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 (PhD, 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.
Rachel Jones became the WRI Research Station Assistant in May, 2023. She received a BA in International Relations from the University of Arkansas before turning her focus to anthropology and archeology, and received an MA in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma in the Spring of 2023. Her thesis focused on the historic Sulphur Fork Factory site in southwest Arkansas. As a native Arkansan, Rachel is interested in continuing to learn about Arkansas history and archeology.
Larry Porter passed away peacefully at home on October 12, 2021 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.