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Department of Anthropology Faculty

Sam Blatt 2020

*Samantha Blatt, Ph.D.

Associate Professor



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Dr. Samantha Blatt is currently an Assistant Professor at Idaho State University. She received her Ph.D. from Ohio State University in biological anthropology with an emphasis on bioarchaeology and dental anthropology. Her research interests have focused on histological microstructures of dental and skeletal tissues, disease, growth and stress, ancient childhood in North America, forensic and archaeological taphonomy, diagenesis of teeth, microscopic imaging, and individualizing skeletal traits. She is particularly interested in biocultural perspectives to answer broad anthropological questions, using innovative methods (such as forensic genealogy and histology) to revitalize forensic cold cases and medicolegal investigations involving marginalized victims, has extensive experience with NAGPRA repatriation, forensic anthropology involving tribal, state, and federal agencies. Her work with museum collections and preservation offices includes analyses of 40,000 year old canids, shrunken heads, prehistoric and historic dental calculus, cannibalized remains from the Cook Islands, an Incan mummy, and more.

Community outreach, interdisciplinary engagement, and inclusion of descendant population voices and worldview is foundational to my research design, teaching, and personal advocacy. I believe in interactive, inclusive, and innovative learning approaches to accommodate diverse learning styles. Student research is paramount. I energetically invite students to work with me to hone their skills, learn new ones, and pursue their own research interests to grow as scholars and anthropology activists. Outside of campus life, I find time to enjoy archery, knitting nerd-inspired accessories, fishing, carving bone ornaments, perfecting my BBQ/smoking skills, collecting curious rocks, meandering through flea markets, and going on adventures with my bulldogs.


Blatt CV


Consulting Services: Archaeological and forensic search, recovery, excavation, and skeletal and dental analyses of human and faunal remains.

John Dudgeon

*John Dudgeon, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director of CAMAS



 Graveley 164


B.A., University of Colorado (1990); M.A., University of Washington (1998); Ph.D., University of Hawai'i (2008).

I am an assistant professor of anthropology and Director/research scientist at the Center for Archaeology, Materials and Applied Spectroscopy (CAMAS) at Idaho State University. I consider myself an interdisciplinary bioarchaeologist; since coming to ISU I have partipated as affiliate faculty within ISU’s Program for Environmental Science (2010-2011), the Department of Biological Sciences (2011-2012), and the Molecular Research Core Facility (2010-present). I currently serve as Affiliate Curator of Archaeology at the Idaho Museum of Natural History. In addition to my teaching and mentoring responsibilities, I direct and coordinate research activities in the ISU Ancient DNA Extraction Laboratory (ADEL), and also lead the trace element research group in the Interdisciplinary Laboratory for Isotopic and Elemental Analysis (ILIEA), a division of CAMAS. I utilize my laboratory affiliations to direct student research and teach advanced methods in bioarchaeology, archaeological chemistry (with a focus on elemental and isotopic biogeochemistry), and microfossil and residue analysis. Please see my Ongoing Research section for a list of the projects I'm actively working on, including those of my current M.S. students.

Sarah Ebel

*Sarah Ebel, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor



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Dr. Sarah Ebel is a cultural anthropologist who specializes in studying the intersection between governance, adaptation, and social change, analyzing the relationships between individuals, institutions, and the ecosystem at different scales in marine socio-ecological systems undergoing environmental change. Her work focuses on understanding opportunities for the transformation of governance and adaptation in a rapidly changing oceanscape in southern Chile. She is also research personnel on a National Science Foundation EPSCoR grant, “Genes to the Environment: Modeling, Mechanisms, and Mapping (GEM3) at Idaho State where she examines the adaptive capacity of socio-ecological systems in Idaho. Through these research programs, she seeks to understand the complex factors which facilitate or impede individual and institutional adaptation in communities dependent upon natural resources. Her intention with this work is to inform environmental governance and adaptation pathways to achieve resilient socio-ecological systems.

Outside of work, she spends most of her time outside with her husband, daughter, and dogs, and is an avid fly fisherman, mountain biker, and gardener. Dr. Ebel received her Ph.D. from the University of Maine in Anthropology and Environmental Policy. She loves working with students, and if you are undergraduate or graduate student interested in environmental anthropology, environmental policy, Latin America, the Western USA, and natural resource management, please feel free to reach out.


