The Center for Archaeological Studies employs a staff of experienced professionals and is supported by a revolving cast of volunteers and student workers. 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.
Todd M. Ahlman, Ph.D.
Dr. Todd M. Ahlman is the Director of the Center for Archaeological Studies. He is an anthropological archaeologist who has over 25 years of experience working on cultural resource management projects across the United States and Caribbean. His project experience includes managing and directing field and laboratory projects in Texas as well as the Northwestern, Plains, Midwestern and Southeastern United States. His experience includes historic and prehistoric archaeological survey, evaluation, and data recovery; laboratory analyses of prehistoric and historical artifacts; preparation of professional reports; and project supervision. Dr. Ahlman has held entry-level to senior management positions in the public and private sectors, and understands the processes of project management and implementation for compliance and research archaeological projects. As CAS Director he manages compliance-related projects for the City of San Marcos, local governments, and private developers. The involvement of students and recent graduates on these projects helps prepare them for successful careers in the public and private sectors.
Dr. Ahlman’s current research interests include the prehistoric archaeology of Spring Lake and the historical archaeology of the Caribbean. Dr. Ahlman is the principal investigator of the on-going archaeological research at Spring Lake, specifically the off-site data recovery project at 41HY160 that is funded by the City of San Marcos. In the Caribbean Dr. Ahlman has worked on St. Kitts for the past 20 years and is seeking funding to begin a project on the island of St. Eustatius, Dutch Caribbean.
Jodi Jacobson, Ph.D.
Dr. Jodi Jacobson is the Associate Director of the Center for Archaeological Studies and has over 25 years of experience and progressive responsibility in archeology, historic preservation, and Cultural Resource Management. She was formally trained as a zooarchaeologist and has conducted faunal analysis on both prehistoric and historic era projects in the Southeastern United States, Texas, and Great Plains. Prior to working at CAS, Dr. Jacobson was employed in a corporate archaeology setting for 10 years serving in progressive roles from Staff Archaeologist, Project Manager, Practice Lead managing all natural and cultural resources staff to a Regional Market Director and National Director of Tower Services. In that realm, Dr. Jacobson managed not only cultural resource compliance projects, but also projects requiring NEPA documentation, Section 404 permits including wetland delineations and threatened and endangered species surveys, Phase I ESAs, and critical issues analysis for both public and private clients across many industries including transportation, communication towers, pipeline, renewable energy, power generation and transmission, and other utilities in Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, California, Maine, New York, and Pennsylvania. Prior to entering the Corporate world Dr. Jacobson had been employed by other academic institutions, museums, and federal agencies as an archaeologist on all phases of archaeological investigations on multiple projects in Mississippi and Tennessee and conducted research and/or artifact analysis and reporting on projects from Mississippi, Tennessee, Louisiana, Virginia, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Colorado. She has conducted archaeological surveys, testing, and mitigation, detailed artifact analyses, historic resources viewshed surveys, cemetery monitoring and cemetery removal projects in compliance with the Texas Health and Safety Code, coordinating with Native American tribes in compliance with Section 106 (36 CFR 800.4) of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), and preparing cultural resource reports. Her practical background in cultural resource management makes it possible for her to bring in diverse projects for both undergraduate and graduate student involvement, and to prepare them to be career-ready for a job in CRM when they leave Texas State.
Since coming to CAS, Dr. Jacobson has managed compliance projects for various Texas municipalities, was awarded a Master Cooperative Agreement with the National Park Service, and has been involved in U.S. Army Corps of Engineers projects at a facility in Utah. She is also conducting research on contract archaeology projects that involves analyzing evidence on both a micro-site and across broader occupation level for bone grease and marrow processing at numerous north and central Texas sites and utilizing faunal data in to reconstruct past environments and environmental change and its effects on human ecology. She has a special interest in regulatory and compliance issues and currently serves as the Chair of the Council of Texas Archaeologists Standards and Guidelines Committee.
Amy E. Reid, M.A.
