Geoarchaeology Graduate School Guide

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The list is alphabetical by institution.

Baylor University
(last updated spring 2016)

  • Department(s): Geoarchaeology, geomorphology, soils, hydrology, and near surface geophysics courses are taught in the Department of Geosciences. Archaeology courses are offered in the Anthropology Department, the Institute of Archaeology, the Museum Studies Department, the Department of Religion, and the Classics Department. 

  • Program(s): Most programs offer either masters or Ph.D. degrees. Archaeological Geology at Baylor University involves investigations in both the New and old Worlds. Current archaeological geology investigations are ongoing in Israel, Texas, Mexico, and Peru. Old World archaeological investigations focus on the Middle East, Crete, Greece, and Italy. New World archaeological investigations focus primarily on the south-central and southwestern U.S.A., and northern Mexico. There are numerous opportunities for students to participate in geoarchaeological investigations related to contract archaeology.

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Lee Nordt

Indiana University-Bloomington 
(last updated fall 2017)

Indiana University of Pennsylvania 
(last updated spring 2020)

  • Department(s): Anthropology

  • Program(s): Archaeology BA, Applied Archaeology MA; certification in GIS & Geospatial Technology through the Department of Geography and Regional Planning 

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: William Chadwick: Geophysical & Geospatial Technologies, Geoarchaeology, Geomorphology; Landform Evolution; Benjamin Ford: Underwater & Maritime Archaeology; Coastal Processes; Historical Archaeology & Historic Preservation; Lara Homsey-Messer: Geoarchaeology, Paleoenvironments, Sedimentology, and Geochemistry; Andrea Palmiotto: Zooarchaeology, Environmental Archaeology, Forensic Archaeology

  • Additional Info: Undergraduates are included in faculty research projects. The Archaeological Services Center provides funding and professional experience for students prior to graduation. Over the last 15 years Archaeological Services has conducted more than $5,000,000 in projects and provided services to agencies as diverse as the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, the National Park Service, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Allegheny National Forest. The center is fully staffed to conduct field and laboratory projects with GPS units, a Nikon Total Station; geophysical instruments (including ground-penetrating radar systems, magnetometers, gradiometers, magnetic susceptibility, and electrical resistivity); Olympus DELTA pXRF unit; FLOT-tech flotation system, research-grade polarizing microscopes, laser scanner and 3D printer, and ArcView, GPR Slice, Map Info, and RockWorks software. Students are trained with the goal of meeting the U.S. Secretary of the Interior (SoI) Professional Qualifications Standards for Professional Archaeologist and becoming Register of Professional Archaeologists (RPA) certified. A 6-week North American archaeological field school during or after undergraduate degree is recommended prior to admission. 

Michigan State University
(last updated fall 2017)

Oklahoma State University
(last updated fall 2017)

Sonoma State University
(last updated fall 2017)

  • Department(s): AnthropologyGeography, Environment & Planning

  • Program(s): Masters in CRM and a variety of opportunities, especially historical

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Michelle Goman (Palynology, geoarchaeology, Mexico, California)

  • Additional Info: Some field-work experience after undergraduate degree is recommended.

Southern Methodist University
(last updated fall 2021)

  • Department(s): Anthropology, Earth Sciences

  • Program(s): SMU Anthropology offers an exam-based MA on the way to a research-based PhD in Archaeology. Anthropology offers graduate courses on geoarchaeology, geospatial archaeology, Quaternary paleoenvironments, and zooarchaeology. Graduate courses on soils, isotopes, geophysics and paleoecology are offered in the Department of Earth Sciences.

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Christopher Roos (geoarchaeology, micromorphology, charcoal analysis, paleoecology); David Meltzer (Quaternary paleoenvironments, archaeological genetics); Karen Lupo (Zooarchaeology), Mark McCoy (geospatial technologies, paleoenvironments), Ann Horsbrough (ancient DNA).

  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities: Roos often supports undergraduate research projects on geoarchaeology or paleofire topics through undergraduate fellowships.

