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SPARC Project Directors

Jackson Cothren

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

  • Ph.D., Ohio State University, Geodetic Science and Surveying, 2004; M.S., Ohio State University, Geodetic Science and Surveying, 2000, B.S., United States Air Force Academy, Mathematics, 1989
  • Director, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas, 2009 - present.
  • Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences and Environmental Dynamics Program,, University of Arkansas, 2004 - present.

Dr. Cothren's research interests include various aspects of digital photogrammetry including sensor modeling, DEM extraction, feature extraction and matching for orientation, integration of LIDAR point-clouds and reliability analysis of adjustment models. He currently serves on the Editorial Board of Earth Imaging Journal. Dr. Cothren was appointed by Arkansas Governor Mike Beebe to serve on the Arkansas GIS Board which sets policy for and oversees the Arkansas Geographic Information Office.

Fred Limp

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

  • Ph.D. Indiana University, Anthropology, 1983; M.A. Indiana University, Anthropology, 1977; B.A. Indiana University, Anthropology, 1973
  • Leica Geosystems Chair in Geospatial Imaging, 2005-Present
  • Director, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, 1991-2009
  • University Professor, Departments of GeoScience, Anthropology and Environmental Dynamics Program, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, 2004-Present

Limp was elected as Treasurer and later President of the Society of American Archaeology and served on the Boards of the Foundation for American Archaeology, the University Consortium for Preservation Technology and the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Limp has served a PI or Co-PI on five NSF grants dealing with spatial archaeometry as well as other grants from a range of sources including DoD, DOI, NPS and many others. Fred Limp was a founder and served on the Board of the Open Geospatial Consortium, as well as the Intergraph Geospatial Executive's Board, AmericaView, SPOT Image Academic Advisory Board, the National Consortium for Rural Geospatial Innovations Board, Oracle North America Users Forum and the OGC Interoperability Institute. He served as Co-Director for the Center for American Archaeolgy's Contract Archaeology Program 1978-1979 and as Assistant and Interim Director, Arkansas Archaeological Survey 1979-1990. He has a participated in a range of research projects throughout the US, Central America, Peru, Italy, Egypt, and Greece.

Jesse Casana

Dartmouth College

  • Ph.D. University of Chicago, 2003; MA University of Chicago, 2000; BA University of Texas at Austin, 1996
  • Associate Professor of Anthropology, Dartmouth

Jesse Casana is a specialist in the archaeology of the Near East whose research investigates settlement history, land use practices, and the dynamic interactions of humans with their environment. He has an active program of field projects, and has directed research in Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Cyprus and the UAE, as well as in North America. His projects explore large regions, embrace long periods of human history, and employ a wide range of techniques, integrating archaeological survey and excavation with geoarchaeology, satellite and aerial remote sensing, and sub-surface geophysical prospection.

In collaboration with CAST, Dr. Casana directs a number of geospatial archaeological initiatives including the CORONA Atlas Project (, an ongoing effort to make declassified CORONA satellite imagery more widely available and to explore the rich archaeological landscape preserved on these images. He also directs a similar effort using historic aerial photographs to reconstruct landscapes of the Middle Missouri River, as well as a project to develop new methods for UAV-based aerial thermography at sites in the US, Mediterranean and Near East.

Rachel Opitz

University of Glasgow

  • MPhil University of Cambridge 2005; PhD. University of Cambridge, 2009
  • Lecturer, Archaeology, University of Glasgow

Rachel's research interests include airborne laserscanning and hyperspectral applications in archaeology, Mediterranean landscapes, and the interplay between urban and rural spaces. Rachel has worked as a post-doctoral researcher for the MSHE Ledoux in Besançon, applying lidar to the survey of forested landscapes in Eastern France. She has been involved in fieldwork in Italy since 2003 and is currently Director of Topography and Digital Data for the Gabii Project (Kelsey Museum, University of Michigan).

Claire E. Terhune

University of Arkansas

  • M.A. and Ph.D., Anthropology, Arizona State University
  • Assistant Professor of Anthropology, University of Arkansas

Dr. Terhune's research interests are focused in three areas: 1) understanding the evolution and function of primate, modern human, and fossil hominin skull shape; 2) developing and advancing techniques for comparative morphometric analysis and visualization; and 3) evaluating models of hominin migration(s) into Europe and Asia during the early Pleistocene.

Carla Klehm

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

  • Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin, 2013; MA University of Texas at Austin, 2009; BA Northwestern University, 2006
  • Co-Director, SPARC at CAST
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of Arkansas

Dr. Carla Klehm is an anthropological archaeologist working at the intersection of inequality, long-distance trade, and human-environmental relationships. Funded by NSF, NEH, NGS, and Wenner-Gren, among others, she directs international, multidisciplinary projects that span from the outskirts of the earliest polities in southern Africa and the riverine fortress networks of Bronze Age Europe to mortuary assemblages at some of East Africa's earliest megalithic monuments. Her projects have incorporated a range of geospatial applications, including geophysics, UAV-based sensors, and predictive modeling using multispectral satellite imagery, derived from her long-standing relationship with CAST as a former SPARC recipient and Digital Institute for Archaeology scholar.

