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Research Team

Dr. Nassaney
Michael S. Nassaney
Principal Investigator
Professor of Anthropology
(269) 387-3981



José António Brandão
Chair and Professor of History
(269) 387-4645




BauerSkylar Bauer
Skylar Bauer is a first year graduate student at WMU and seeking a Master of Arts in Anthropology with a focus in historical archaeology. She received her B.A. in anthropology from St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She spent the past summer working as the field intern for the Fort St. Joseph project.  Bauers thesis will ultimately reflect her primary research interests which lie in understanding how cultural entanglements reshape the landscape and group identities. 

BrandAlexander R. Brand
Alexander R. Brand has been involved with the Fort St. Joseph archaeological project for two years. He began as a student in the 2011 field school, where he participated as an independent study student for the 2011-12 school year. He developed a logistic and operation manual, as well as participated in flotation, inventory, and fine sort. He returned for the 2012 field school after being accepted into the graduate program at Western Michigan University, with the responsibility of field logistics and operations as well as lab work. Brand currently oversees and coordinates work in the lab, develo s publications for the project, and coordinates travel to conferences. He is developing his thesis, which focuses on the dating and distribution of clay pipes recovered from Fort St. Joseph.

HearnsJoseph Hearns
Joseph Hearns is a second year graduate student in anthropology. He received a B.A. in History and a B.S. in Anthropology from Loyola University Chicago in 2010. He has worked on the Fort St. Joseph project for the 2011 and 2012 summers, once as a student and then once again as the field teaching assistant. He will also be conducting his thesis research focused on the animal remains recovered at the Fort.

KohleyAllison M. Kohley
Allison M. Kohley is a graduate student in geography and working on her thesis with Dr. Nassaney. She graduated from the University of Georgia and later worked in the field of archaeology as an archaeological field technician for a year and a half across the country. Kohley is specializing in geographical information systems and remote sensing, which she plans to use in the field of archaeology after she graduates. Her thesis involves the study of the spatial distributions of Native American sites in the St. Joseph River valley in relation to the Fort St. Joseph.

letangMichelle Letang
Undergraduate student Michelle Letang is an anthropology major who will graduate in December 2013. She began working on the Fort St. Joseph Archaeological Project in 2012 when she attended the field school. She is doing an independent study working in the lab. She works with Past Perfect, which helps to catalog the artifacts found at the Fort St. Joseph site.

martinTerrance J. Martin
Terrance J. Martin is Curator and Chair of Anthropology at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield. A native of western Michigan, he received his Bachelor of Science in Anthropology from Grand Valley State University, Master of Arts in Anthropology from Western Michigan University, and Ph.D. in anthropology from Michigan State University and has been active in interdisciplinary archaeological research projects for more than thirty years. He is a collaborative researcher on the Fort St. Joseph project, and was co-director of the New Philadelphia archaeological project in Pike County, Illinois, which was awarded two grants from the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Undergraduates program.

OrenSarah Oren
Sarah Oren is a graduate student in the Department of Anthropology.  After receiving her B.A. studying history and French at Manchester College (now University) and with some experience doing fieldwork with the National Park Service, Oren decided to pursue archaeology here at Western Michigan. Her research interests in French colonial studies led her to the fantastic field school at Fort St. Joseph this past summer where she improved upon her excavation techniques, gained familiarity with the material culture, and connected with the community. 

ReichertSue Reichert
Sue Reichert is a graduate student at WMU in archaeology. She became involved with Fort St. Joseph last year attending for only one week as an adult "camper" at Fort St. Joseph and came back to the fort for the summer of 2012.  Working side-by-side with people the ages of her own sons was a great experience for her.  She worked on one of the posters for the open house that illustrates the fort site and the units that have been excavated over the last 10 years.  She also served as the main photographer for the summer. She plans to continue her work with the fort by doing additional photography of the artifacts from 2011 and 2012.