Matthew Rooney, our archeologist stationed at the University of Arkansas at Monticello, recently joined the Journal of Emerging Investigators as an associate editor. JEI is an open-access journal that publishes original research in the biological and physical sciences written by middle and high school students. Rooney's task as an associate editor is to move several manuscripts each year through the scientific review process—selecting reviewers and preparing letters with referee comments to send back to authors. In this way, Rooney will help shepherd students through their opportunity to submit and gain feedback on original research and publish their findings in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Head and shoulders business portrait of Dr. Matthew Rooney



Liley Bozard was recently hired as the Survey's full time NAGPRA and Collections Assistant. Liley is a 2024 graduate of the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville where she graduated summa cum laude with honors in Anthropology. During her time at the university, Liley was an executive member of the university's undergraduate anthropology club, the AnthroHogs, where she served as the organization's vice president (2023-2024). She was also a member of the Phi Beta Kappa and Lambda Alpha honor societies. She has interests in ceremonialism, foodways, and community-making in southeastern Indigenous communities, which were largely reflected in her honors thesis, "A Three-Dimensional Analysis of Parkin Phase Vessels, ca. AD 1450, Eastern Arkansas". Under the direction of Dr. Jessica Kowalski, Liley examined ~800 whole vessels from Parkin and Nodena phase sites to understand how activities regarding food may differ between these contemporaneous phases. Furthermore, she worked for the ARAS for three years, first as a Laboratory Assistant and later Lab Lead. Outside of her work, Liley is also one of the vice presidents of the Arkansas Archeological Society's Executive Board.

A woman poses in front of a woven textile hanging on a dark wall.



Riley Chronister is a student at Arkansas Tech University set to graduate with his Anthropology and Geography degree in May, 2026. He became the WRI Research Station Project Assistant in April, 2024. His research interests include subsistence patterns and food ways of Historic Southeastern farmsteads. His most recent project was the faunal analysis from a historic midden at the Chism House. He is looking forward to learning more about Arkansas Archeology under the supervision of Dr. Emily Beahm.

A young man wearing glasses holds an artifact with a gloved hand.



Alex Barker, Survey Director, has been appointed as an Academic Trustee and Governing Board Member of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA). The Archaeological Institute of America is the largest and oldest archaeological organization in North America. The AIA promotes archaeological inquiry and public understanding of the material record of the human past to foster an appreciation of diverse cultures and our shared humanity. The AIA also supports archaeologists, their research and its dissemination, and the ethical practice of archaeology and educates people of all ages about the significance of archaeological discovery and advocates for the preservation of the world’s archaeological heritage. As a Board member, Alex will help to manage the organization by helping to prepare the annual budget, overseeing investments and endowments and fundraising.

Photo of Survey Director Alex Barker



Michelle Rathgaber, Educational Outreach Coordinator, has been appointed to the Society for American Archaeology's (SAA) Public Education Committee (PEC) for a term starting in mid-April at the SAA meeting in New Orleans. The PEC advises the SAA Board on the interests and concerns of various audiences and about roles that SAA can play in their education about archaeology. The PEC also advises the Board on the needs of SAA members with regard to public education and carries out specific tasks as requested by the Board in conjunction with SAA staff. The PEC advises the Board about potential collaboration between SAA and other organizations that promote archaeological education and maintains and reviews the archaeological content of the Archaeology for the Public pages on the Society's website. Many of these are things that Michelle does on a smaller scale for Arkansas archeology already, so she is looking forward to working with a new group of people on these important topics.

Photo of Michelle Rathgaber.



Melissa Zabecki, our State Archeologist, was recently appointed to the Fayetteville Parks, Natural Resources, and Cultural Affairs Advisory Board. In this position she helps the city of Fayetteville take stock of and protect its natural and cultural resources. The board's mission is to stimulate and encourage communication with all members of the community to ensure that programs, goals, and objectives are consistent with community needs and desires.

Photo of State Archeologist Dr. Mel Zabecki holding a nameplate at a Parks meeting.



Taylor Greene, SAU Archeological Assistant, was recently appointed to the Nominations Committee for the Southeastern Archaeological Conference (SEAC). The Nominations Committee is responsible for finding candidates who are willing to run for the various SEAC Officer positions from president to Treasurer to Editor. In this position Taylor will reach out to possible candidates to vet their willingness to serve the organization before they are listed on the ballot.

Photo of Taylor Green collecting data from a ground penetrating radar.



The passing of Mary Lynn Kennedy on August 19, 2023, touched many of us who were her colleagues here at the Arkansas Archeological Survey with sadness but also fond memories. Mary Lynn retired from the Survey back in 2006, after 31 years as editor for the publications program. During those 31 years she brought to print 52 volumes of the ARAS Research Series, two Popular Series books, 11 Technical Papers, and 32 Research Reports. Learn more about Mary Lynn's life and contributions to the Survey.
Honoring Mary Lynn Kennedy




The Survey lost friend and colleague Teka McGlothlin on February 7, 2023. Teka was the Survey’s Registrar, and a Historical Archeologist by training. She was instrumental in creating the Arkansas Archeological Collections Initiative (a digital collections documentation interface), and her technical skills were critical to establishing the Survey’s 3D scanning and printing program.
Remembering Teka McGlothlin


Photo of Teka McGlothlin holding a 3d-printed artifact replica.



The Arkansas archeological community lost a treasured member on October 12th, 2021 when Larry Porter passed away peacefully at home after a brief illness. Larry  had just retired as station assistant at the WRI Research Station and was a long-time member of the Arkansas Archeological Society.
Remembering Larry Porter

Photo of Larry Porter at Toltec Mounds in 2010



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