SPARC Research Staff

Jonathan Alperstein

Dartmouth College

  • PhD Student, Ecology, Evolution, Environment & Society

Jonathan is an Ecology, Evolution, Environment & Society (EEES) graduate student at Dartmouth College interested in geospatial and remote sensing applications in archaeology. He contributes to The Spatial Archaeometry Lab at Dartmouth.

Ryan Collins

Dartmouth College

  • Neukom Postdoctoral Fellow
  • PhD, Anthropology, Brandeis University

Ryan's research focuses on the role of ritual and identity in the development of urbanism and complex society in the ancient Maya world with a regional focus in the Northern Lowlands of Eastern Mesoamerica. He uses remote sensing to detect and digitally model and conserve the ancient landscape while working to precisely excavate areas of ritual activity.

Carolin Ferwerda

Dartmouth College

  • MS, Geography, Rutgers University

Carolin specializes in geospatial analysis and remote sensing applications. She has worked on projects ranging from predicting the effects of earthquakes on LA water supply pipes, to mapping congregations in colonial New England, to analyzing patterns of phytoplankton in Lake Baikal. She has most recently been processing and organizing historic satellite imagery for the CORONA Atlas project (, and assisting with the SPARC grant.

Austin Chad Hill

University of Pennsylvania and Dartmouth College

  • PhD, University of Pennsylvania

Chad specializes in remote sensing, GIS, advanced image processing, sUAS (drone) survey, and faunal analysis, with additional research interests in GNSS and mapping technologies, photogrammetry, LiDAR, and multispectral and hyperspectral imaging. Chad has participated in SPARC projects such as the Midewin (McLeester), Mesa Verde (Reese), and Hawai'I (McCoy) projects.

Elise Laugier

Dartmouth College

  • MA, Dartmouth College

Elise is interested in the human-environmental dynamics of early urbanism in the ancient Near East as well as digital and remote sensing applications in archaeology. Her research investigates long-term settlement patterns and landscape use along the upper Diyala (Sirwan) River in the Kurdish Region of Iraq. She has also contributed to the CORONA Atlas Project (

Madeleine McLeester

Dartmouth College

  • SPARCL Postdoctoral Fellow
  • PhD, Anthropology, University of Chicago

Madeleine is an environmental archaeologists interested in the applications of remote sensing and geophysics to study ancient landscaped. She is a former SPARC Fieldwork recipient (Midewin), whose project featured sUAS drone survey and photogrammetry to rethink Midwestern archaeological sites and locate archaeological features, especially structures, earth works, and agricultural fields.

Angelia Payne

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

  • MA, Anthropology, University of Arkansas

Angie specializes in 3D scanning, 3D modeling and visualization of historic landscapes, and digital heritage projects. Her other research interests include photogrammetry, 360 video and video editing, and 3D GIS. Angie has been a PI and co-PI on multiple digital heritage and archaeology projects, including multiple phases of Rising Above, the digital archive and reconstruction of two WWII Japanese-American internment camps (, Historic Little Rock (, the 3D Reconstruction of Davidsonville (AR) (, and the 3D reconstruction of Montpelier, among numerous others.

Timothy Sexton

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

  • BS, Computer Science, University of Arkansas

Tim is Senoir Developer and a long-standing member of CAST's development team, which has been responsible for projects such as GeoPACHA (Wernke) and Altiplano (Langlie).

Malcolm Williamson

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

  • BA, Anthropology, University of Arkansas

Malcolm is a Senior Research Associate at CAST, specializing in 3D data acquisition; high-resolution 3D documentation of features, sites, and landscapes; UAS-based remote sensing; and high-resolution terrestrial LiDAR scanning; among other techniques. He also serves as the Geospatial Applications and Education Manager at CAST and leads geospatial outreach for K-12 students and educators.

John Wilson

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

  • MA, Geography, University of Arkansas
  • Director of Technology, Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies

John specializes in GIS, cartography, remote sensing, web development, and systems administration. His recent research efforts in archaeological and digital heritage projects include the Corona Atlas ( and the Gabii Project Database Interface ( John is also a long-standing member of the CAST Development Team, which has been responsible for projects such as GeoPACHA (Wernke) and Altiplano (Langlie). He made major contributions to the Hampson Virtual Museum (, Historic Little Rock (, and the Rohwer Japanese Internment Camp digital reconstruction ( projects.

Manon Wilson

Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas

  • BS, Interior Design, University of Arkansas

Manon is the lead technician overseeing the microCT lab, one of the multiple technologies involved in this grant. She supervises all use of the microCT at University of Arkansas, and has been most recently involved in the “All That Glitters” SPARC project. She also specializes in historical mapping working on projects such as Historic Little Rock (, Historic Washington, and Rising Above, Rohwer Reconstructed, Japanese Internment Camp (