Ebel CV

Richard Hansen on Danta

*Richard Hansen, Ph.D.

Affiliated Researcher


 hansric2@isu.edu richardhansen4@isu.edu

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Dr. Richard D. Hansen is a specialist on the early Maya and is the Director of the Mirador Basin Project in northern Guatemala. He has been conducting archaeological research and scientific studies in northern Guatemala for 38 years. He is an Affiliate Research Professor at Idaho State University, after serving as an Adjunct Professor of
Anthropology at the University of Utah from 2014 to 2021. He was formerly Research Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Idaho State University for 8 years and was Senior Scientist at the Institute for Mesoamerican Research at ISU. Prior to that, he was Assistant Research Scientist (Level IV) at the UCLA Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics for 12 years. He is the founder and president of the Foundation for Anthropological Research and Environmental Studies (FARES), a non-profit scientific research institution based in Idaho. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Archaeology from UCLA in 1992 as a National Graduate Fellow, a Jacob Javits National Fellow, the UCLA Hortense Fishbaugh Memorial Scholar, the UCLA Distinguished Scholar (1988), a Fulbright Scholar (Guatemala) (1989-1990), the UCLA Outstanding Graduate Student (1991), and the UCLA Chancellor's Marshall with highest honors (1992). He previously held a double major B.S. degree (cum laude) in Spanish and Archaeology from Brigham Young University in 1978, and a M.S. degree in Anthropology in 1984. He has published 3 books (2 as series editor), and is the editor of three more volumes currently in preparation. In addition, he has published 196 papers and book chapters in scientific and popular publications and has presented more than 400 professional papers and technical reports in scientific formats and symposia throughout the world. He has conducted and/or directed archaeological research in Israel, the U.S. Great Basin, U.S. Southwest, and Central America.


Hansen CV


Dr. Hansen was recently named as “one of 24 individuals that changed Latin America” by Bravo Association, Latin Trade Magazine, Dec. 2013). He was awarded the highest civilian award possible in Guatemala, the Gran Cruz of the Order of Quetzal on March 9, 2017 in the National Palace of Guatemala by President Jimmy Morales and Minister Jose Luis Chea and again, on the summit of Danta Pyramid at El Mirador a week later. He received the prestigious “Orden de la Monja Blanca) (highest civilian award possible) from the Ministry of Defense of Guatemala in November 2019. He was named the 2014 Kislak Lecturer at the U.S. Library of Congress, and was honored as the“Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres” of the “Ordre des Arts et Lettres” by the French Ministry of Culture in 2012. He was awarded the prestigious “Orden del Pop” by Francisco Marroquin University in Guatemala in 2012. He was awarded the highest Idaho State University Achievement Award 2009 and was named Environmentalist of the Year in Latin America 2008 by the 161,000 members of the Latin Trade Bravo Business Association. He was awarded the National Order of the Cultural Patrimony of Guatemala by Guatemalan President Oscar Berger in December 2005. He was the founder of the renowned Dialogue of Civilizations Conferences hosted by the National Geographic Society, with recent conferences in Guatemala, Turkey, and China and more scheduled for India and Egypt. Hansen was the co-founder of the Guatemala-China Association for Culture, Tourism and Sports based in Guatemala City. Hansen’s research in the remote rainforests of northern Guatemala currently involves scholars from dozens of universities and research institutions from throughout the world. As a project, his team has currently published 322 scientific papers, abstracts, and book chapters, and 1209 technical reports and scientific presentations, and his project has mapped and excavated in 51 ancient cities in the Mirador Basin.


Mirador Basin Project Publications


   Hansen’s studies have identified some of the largest and earliest ancient cities in Central America, and his work has been an important contribution to the developmental history of Maya civilization. His work and conservation programs have been crucial in the conservation and protection of 810,000 acres of tropical forest in Guatemala. He was the Co- organizer of the major Maya exhibit from June to October 2011 at the Quai Branly Museum in Paris, entitled Maya: From Dawn to Dusk. His work has recently been featured in 36 film documentaries, including National Geographic Specials, the Learning Channel, the Discovery Channel, Discovery Channel 3Net, ABC's 20/20, 60 Minutes Australia, ABC’s Good Morning America, ABC’s Primetime Live, CNN International Untold Stories, CNN Global Challenges, The History Channel, British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) of London, Russia 1 Television, Alstom Foundation Films, Timeline Films (London), WGBH Television, Storybook Productions of Germany, Guatevison, and recent five episodes on Discovery Channel (“Expedition Unknown” and “After the Hunt”) (May-June 2018, Sept. 2019). He was the principal consultant for Mel Gibson’s movie, Apocalypto and CBS Survivor, Guatemala and participated with Morgan Freeman in “The Story of God”. Dr. Hansen and his wife, Jody, live with their children in Idaho and Guatemala.

