Sarah Whitcher Kansa
As Executive Director of the AAI, Sarah collaborates on projects that advance data publishing and data literacy in various archaeological and cultural heritage communities. She has a Ph.D. in archaeology (University of Edinburgh) and has spent more than 25 years conducting zooarchaeological research at sites in the Near East and Europe. She served as Vice President of the International Council for Archaeozoology (ICAZ) from 2014-2018, and was elected President for the 2018-2022 term. Sarah is co-chair of the Digital Technology Committee of the Archaeological Institute of America (AIA) and served on the Publications Committee for the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) and the American Schools of Oriental Research (ASOR). She is also the series co-editor for Archaeobiology (Lockwood Press) and Executive Editor of Open Context.
Technology Director & Open Context Program Director
Eric Kansa (PhD, Harvard University) oversees development of Open Context (http://opencontext.org), the AAI’s open access data publishing service. His research explores Web architecture, service design, and how these issues relate to the social and professional context of the digital humanities. Eric also researches policy issues relating to intellectual property, including text-mining and cultural property concerns. He has participated in a number of Open Science, Open Government, cyberinfrastructure, text-mining, and scholarly user needs initiatives, and has taught project management and information service design in the UC Berkeley School of Information’s Clinic program. He has been a principal investigator and co-investigator on projects funded by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, NEH, IMLS, Hewlett-Packard, Sunlight Foundation, Google, NSF, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.
Postdoctoral Researcher for Data Interpretation and Public Engagement
Meghan Dennis (PhD, University of York) is collaborating to develop the Data Literacy Program as Postdoctoral Researcher for Data Interpretation and Public Engagement. Meghan brings a background in digital archaeological ethics and the impacts of ethical representations of archaeology in interactive media, 20+ years in archaeological and heritage field practice, teaching at the secondary and collegiate level, and experience within the video-game industry. Currently, Meghan is an ethics officer with the Computer Applications & Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA) organization, where she was involved in designing and implementing the organization’s first code of ethics, and is a member of the organization’s Code of Conduct working group. Combining her interests in public education, ethical practice, and games media, Meghan aims to develop further research in how the use of interactive media can influence youth participation in ethical interactions with heritage and archaeology.
Curator for Digital Collections Interpretation and Public Engagement
Dr. Pınar Durgun is an archaeologist with a background in art history, anthropology, and cultural heritage. She received her PhD from Brown University and has been teaching for about a decade in universities, museums, and school classrooms about the ancient world using archaeological and museum collections. As a dedicated public scholar and educator, Pınar hopes to make information about the ancient world accessible, fun, and inclusive. In line with this goal, she creates and curates educational and digital content about the ancient world for museums, academic/educational organizations, and social media. Her research and teaching focuses on death and burial, ancient materials and makers, image and identity making, and ethics of museum collecting and display. Most recently she edited “An Educator’s Handbook for Teaching about the Ancient World.” (Visit Pınar's personal website.)
Director of Strategic Partnerships
Leigh Anne Lieberman
Leigh Anne Lieberman (Ph.D., Princeton University) is an archaeologist whose research explores how and why artifacts and spaces were recycled and repurposed, especially in the ancient Roman world. She has taught extensively at the university, secondary, and primary levels in both the United States and Italy. From 2018-2020, she directed the development of the Digital Humanities Initiative at The Claremont Colleges, a Mellon-funded program that aimed to create a robust curriculum in the digital methods for faculty, staff, and students across a seven-institution academic consortium. She currently serves as the Manager of Data and Information Resources for the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (PARP:PS) where she's leading the publication of the artifact assemblages from the excavation; as the Head of Materials for the Tharros Archaeological Research Project (TARP); and as the Data Management Director for the American Excavations at Morgantina: Contrada Agnese Project (AEM:CAP). In her role with the AAI / Open Context, Leigh will be building institutional partnerships with libraries, museums, and other cultural heritage organizations in order to develop sustainable initiatives.
Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Visualization and Reproducibility
Paulina F. Przystupa
Paulina F. Przystupa joins us as Postdoctoral Researcher in Data Visualization and Reproducibility. Paulina is of Filipine and Polish descent and a settler in North America. She studied at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA, USA) where she earned a B.A. (2012) majoring in History and Anthropology. She earned her M.A. (2014) at the University of New Mexico, which is where she is completing her PhD in Anthropology (2021). She is working on her dissertation examining the relationship between the built environment and the cultural education of children. Beyond her academic work, Paulina has worked in cultural resource management in both Australia and the United States as a field technician, assistant cartographer, and lab technician. She is also a research associate of the Indigenous Digital Archive. She also writes about and reviews comics, movies, and shows at WWAC and moderates panels at popular culture conventions bringing an anthropological and academic perspective to popular media.
Usability Specialist & Web Designer
Phoebe France consults on usability and web design for the Alexandria Archive Institute and the Open Context project. She received her MA from the University of Chicago, where she specialized in anthropological archaeology. Her collaboration with AAI and Open Context is part of a series of projects that she has worked on since 2007 that explore the boundaries between archaeological methods and theory, new media, and information management. In addition to her work in digital media, she is currently working towards finishing her PhD in archaeology. Her research interests include Southeast Asia and Cambodia, societal collapse and sustainability, botanical analysis, long term landscape histories, and the role of archaeological ruins and interpretations of the past in nationalism, heritage politics, identity, and imagination.
Affiliates and Alumni
- Pamela Saunders, Marketing Consultant
- Hannah Lau, Social Media Strategist
- Federico Buccellati, 2017 Research Fellow the project Calculating the Costs of Ancient Buildings
- Francis Deblauwe, Program Developer & Content Editor
- Justin Lev-Tov, Research Associate
- Ahrash Bissell, Field Sciences Research and Education consultant
- Mhairi Campbell, Open Context Assistant Editor (Petra Great Temple project)
- John Ward, Software Developer and Architect
- Carter Wells, Development Consultant