    Additional Info:
    The QUEST Archaeological Research Fund (Meltzer) provides research assistantships and research opportunities on Paleoindian archaeology and Late Quaternary paleoenvironments. The Environmental Archaeology Lab (Roos) provides research opportunities (and often research assistantships) on a variety of paleofire projects in North America and the Pacific. SMU Anthropology maintains relationships with instrumental analysis facilities in Earth Science and Environmental Engineering that allow for a variety of microanalytical and geochemical analysis (EA-IRMS, FE-SEM-EDS/WDS, WDXRF, ICP-MS, XRD, DTA/TGA, ATR-FTIR).

Texas State University
(last updated spring 2021)

  • Department(s): Geography

  • Program(s): MA and MS in Geography, PhD in Geography, GIS, and Geographic Education; courses on climate, paleoclimate, geomorphology, and GIScience; as well as a Geology undergraduate minor with relevant courses, such as Sedimentation and Stratigraphy

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Sam Krause focuses on the Geoarchaeology of Central America and the American southwest, soils, tropical wetlands, paleoenvironmental change, environmental isotopes.

University of Arizona
(last updated fall 2017)

  • Department(s): Anthropology, Geosciences

  • Program(s): The Argonaut Archaeological Research Fund (AARF) is a private endowment based in the School of Anthropology at the University of Arizona that supports research on the Ice Age peopling of the American Southwest and northwest Mexico. Directed by Vance Holliday, the AARF supports primarily graduate students in Anthropology and Geosciences investigating Paleoindian archaeology, geoarchaeology, and the evolution of Quaternary landscapes and environments in North and South America.

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Vance Holliday, Professor, Anthropology/Geosciences (Geoarchaeology, Paleoindian archaeology, soil-geomorphology, and the evolution of Quaternary landscapes and environments in the Southwest, the Great Plains, and northwest Mexico)

University of Georgia
(last updated spring 2016)

  • Department(s): Geology: Students can earn M.S. or Ph.D. degrees in Geology focused in archaeometry, archaeogeophysics, and the archaeological sciences in general. The program encourages interdisciplinary research that joins traditional fields in the humanities and sciences to probe relationships between ancient humans, society, and the physical environment. Master's or Ph.D. programs may combine course work and research in archaeology and anthropology with geology and other physical sciences. Degrees are awarded specifically in Geology. 

  • Program(s): 

    Specific course offerings of interest to archaeological geology students include: archaeological geology; archaeometry; shallow geophysics; exploration geophysics; environmental stable isotopes; instrumental analysis; mineralology of stoney archaeological materials; clay mineralogy; Pleistocene and Holocene vertebrate paleontology and zooarchaeology.
    Specialized state-of-the art labs available for research include solid source and gas mass spectrometers including a laser facility, electron microprobe (EMPA), scanning electron(FE-SEM) and confocal microscopy, XRD, XRF, Optical Stimulated Luminescence (OSL)/TL and 14C/AMS age dating, magnetic susceptibility, remote sensing, sedimentation and soils, zooarchaeology, and palynology. Field equipment for shallow geophysical exploration includes ground penetrating radar, magnetometers, electrical and electromagnetic instruments.
    Recent faculty and student research includes: archaeogeophysical studies of Iron Age/Roman sites - Europe (Garrison/Gragg/Šerman/Schneider/Cook-Hale/Lucas); Africa - (Garrison/Lanzarone/Cutts); Southeast U.S. (Garrison/Keene/ Šerman/Cook-Hale/Thompson) isotopic determination of ancient estuarine temperatures using stable isotopes (Crowe/Reitz/Andrus); provenance of classical and American marbles using stable isotopes (Herz/Pike); inundated Holocene/Pleistocene landscapes and past sea level (Garrison/Weaver/Littman/Cook-Hale/Smith); ancient steatite quarry provenance, Georgia and South Carolina (Swanson). ancient glass studies - manufacture & characterizations (Swanson/Stapleton) Holocene alluvium, weathering and human land use (Thieme/Leigh/Garrison) study of Roman slags at Carthage (Tunis) (Lyle/Swanson/Norman) and Aventicum (Switzerland) - (Garrison/Cook-Hale); p-XRF materials studies - (Speakman/Hunt).
    Some current CAS faculty research includes: (1) excavation of Roman Cemetery at Carthage (Norman, Classics), (2) ancient hominids and cave environments in Africa (Brooks, Geography), (3) archaeological geophysics, Switzerland & Scotland (Garrison, Anthropology-Geology), (4) zooarchaeologial materials from New World coastal sites (Reitz, Museum of Natural History), and (5) regional and community level archaeology/ GIS applications to community analysis (Kowalewski/Birch - Anthropology); (6) Quaternary Studies (Brook/Leigh). Degrees are not awarded specifically in archaeological sciences, but the CAS offers a Certificate Program in Archaeological Sciences by which the certificate may be earned in concert with undergraduate degrees.