Liz Kickham

*Elizabeth A. Redd, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Director of American Indian Studies



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Halito! I am happy to join the Idaho State University community.  I have spent the last 20 years working to support Indigenous peoples' language reclamation and community revitalization.  My broad interests include linguistic description, specifically phonetics, phonology,and pragmatics, linguistic anthropology, cultural anthropology, and language revitalization.  My research utilizes collaborative ethnographic methods to focus on the intersection of language ideologies, ethnicity, identity, and education.  I have worked with diverse groups to support minority student success at several institutions.  I especially enjoy working with undergraduate and graduate students to engage in research and outreach projects that inform language work and education.
Kirsten Green Mink

*Kirsten Green Mink, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor



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   My background is in North American archaeology and have worked in the Southwest, Great Basin, Pacific Northwest, and California. I discovered my interest in human remains while still in undergrad and pursued an MA and PhD at the University of Montana in Physical Anthropology with a focus on Forensics and Bioarchaeology. My dissertation brought me to Mesoamerica and the Belize Valley Archaeological Reconnaissance (BVAR) project. The focus of my dissertation was to use a comprehensive stable isotope analysis on both tooth and bone material from burials at the site of Cahal Pech. The chemical data along with mortuary data showed patterns in mobility among some elite Maya of the Classic period. My current research is looking at the role of Sulfur in the lives of the Classic Maya and to identify socio-political connections with other sites outside the Belize River Valley based on Strontium isotope values. I am particularly interested in understanding individual movement using bone and tooth chemistry. I am the project osteologist for BVAR and have continued research with the project.

   I took on Forensic Anthropology because of my background in human remains analysis and my expertise in bioarcheological excavation. I worked as the Forensic Anthropologist for the State of Montana for four years. I am passionate about working with indigenous communities on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples movement. I also work with law enforcement on forensic casework and trainings.

Green Mink CV


Kate Reedy

*Katherine Reedy, Ph.D.

Professor and Department Chair



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Dr. Reedy received her PhD from the University of Cambridge (Pembroke College) in Social Anthropology in 2004 with an emphasis on arctic cultures, natural resource economies, and environmental policy. Dr. Reedy is a sociocultural anthropologist conducting ethnographic research primarily in the communities of the Alaska Peninsula, Aleutian Island Chain, and Pribilof Islands. Her primary research is investigating the role of traditional commercial and subsistence economies in the construction and maintenance of indigenous Aleut/Unangax̂ identity and village sustainability. Research projects have spanned topics involving indigenous rights and representations of identity, Aleut/Unangax̂ culture and history, ecological anthropology, ethnohistory, economic development, subsistence and commercial fisheries, local knowledge of food harvesting and ecology, oil and gas development, energy development, and environmental and fisheries policymaking. In addition to ongoing ethnographic work, current projects investigate the marine historical ecology of the Pacific cod fishery and the integration of marine energy resources into the existing infrastructure of coastal communities. Dr. Reedy accepts graduate students with interests in any area of inquiry related to indigeneity and applied anthropology. Raised on a farm in Idaho, and having raised two sons in Pocatello, her family enjoys downhill skiing, hiking, fishing, snowmachining, urban farming, and travel adventures.

Reedy CV

Charles A. Speer

*Charles A. Speer, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Curator of Anthropology at Idaho Museum of Natural History, Director of Graduate Studies



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Dr. Speer is not accepting new eISU (online) graduate students for the 2023-2024 school year.



