Candidates for Director Announced

Final candidates for the Arkansas Archeological Survey’s Director search have been chosen and they will be visiting Fayetteville soon. The public is invited to attend each of the candidates’ presentations via Zoom.
Visit the ARAS announcement page for the schedule of presentations.


Taylor Greene (MA, University of Mississippi, In-progress), is the Research Assistant for the Survey at Southern Arkansas University. He has completed fieldwork across the United States, from the Mississippi Delta to the mountains of Eastern Kentucky to the California Cascades, and has worked in a variety of Historical and Pre-Contact contexts. His research focuses on Mississippian Ceremonial practices, and how space is utilized in ceremony.

Photo of SAU station assistant Taylor Green standing in front of a rock formation in Nebraska


John R. Samuelsen (PhD, University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, 2020) started as the new Science and Technology Administrator (Asst. Archeologist) for the Arkansas Archeological Survey on July 1, 2021. This promotion allows the Survey to take advantage of his years of research and training in archeological science and technology, both as a student at the University of Arkansas and in his years of experience at the Survey.
READ MORE: John R. Samuelsen Appointed Science and Technology Administrator

Dr. John Samuelsen


Paige A. Ford (PhD pending, University of Oklahoma, 2021) will start as the new Station Archeologist for the Toltec Mounds research station on August 2, 2021. She succeeds the work done by Dr. Liz Horton and plans to utilize her experiences in public outreach and research to continue fostering a community of folks interested in learning about and doing archeology. Working alongside colleagues at the Arkansas Archeological Survey as well as state park officials, interpreters, and avocational archeologists, she will build a program balanced between research, education, and outreach that will further our understandings of the archeology of this station’s area as well as teach the public how we learn about the past.
READ MORE: New Toltec Station Archeologist Paige Ford

New Toltec station archeologist Paige Ford


Matthew P. Rooney (PhD, University of Florida, 2021) will start as the new Station Archeologist for the University of Arkansas Monticello research station on July 1, 2021. He will be stepping up to build on the fabulous work performed by his predecessor, Dr. Jodi Barnes, and plans to use his talents and experiences to continue generating public interest and participation in archeology and history projects within the station area.
READ MORE: New UAM Station Archeologist Matthew Rooney



Madelyn Rose graduated from the University of Arkansas with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History and Cultural Anthropology in May of 2018. She started as a work study student with the University Museum in 2014 and moved to the Survey in 2015, working for various grants. For the past two years she has been working under an ANCRC grant helping to develop the computerized database system. In her new position as Collections Technician, Madelyn will be continuing work with collections care, preservation, and access to the Arkansas Archeological Survey Collections through various avenues.

Madelyn Rose, ARAS Collections Technician


Michelle Rathgaber (PhD, University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, 2019) will start as the new Educational Outreach Coordinator for the Arkansas Archeological Survey on April 1. She will step in to continue programs started by Dr. Melissa Zabecki (now the Arkansas State Archeologist), and plans to branch out into new outreach and educational opportunities as well.
READ MORE: New Educational Outreach Coordinator Dr. Michelle Rathgaber

Dr. Michelle Rathgaber, Educational Outreach Coordinator


Melissa (Mel) Zabecki (PhD University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 2009) will be the new State Archeologist starting in January 2021. She replaces Dr. Ann Early, who retired in June 2020.
READ MORE: New Arkansas State Archeologist Dr. Melissa Zabecki

Dr. Melissa Zabecki assumes new role as Arkansas State Archeologist in 2021


Dr. Jodi Barnes  is starting the new year with a change in venue. She will be missed not only as a valuable colleague talented at interpretation of archeological data for the public and with fantastic grant writing skills, but also as a friend and mentor. We wish her all the best for her new endeavors in South Carolina.
READ MORE: Best Wishes to Jodi Barnes

Jodi Barnes at Taylor House. Photo by Carl Drexler.


Katy Gregory (M.A., Florida Atlantic University, 2006) has been appointed Interim Station Archeologist at the Toltec Mounds Research Stationin Scott, Arkansas, following the departure of Dr. Elizabeth Horton. Katy joined the Survey in 2014 as the ARAS-UAM research station assistant, having previously worked with the Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Historic Preservation Office. She transferred to Toltec Mounds in 2016. During the past few years, Katy played a key role in upgrading station curation practices, including expanding and refining collection inventories and reorganizing station records into a new digital archival storage and retrieval system. She has also been active in monitoring the site in support of park development activities, providing public programming, and assisting in the maintenance and study of the experimental Plum Bayou Garden. Katy contributes to a variety of other ARAS collaborative projects and regularly participates in our training program for members of the Arkansas Archeological Society.

Katy Gregory assumes role as Interim Station Archeologist at Toltec Mounds Research Station.


The Survey says farewell to Dr. Elizabeth Horton, Station Archeologist at the Toltec Mounds Research Station since 2011, as she moves on to a new stage in her career, developing a paleoethnobotanical and ethnobotanical services company, based out of Charlottesville, VA. Her cutting-edge research, exacting field methods, and clever wit make her a superb archeologist and a wonderful colleague. She will be greatly missed.
READ MORE: Best wishes to Dr. Horton on her new endeavors

Dr. Liz Horton in the Plum Bayou Garden at Toltec Mounds Archeological State Park


Arkansas State Archeologist Ann M. Early retired in June, 2020 after 48 years with the Arkansas Archeological Survey.
READ MORE: Ann M. Early ARAS Career Highlights

Dr. Ann M. Early retired as Arkansas State Archeologist in June, 2020.


We were deeply saddened in April, 2021 to learn of the passing of our friend and colleague Frank F. Schambach, who since his 2006 retirement from the Arkansas Archeological Survey has resided with his wife Marilyn in Afton, New York.
Frank F. Schambach Passing