Dr. Michelle Rathgaber, Educational Outreach CoordinatorMichelle Rathgaber (PhD, University of Arkansas – Fayetteville, 2019) will start as the new Educational Outreach Coordinator for the Arkansas Archeological Survey on April 1, 2021. 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. Michelle has worked for the Arkansas Archeological Survey in various capacities since 2011, when she started as the Archeological Assistant at the now-closed Blytheville Research Station. She then moved to the Coordinating Office in Fayetteville as a Graduate Assistant while working on her dissertation about Mississippian people’s reactions to large earthquakes in the New Madrid Seismic Zone. After graduating with her PhD in Environmental Dynamics, she was hired as the Archeological Assistant at the Parkin Research Station.
Michelle began working in public outreach during her time at Blytheville, hosting Open Lab Days, blogging about Native American and Sharecropper gardens at the station, and teaching Basic Lab at the jointly sponsored Arkansas Archeological Society/Arkansas Archeological Survey annual Training Program. While in graduate school she often worked with Mel and Marilyn Knapp (Society/Survey Liaison) at outreach events such as the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market, University of Arkansas Museum events, the Survey’s “Celebrate Archeology!” festival in March, and various Arkansas Archeological Society programs. At the Parkin Research Station she worked with volunteers and visitors to Parkin Archeological State Park and started a Lab Work video series that is hosted on the Parkin Archeological Site Facebook page as well as the Survey’s YouTube channel.
Michelle loves the archeology and people of eastern Arkansas, but is excited to return to Fayetteville to share the amazing archeology of Arkansas and how archeologists contribute new knowledge of our state’s history with a wider audience of students, Society members, and the general public.