Former IPIA/IPA Students

Frances Baartman – Undergraduate Honours (2020)

My honours thesis will be focused on Blackfoot and Plains bison relations using data from field work done at the University of Alberta Mattheis Research Ranch. By analyzing the data I hope to show a relationship based on community, ceremony and identity, and not just a relationship based solely on subsistence.

Corey Cookson (MA, 2013)

Aaron Coons (MA, 2017)

Aaron analyzed digital mapping data and remote sensing data (imagery, magnetometry, Ground Penetrating Radar) to map the surface and subsurface of the Buffalo Lake Metis Wintering site in Alberta. He examined how we can use non-invasive methods to capture the full extent of wintering sites, even in the presence of agricultural disturbance.

Aaron is currently a GIS Analyst at the Saskatchewan Geological Survey, Data Management in the Ministry of Energy and Resources.

Reid Graham (MA, 2015)

Robert Gustas (MA, 2015)

Robert tested whether GIS-based analyses of movement can be applied to travel over water, developing a new least-cost path approach in GIS.. Using GIS data (terrain modeling, site location, bathymetry), he modeled how first peoples could have used the coast of North America to migrate from Beringia during the last glacial maximum. He applied least-cost path models to variables relating to water travel to identify possible stopping places and travel routes in the past, factoring in changes in sea levels throughout the northern Northwest Coast. He has published two articles from his Masters research:

Gustas, R.and K.Supernant.

2019       Modelling Early Landscape Migrations along the Pacific Northwest Coast. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 54:192-206.

Gustas, R. and K. Supernant

2017       Least cost path analysis of early maritime movement on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Journal of Archaeological Science 78:40-56.

Robert is currently a PhD Student in Anthropology at the University of Victoria.

Jennifer Hallson (MA, 2017)

Jennifer's research focus lies with the finite dimensions of Promontory Cave 1, and the application of GIS and 3D virtual modelling of the cave environs. She is making projections concerning the total number of artifacts--in categories including moccasins, gaming pieces, hide working implements, and others--in order to determine the scale and importance of activities as well as the rates at which artifacts were being produced and discarded.

Jennifer is currently the Team Lead, Indigenous Consultation and Engagement Administrator at DEMA Land Services.

 Todd Kristensen (PhD, 2020)

My PhD, under the supervision of Dr. John W. (Jack) Ives, is an investigation of Dene adaptations from the northern plains to the subarctic Mackenzie Mountains of Northwest Territories. In particular, I’m exploring the way prehistoric people adapted to alpine areas where archaeologists have found exceptionally well-preserved artifacts melting out of ice features including intact arrows, snares, and darts. I hope to compare these organic technologies to similar types of artifacts recovered from dry caves in western North America. My research is being conducted in conjunction with archaeologists from the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre in Northwest Territories and members of the Shúhtagot’ine Dene First Nation. I’m particularly interested in community outreach and the use of digital media to share heritage information with First Nations and the public.

Todd is an Archaeologist at the Archaeological Survey, Historic Resources Management Branch of Alberta, Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women.

He was recently featured in a Faculty of Arts Convocation Story, available here:

 Courtney Lakevold (MA, 2017)

Courtney's research, under the supervision of Dr. John W. (Jack) Ives, undertakes a space syntax analysis of Promontory Cave 1 in Utah. This work extends from understanding cave formation processes in ancient Lake Bonneville, to GIS prediction of Apachean migration pathways, use of the cave environs for large game hunting, and assessment of 3D models of space use and human movement inside Promontory Cave 1.

Courtney is currently the Programs Manager/Archaeologist at the Bodo Archaeological Society.

Connor McBeth (Undergraduate Honours, 2020)

Christina PolettoChristina Poletto (MA, 2019)

Christina’s masters research, under the supervision of Dr. John W. (Jack) Ives and Dr. Alwynne Beaudoin, focused on analyzing high-resolution palaeoenvironmental record  from a sediment core from Sharkbite Lake, Alberta. Pollen, microcharcoal, and macrobotanical analysis helps reconstruct local scale environmental changes and demonstrate how the ecological history adds to the narrative of the archaeological record.  This research also assessed the radiocarbon dates from the region, and compared Sharkbite Lake’s palaeoenvironmental record  with five dated archaeological sites  to demonstrate the environmental background within which Indigenous groups in the region lived and interacted. 

Christina is currently an Indigenous Services Facilitator at Stantec.

Aileen Riley (MA, 2015)

Gabriel Yanicki (PhD, 2019)

Gabe’s research, under the supervision of Dr. John W. (Jack) Ives, examined the contact between the bison-hunting inhabitants of Utah’s Promontory Caves and the contemporary horticulturalist Fremont culture, ca.830-630 BP. This archaeological research addressed a pivotal moment in the birth of a spectrum of cultural identities, potentially including the modern Southern Dene peoples. The remarkable level of preservation at the Promontory Caves makes them unique in their potential to address this question of ethnogenesis.

Gabe is now the Curator of Western Archaeology at the Museum of History. Find more information about his work here: