New Arkansas State Archeologist Dr. Melissa Zabecki
Melissa (Mel) Zabecki (PhD University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 2009) will be the new State Archeologist starting in January 2021. She will replace Dr. Ann Early, who retired in June 2020. Mel has been the Survey’s Education Outreach Coordinator since 2018 and was a Park Interpreter at Parkin Archeological State Park for 6 years before that. Mel has been dedicated to sharing archeology with various audiences for the past decade, both in school and public settings. She collaborates with Survey Station Archeologists and other Survey Staff to create programs to spread two important ideas: 1) archeology is a science, not a treasure hunt, and 2) Arkansas is full of amazing history and Arkansans have a reason to be proud of where they are from.
Before delving into public archeology, Mel worked in CRM for SPEARS, Inc. and was an archeologist and lab director for the University of Kentucky’s Program for Archaeological Research. Before turning her focus stateside, Mel was an ancient Egyptian bioarcheologist and she still contributes her osteological expertise to the documentation of ancestral remains in Arkansas.
Mel teaches online anthropology classes for the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and Arkansas State University Midsouth, she serves on the Board of the Arkansas Humanities Council, is an active Washington County Master Gardener, is a veteran beekeeper, and spends a lot of her free time in the woods or on the Razorback Greenway. Mel looks forward to serving in this new role in the upcoming year!