  I was born and raised in South Texas. I received my PhD from the University of Texas at San Antonio in Ecological Anthropology in 2013. Following graduation, I served as a post-doctoral researcher at Texas State University in the Department of Anthropology and worked primarily with Clovis Period materials from the Gault Site. My research focuses on geochemical analysis of knappable stone to determine mobility patterns of prehistoric hunter-gatherers. My current work focuses on sourcing Paleoindian and Protohistoric artifacts from the American Southwest. For this research, it is integral to engage Native American perspectives as they relate to indigenous knowledge of ecological resources and archaeological findings.
  My other research areas focuses on interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the Peopling of the New World, lithic technology, experimental archaeology, ancient craftmanship, and GIS predictive modeling. My greatest goal is to be a positive influence and mentor to students! I have been an avid flintknapper and prehistoric skills enthusiast for over 20 years. I personally enjoy fishing, hunting, hiking, and kayaking.

Lewis Thomas, M.A.

Senior Lecturer



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M.A., ABD (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

Research Interests

Thomas has carried out extensive research in Burma (Myanmar) since 1996. Doctoral research was funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the University of Illinois, and focused on the development of tourism in Burma (Myanmar) and related processes of social change. Other research interests include globalization, post-colonial theory, and the anthropology of Mormonism.

Kristy Buffington

Kristy Buffington, M.A.

Adjunct Lecturer



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Kristy Buffington teaches an introduction to the anthropology of disability course. In addition to teaching, she is the Post-Secondary Transition Coordinator for the Idaho Educational Services for the Deaf and the Blind (IESDB) and directs the IESDB Post-Secondary Transition Program. IESDB post-secondary transition services are available statewide to deaf, hard of hearing, blind and visually impaired young adults, age 14-26, and Kristy spends much of her time traveling the state and meeting with students and their families. Additionally, she is the team lead for the Idaho Coalition on Transition with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Youth and the state liaison for the National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes.

Before devoting her professional time to ISU and IESDB, she worked as a professional certified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter for over twenty years. Outside of work, Kristy is married and has two teenage children. Her family loves animals and has a small zoo of rescues at their house, including four dogs, two cats, two rabbits, a bunch of fish and a frog. In her free time, she also likes to read and make glass mosaics.


Buffington CV

Adam Clegg

Adam Clegg, M.A.

Adjunct Lecturer



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Drusilla Gould

Drusilla Gould

Adjunct Lecturer



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Erin Martin

Erin Martin, M.A.

Adjunct Lecturer



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Janneli Miller

Janneli Miller, Ph.D.

Adjunct Lecturer



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Dr. Janneli F. Miller holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Arizona (2003), receiving a Fulbright for her dissertation fieldwork. She was a homebirth midwife for 15 years before completing her PhD, which focused on the birthing practices of the Tarahumara in N. Mexico. She has worked with the Hopi, Navajo and Apache in addition to the Tarahumara, with a specific interest in culturally appropriate reproductive health care service delivery. During her academic career she received a postdoctoral fellowship at Washington University in St. Louis, and also taught at various institutions including Northern Arizona University, Western State Colorado University, Fort Lewis College as well as Coconino and Pueblo Community Colleges.  She is a firm believer in experiential education, and to this end designed and carried out a Binational Ethnographic Field School (2003-05) during which students were able to work side by side with indigenous Hopi, Navajo, Tarahumara and Cora, completing sustainable development projects. She has also taught in China, India, S. Africa, Chile, Costa Rica and Spain as part of the University Study Abroad Consortium and International Honors Program.  Currently semi-retired, Miller lives in SW Colorado and enjoys pursuing as many outdoor activities as she can.

Rick Holmer

*Richard Holmer, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus




Emeritus Faculty


Rick Holmer is professor of anthropology at Idaho State University where he has taught since 1983. He earned a Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of Utah and has conducted archaeological research in Mexico, Samoa, the American Desert West, and Alaska.

Chris Loether

*Chris Loether, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus



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Dr. Loether is the Director of the American Indian Studies Program, Director of the Linguistics Program, and Co-Director of the Shoshoni Language Project. Dr. Loether specializes in Uto-Aztecan, Celtic, Germanic and Semitic languages. He has worked specifically with the Western Mono, Owens Valley Paiute, Shoshoni and Welsh languages. His other specialties include sociolinguistics, ethnopoetics, lexicography, language revitalization, and the ethnology of California and Great Basin Indians.

*Anthony Stocks, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus