Principal Investigators

Nurit G. Finn, President, Project Manager, and Principal Investigator

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Nurit Finn received an A.B. in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College and an M.A. in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico in 1988.  She advanced to Ph.D. Candidacy at the University of Michigan in 1993.  She specializes in prehistoric archaeology with an emphasis on hunter-gatherers, and has over 20 years of experience in archaeological research and excavations.  Her areas of expertise include statistical analysis and sampling design, lithic analysis, cave site archaeology, contract/Programmatic Agreement/Memorandum of Agreement preparation, preservation planning, and project management.  

Nurit is Wapsi Valley Archaeology's President, majority owner, and Project Manager.  She is intimately involved in project design and management of research, analysis, writing, and historic investigation.  Nurit serves as Principal Investigator, manages projects and the business end of the firm, and oversees all research projects.  

Curriculum Vitae


Michael R. Finn, Chief of Operations, Archaeologist, and Principal Investigator

Michael Finn graduated from the University of Iowa in 1982 with a Master's in Anthropology.  He specializes in both prehistoric and historic archaeology.  During his more than 30 years in archaeology, Michael has conducted projects in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Michigan, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York, and Alabama.  His areas of expertise include lithic analysis, ceramic analysis, faunal analysis, and geomorphology.  He has broad experience directing Phase I surveys, Phase II site evaluations, and Phase III excavation/data recovery projects.  Michael has directed major excavations on a multitude of archaeological projects including sites at Big Hollow and the Michael’s Creek location in Iowa, Sites 1JA206 and 1BT15 in Alabama, The Jug Handle Inn Site in New Jersey, and Site 20SA1033 in Michigan.  

Curriculum Vitae

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Toby A. Morrow, Archaeologist and Principal Investigator

Toby Morrow graduated from the University of Iowa in 1984 with a Master's in Anthropology and has over 30 years of experience in archaeological research.  Morrow specializes in both prehistoric and historic archaeology.  His diverse research interests and his expertise span prehistoric and historic archaeology, lithic analysis, ceramic analysis, faunal analysis, geomorphology/soils, chert sourcing, human osteology, and experimental archaeology.  He has published extensively in the field of lithic analysis and holds a particular interest in Paleoindian studies.  Toby has directed Phase I surveys, Phase II site evaluations, and Phase III excavation/data recovery projects, and research excavations, including large-scale excavations at the Cowan Site, Ed’s Meadow Site, and Sites 13ML118 and 13ML175 in Iowa.  He is also an accomplished craftsman in prehistoric technologies including flint knapping and woodworking, as well as bone and ground stone tool manufacture.  Toby frequently leads workshops and training sessions in stone tool manufacture and artifact identification.  He is the author of Iowa Projectile Points (Office of the State Archaeologist, University of Iowa, 1983), the type book for projectile point identification in the State of Iowa.

Curriculum Vitae



Maggie M. Jones, Historian/Architectural Historian and Principal Investigator

Maggie Jones received her M.A. (2017) from Colorado State University, and her B.A. (2014) from University of Northern Iowa. Jones specializes in Historic Preservation and Cultural Resource Management with and emphasis on Architectural History, Environmental History, Cultural Landscapes, and National Parks. Jones areas of expertise include public history, architectural surveys, digital history, and landscape analysis. She completed a National Register nomination for Alta Vista Historic Landscape District in Fort Collins, Colorado. Also, Jones completed determinations of eligibility for Rocky Mountain National Park, City of Fort Collins, and City of Windsor. She was a research assistant and outreach specialist with the Public Lands History Center.

Curriculum Vitae 

Other Staff

Keith O. Young, Project Archaeologist/Field Supervisor

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Keith Young received a B.A. in Anthropology and B.S. in Zoology in 1986 and completed a Master's in Anthropology in 1991, all at Ohio State University.  Since that time, he has served as a field archaeologist on projects across Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Delaware, Maryland, Wisconsin, Texas, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and North Carolina.  Areas of specialization include soils; faunal analysis, GPS mapping, navigation, and location; grave exhumation; and archaeological monitoring.  He helped to implement and currently maintains the company safety procedures.  Keith helps to manage, supervise, and train field crew on projects and is responsible for collection of GPS and total station data.  He also assists with preparing reports, maps and graphics and oversees the maintenance and upkeep of field equipment and supplies. Keith serves as a Field Supervisor for archaeological research projects.    

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Michael Giller, GIS and Graphics Specialist

Michael Giller received a B.A. in Anthropology and Studio Arts from the University of Iowa in 2008.  He is the go-to person for GIS in the field and in the lab.  He is proficient with ArcGIS as well as other spatial and drafting software applications.  Michael works in the field with a variety of mapping equipment including high precision Trimble GPS units for spatial data collection.  Other responsibilities include report preparation, graphic arts, artifact analysis, and artifact photography.  

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John Hahn, Field Archaeologist

John Hahn is currently completing a Master of Science degree in Cultural Resources Management at Saint Cloud State University (anticipated date of completion is Fall 2016).  Since receiving his B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Northern Iowa, John has worked on Phase I, II, and III archaeological investigations across Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Kansas, and Texas.  John’s areas of interest include hunter-gatherer mobility, spatial analysis, landscape use, lithic analysis and sourcing, public archaeology, and integration of archaeology and technology.  His Master’s thesis is on the microscopic use-wear analysis of stone blades.  John is involved in field research, use wear analysis of stone tools, other lithic analysis techniques, historic artifact analysis, report preparation, map preparation, database protocols, GIS, GPS and other facets of research at Wapsi Valley Archaeology.

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Cooper Jacks, Technical Editor

Cooper Jacks received a B.A. in History and English with a writing emphasis from Luther College in 2013. He is a member of the Sigma Tau Delta and Phi Alpha Theta honor societies and is involved in creative writing and the classics. Cooper is responsible for editing text and figures in all reports as well as editing project proposals, CVs, certain website content, and other endeavors like information kiosks, booklets, and a recent book on stone tools from Minnesota. He also participates field projects when needed.


Eleisha Barnett, Office Manager

Eleisha Barnett received a B.A. in Anthropology and History from the University of Iowa in 2008 and a Master's of Science in Information Science and Technology from Kaplan University in 2011.  Eleisha started out her early adult years with avocational archaeology in the Four Corners region of the U.S. and continued with formal education in Iowa.  While at the Office of the State Archaeologist at University of Iowa, Eleisha was a key figurein the digital archiving and cataloging of thousands of archaeology reports, site forms, maps, photographs, and journals.  Her numerous activities have included investigations, public outreach, research, editing, and graphic design. 

Eleisha Barnett oversees the office, pitches in where needed, assists with reports and project tracking, troubleshoots technology, maintains the website as well as our networking presence on Facebook and LinkedIn.  She is also involved in education outreach, where she brings archaeology into local classrooms.  Eleisha is a member of the Society for American Archaeology, the Iowa Archaeological Society, and the Association of Iowa Archaeologists.

Copyright Wapsi Valley Archaeology, Inc., Anamosa, Iowa 2017