The WRI research station is located on the campus of the Winthrop Rockefeller Institute on Petit Jean Mountain. The Institute was established in 2005 as an educational and conference center of the University of Arkansas System. “The Rockefeller Institute’s mission is to develop diverse programs that nurture ideas, policies and activities to make life better in Arkansas.” The WRI research station of the Survey is responsible for archeological resources in 11 counties of mountainous west-central Arkansas, including the southern fringe of the Ozarks (the Boston Mountains) and a large portion of the Ouachitas. The two mountain ranges incorporate varied upland and river valley environments and are separated by the Arkansas River corridor. Examples of important archeological resources in the station area range from rock shelters and rock art sites—including Indian Rock House in Van Buren County and numerous pictographs and petroglyphs at Petit Jean State Park in Conway County that are listed on the National Register—to finely made prehistoric ceramics from Carden Bottoms in Yell County—to the early 19th century town of Cadron in Faulkner County, also on the National Register of Historic Places.
Emily Beahm (Ph.D., University of Georgia, 2013) joined the Survey as an assistant at the WRI research station beginning September 1, 2013 and became station archeologist in September 2015. Her major fields of interest are archeology of the eastern United States, Mississippian culture, ceramics, regional settlement patterns, social interaction, style, and iconography. Before coming to the Survey, she worked primarily in Tennessee and Georgia, with experience in directing major field projects, college teaching, and archival research.
Larry Porter is a native of Logan County, Arkansas, and has been a member of the Arkansas Archeological Society since 1979. He participated in summer Training Programs and spent eight years doing contract archeology for various private firms, mostly in the Ouachita National Forest, before joining the Survey in 1999 as an assistant at the ATU (now WRI) research station. His interests include the prehistoric Woodland and Mississippi periods of the northern Ouachita Mountains and Petit Jean River Valley, as well as early historic settlement in Arkansas. He is an accomplished artist whose depictions of archeological subjects have appeared in publications and museum exhibits.