains. Her research interests include mortuary archaeology and creating collaborative research and management designs with local Native American Tribes. Dr. Harvey is currently a Senior Archaeologist and Project Manager at Garcia and Associates out of their Carson City office.
Jennifer Hildebrand – Member at Large
Jenny has been working in Nevada as an archaeologist since 2008 and is a past secretary of the NAA. She has 13 years of archaeological experience in Academia, Cultural Resource Management, and the Government sector within the Midwest, Plains, Southwest, and the Great Basin regions of the U.S. Jenny is from Indiana and received her Master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Nebraska before making the permanent move to Nevada. Her expertise is in historical archaeology, mining archaeology, 19th century material culture, childhood archaeology, and historical research and preservation.
Andrew Hoskins – Member at Large
Andrew is a Staff Archaeologists at Far Western’s Great Basin Branch in Carson City. He received a BS in Anthropology from Central Michigan University in 2011, and an MA is Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2016. Andrew has worked in the Great Basin since 2012 researching, surveying, and excavating historic and prehistoric resources. His research interests include lithic technological organization, Great Basin projectile point typologies and chronologies, atlatl-bow transition in the west, and efficacy of cultural resource management strategies.
Leilani Lucas – Member At Large
Dr. Leilani Lucas earned a B.A. in Anthropology from UNR, an M.A. in Anthropology from UNLV and a Ph.D. in Archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology, University College London. After a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at UCL she returned to her native Las Vegas to join the Anthropology faculty at the College of Southern Nevada. She served as President of Archaeo-Nevada Society from 2017-2019 and is currently Vice-President. Leilani is an anthropological archaeologist with an expertise in archaeobotany. She is the author of Crops, Culture and Contact in Prehistoric Cyprus (2014) and co-author of multiple publications on the origins and spread of agricultural systems and plant domestication in Cyprus, the Near East, Eurasia, and Africa. Her current research focuses on subsistence change in prehistoric Cyprus.
Andrew McCarthy – Member At Large; Journal Editor
Dr. Andrew McCarthy is an archaeologist with 25 years of experience in fieldwork in the Middle East, the Mediterranean, Europe and the United States including Nevada. He is currently a Fellow of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh, through which he directs archaeological field schools and projects in Cyprus and consults and publishes on projects around the Middle East. He is currently Director of the Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition, Director of the Dhiarizos Viewshed Analysis Project, co-Director of the Makounta-Voules Archaeological Project with North Carolina State University, Principal Investigator of the Las Vegas Springs Preserve Excavations, Field Director for the British Excavations at Tell Jerablus Tahtani, Archaeologist with Yale University’s Tell Leilan Excavations and is part of Yale University’s Akkadian Empire Project. He served as Director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute from 2011-2017 and returned to the USA after more than 20 years living abroad. He is now an Instructor at the College of Southern Nevada in Las Vegas where he teaches Anthropology and Archaeology and is engaging in local archaeological activities, including acting as the President of the Archaeo-Nevada Society, and is the Editor of the journal Nevada Archaeologist.
Victor Villagran – Member At Large; Program Chair
Ashlee Younie Villagran – Member At Large
Shannon Goshen – Newsletter Editor, In-Situ
Shannon Goshen started her archaeology career in the Midwest—completing related coursework, mapping Native American effigy mounds, and working with the Logan Museum of Anthropology’s extensive archaeological collections—while attending Beloit College. While in college, she completed an archaeology internship with the USFS in northeast Utah. During this internship, she participated in an excavation at a Fremont rockshelter site—sparking her interest in Great Basin prehistoric archaeology.
Shannon’s interest in zooarchaeology also began during this time, after a coworker noticed her gathering animal skeletons during survey and gave her a copy of Reitz and Wing’s “Zooarchaeology” book to read. Shortly after receiving her BA in Anthropology, (and after digging shovel test pits in the snow across Indiana) she moved “out west” to work seasonally as an archaeologist with the USFS in California and CRM firms in Nevada prior to attending graduate school at California State University, Sacramento. During graduate school, Shannon held a part-time position as an archaeologist and faunal analyst at the CSUS Archaeological Research Center, participating in the field and laboratory work of several large-scale excavation and survey projects in the Mojave Desert and Bay Areas of California.
Shannon completed her MA degree in Anthropology in 2013; her thesis research focused on the examination of prehistoric resource depression through the analysis of waterfowl remains from village sites in the Sacramento area. While nearing her MA completion, Shannon started her current position as an archaeologist with the Nevada Department of Transportation. Over the past four years as an archaeologist with NDOT, Shannon has worked all over the state of Nevada completing large and small scale survey projects—and has become very familiar with historic roads. Shannon continues her zooarchaeological interests as a faunal analyst consultant and has completed several faunal analysis projects for local CRM firms. Shannon joined the NAA in 2013 and became newsletter editor in 2015.