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The Center for Archaeological Studies employs a small group of people and is helped by a revolving cast of volunteers. We love hearing from you! Whether you are a student looking for information about careers in Texas Archaeology, or a CRM client, feel free to contact us with any questions.

CAS Director, Dr. Todd Ahlman

Todd Ahlman



Dr. Todd M. Ahlman is the Director for the Center for Archaeological Studies. He has worked on cultural resource management projects and federal agency archaeology in Texas as well as the Northwestern, Plains, Midwestern and Southeastern United States for more than 20 years. His experience includes historic and prehistoric archaeological survey, evaluation, and data recovery, laboratory analyses of prehistoric and historical artifacts, as well as preparation of professional reports and project supervision.


Amy Reid

Amy Reid


Collections Manager

Amy Reid is an Archaeologist for the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University-San Marcos. She has conducted cultural resource investigations in Central, South and Coastal Texas. Prior to working in Texas, Amy participated in and supervised Archaeological investigations in Belize, CA where her research was focused on Prehispanic music and ceramic instruments in the archaeological record. At CAS, Amy has served as a Project Archaeologist on various investigations around Hays County, including data recovery at Site 41HY160, a multicomponent site adjacent to Spring Lake in San Marcos, TX. Amy also serves as Principal Investigator for CAS’s annual permit issued by the THC authorizing CAS to conduct archaeological investigation on property owned by Texas State University. During her time at CAS, Amy has conducted various artifact analyses and contributed to the center’s growing list of publications.  In addition to her field experience, Amy has supervised lab work and managed CAS’s curation program. As the collections manager at CAS, Amy supervises the processing of new collections submitted for curation as well as manages the organization, maintenance and reporting of curated collections. Amy enjoys training CAS personnel in proper curation procedures and methods, and finding ways to help Archaeologists prioritize curation in their own projects. Amy has helped to incorporate a public outreach function within CAS’s curation program and strives to bring value to the collections curated at CAS through providing access for research, guiding tours of the facility, public presentations, as well as creating virtual and museum exhibits. Amy also teaches a curation course for the Anthropology department at Texas State University.


Patricia Christmas

Patricia Christmas



Patricia earned her MA degree from Texas State University in December 2011. Her primary research focus has been the study of Formative Period Mesoamerican and prehistoric North American iconography. Her interests include the history and archaeology of nineteenth century San Marcos, and issues surrounding public archaeology and access. Patricia is the coordinator for the Voluteer Program at CAS, and archivist for the collections housed in the CAS curation facility.

Senna Thornton-Barnett

Senna Thornton-Barnett


Project Archaeologist

Senna, a native of Austin, Texas, is a Project Archaeologist with the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University. She received her MA in Anthropology from Texas State University in 2013, focusing on ethnobotany and Stone Age archaeology of Southern Africa. Her first fieldwork involved ethnoarchaeological investigations of Bukusu potting communities and Neolithic occupation of rockshelters in Western Kenya. Her cultural resource management experience includes historic and prehistoric investigations in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. At CAS, Senna has worked in both the field and in the lab on various survey projects, including at site 41HY160, a multicomponent site associated with Spring Lake in San Marcos, TX. She has contributed to the production of archaeological reports through documentary research relating to CAS projects in Central Texas.  Senna has also prepared collections submitted to CAS’s curation program and participated in public outreach events. Her research interests include archaeobotany, paleoethnobotany, ethnomedicine, plant processing, experimental archaeology, paleoenvironmental reconstruction, ethnoarchaeology, and public outreach.

Joy Schneider-Cowan

Joy Schneider-Cowan


Grants Assistant

As Grants Assistant, Joy Schneider-Cowan provides grant and contract support for the Center of Archaeological Studies. She is a 2007 graduate of Texas State University, with a Masters in Public Administration. Her professional background includes work in purchasing at the Texas Department of Transportation as well as grant administration at Austin Community College and the Texas Historical Commission.

Additionally, CAS's activities are supported by an Advisory Board. Drs. Beth Erhart, Britt Bousman, Steve Black, and Lynn Denton all contribute to CAS's success.