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: 

    Contact: Ervan G. Garrison (geoarchaeology/archaeological geophysics/submerged geoarchaeology/geochronology; Europe; Eastern U.S.)
    Other faculty: Victor Thompson (geoarchaeology/archaeological geophysics; Southeastern U.S. prehistory), Douglas E. Crowe (isotopic studies/economic geology), Jennifer Birch (archaeological geophysics/settlement studies; Eastern North America), Suzanne Pilaar-Birch - isotopic and molecular studies; Europe/SW Asia), Laurie Reitsma (isotopic studies/bioarchaeology),  Jeff Speakman (archaeological science/material studies/dating; North America), David Leigh (geomorphology/OSL dating), George Brook (Quaternary studies/OSL dating); Center for Archaeological Sciences (over 24 faculty from the departments of Geology, Anthropology - New World and African Archaeology, Geography, Classics - Mediterranean Archaeology, and Art History are associated with the CAS.

  • Additional Info: Applicants to the Department of Geology's Archaeological Geology Program are expected to have an undergraduate degree in Earth Science or a minor in Earth Science. Those applicants with basic courses in Earth Science but without a major/minor may apply. 

University of Kansas
(last updated fall 2017)

  • Department(s): Anthropology, Geography, Geology

  • Program(s): Geoarchaeology of the Great Plains; Paleoindian geoarchaeology; peopling of the Americas 

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Rolfe Mandel (landscape evolution; soil stratigraphy; geoarchaeology of the Great Plains)

University of Maine
(last updated fall 2017)

  • Department(s): Earth and Climate Sciences

  • Program(s): Geoarchaeology - landscape/human interactions, climate change, cultural heritage, GPR, Climate Change Institute

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Alice R. KelleyDan Sandweiss

  • Additional Info: Student acceptance is based upon funding availability.

University of Texas-Austin
(last updated fall 2017)

  • Department(s): Geography, Anthropology

  • Program(s): Geoarchaeology, Geomorphology, and Paleoecology: Maya and Middle East, and South America

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Tim Beach, Sheryl Luzzadder-Beach, Arlene Rosen

  • Additional Info: Excellent Soils and Geoarchaeology Lab, and Environmental Archaeology Lab; Teaching and Research Assistantships available

University of Washington
(last updated fall 2019)

  • Department(s): Anthropology

  • Program(s): Geoarchaeology classes; BA and BSc in Archaeological Science, which can include concentrations in geoarchaeology; PhD degrees in Anthropology with research in geoarchaeology 

  • Undergraduate Research Opportunities: Ben Marwick teaches undergraduate research coursework in geoarchaeology. There is a hands-on laboratory class, and discussion-based seminar class. Prof. Marwick also mentors undergraduate research independent study students in geoarchaeology.  

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Ben Marwick (sediment analysis, micromorphology, compositional analysis, isotope analysis and other topics)

Utah State University
(last updated fall 2017)

  • Department(s): Anthropology

  • Program(s): Geoarchaeology, Geomorphology, Quaternary Geochronology (Luminescence Dating), Cultural Resource Management

  • Faculty/Geoarchaeology Contact: Judson Finley (Geoarchaeology), Tammy Rittenour (Luminescence Geochronology, Quaternary Geomorphology), Joel Pederson (Quaternary Geomorphology), David Byers (Zooarchaeology), Jacob Freeman (Archaeology)