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SPARC Project Directors

Jackson Cothren

  • 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

  • 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.

David Fredrick

  • Ph.D. University of Southern California, Classics, 1992; M. A. University of Kansas, Classics, 1984; B. A. University of Kansas, Classics, 1982
  • Associate Professor, Classical Studies Program, University of Arkansas
  • Director of Humanities

Dr. Fredrick’s interests lie at the intersection of real time visualization technology, Roman domestic environments, Greek and Latin literature and video game narrative. His current focus in research is the Digital Pompeii project, which aims at the creation of a database of network topology together with a database of artwork in Pompeii, to allow the distribution of artwork to be mapped against patterns of network connectivity. Relationships between art and space can be researched and explored through a front end provided by the Unity game engine. In teaching, Dr. Fredrick is developing online courses in classical mythology and Roman civilization using immersive games developed through Unity.

Jesse Casana

  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 Associates

Katie Simon
  • M.A. University of Arkansas, 2009

Katie specializes in 3D scanning and geophysical prospection applications in archaeology with research interests in aerial and satellite remote sensing for archaeology. She instructs field schools and workshops in geomatics for archaeology including landscape, site, architectural and object-scale 3D scanning, visualization, GIS, and photogrammetry. Her CAST projects have taken place in over 15 countries throughout six continents.

Christine Markussen
  • M.A. University of Arkansas, 2005

Christine has been involved in numerous archaeological prospection projects throughout the United States (New Mexico, Arkansas, Oklahoma, North Dakota, Kansas, and Arizona) and internationally (Romania, Turkey, Jordan, India,the United Arab Emirates, and Wales). Her interests in archaeological prospection, geodetics, and computer applications in archaeology help her to provide insight into data processing and interpretation of geophysical anomalies on archaeological sites. Her current work focuses on multi-sensor data integration and 3-D data visualization.