Amy Reid is the Curator for the Center for Archaeological Studies at Texas State University-San Marcos. She has a background in Archaeology and Cultural Resource Management (CRM) in Central, South and Coastal Texas. Prior to working in Texas, Amy participated in and supervised Archaeological investigations in Belize, where her graduate 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 and has served as Principal Investigator for data recovery investigations 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 investigations 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 Curator at CAS, Amy is responsible for overall administration of CAS's Curation Services Program. In addition to the day-to-day care of collections, she conducts archaeological research and writes grant applications for research, collections care, and public outreach. Amy supervises the processing of new collections submitted for curation and 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 and budget for 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.
Collections Manager / VCP Assistant Lab Manager
Kelsie Hart is the Collections Manager and VCP Assistant Lab Manager at the Center for Archaeological Studies. Kelsie is a museum professional with a well-rounded background in the curation of archaeological and historic materials. She holds a BA in Anthropology from UC Berkeley and an MA in Anthropology from California State University, Chico. She has pursued a broad range of coursework including forensic anthropology, historical archaeology, and museum studies. Her graduate thesis explored evidence for autopsy and dissection in a large commingled assemblage of human remains associated with a late 19th century military hospital at Point San Jose (Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco, CA). Prior to working at CAS, Kelsie worked as a preparator at the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology in Berkeley, CA, and as the Curator and Collections Manager for the John Wesley Powell River History Museum in Green River, UT. Kelsie is excited to be a member of the team at the Center for Archaeological Studies and looks forward to contributing to a range of initiatives at CAS, especially the continued refinement of curation procedures, the mentorship of student and veteran technicians, and public outreach.
Savanha Esquivel, M.A.
Registrar/Archaeological Records Specialist
Savanha is a graduate of the Public History Program at Texas State University. She has a strong appreciation for the preservation and promotion of local and community history. Personal interests include Mexican American, Southwestern, and Borderlands history with a focus on post-Civil Rights and Chicano activism in Texas. With an MA in public history, she strives to preserve and grow archives and centers for Mexican American and Texas history.
As the Registrar and Records Specialist at CAS, Savanha handles curation requests, manages the master accession register, processes acquisitions and temproary custody receipts, and checks archaeological records collection submissions for compliance, ensuring each collection has proper ownership documentation prior to accessioning. Savanha also handles the organization and preservation of CAS's digital archaeological records, oversees CAS's reports Library, and supervies interns and volunteers working with the library and/legacy archival collections.
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.
I am an archeologist with 57 years of field experience including 36 years as director of archeological projects in 17 states and in Puerto Rico. I bring a cultural ecological perspective to archeological problems mostly focused on the southern Plains cultures of the past 2,500 years in Oklahoma and Texas. I have participated in a series of multidisciplinary investigations that have contributed to reconstructing paleoenvironmental conditions and examining the Late Prehistoric cultural responses to environmental fluctuations as reflected by changes in architecture, settlement and community patterns, prehistoric conflicts and intensification of regional exchanges. As a Research Associate at Texas State University, I am primarily conducting new research and publishing results of various investigations.
My current research focuses on the Late Prehistoric acquisition, shaping and spread of Alibates flint trade blanks and caches across the region from New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas. Contrary to previous exchange models, most of the Alibates flint is being exchanged with contemporaneous cultures in south-central Kansas, rather than the Puebloan cultures in New Mexico. Detailed distribution studies of decorative motifs on Plains cord marked pottery hold the key for mapping prehistoric interactions that provide insight into regional interactions and flint exchanges.
The scarcity of decorative Antelope Creek phase pottery near the Alibates flint quarries relative to the abundance of decorated cord marked ceramics in a crescent-shaped region from the Oklahoma panhandle southeastward through the Buried City Complex, and south to sites near Matador in Motley County, suggests that sites near the Alibates quarries were buffered from larger regional impacts, especially from Bluff Creek, Pratt and Wilmore complexes in south-central Kansas which also reflect decoration motifs on their cord marked pottery. The presence of much larger houses in the Buried City complex along Wolf Creek (one of only two sweet water drainages flowing towards the east), raises the possibility that the Buried City Complex, and possible large sites like Stamper in the Oklahoma panhandle might represent Late Prehistoric rendezvous trade centers. Development and testing of the distribution of cord marked decorative motifs validated by INAA studies of ceramic paste should illuminate regional trading relations across the region and perhaps document the nature of Antelope Creek regional abandonment after 1450/1500.