Digital Institute for Archaeology Visiting Fellowships


Qualifications     Program Details     Courses Offered     Core Faculty     Application

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The Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas hosted the Digital Institute for Archaeology during 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.  The program, supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, wass designed to provide junior scholars in archaeology with the training needed to integrate advanced geospatial technologies into their research and teaching endeavors.  Fellows will received semester-long residential fellowships at the University of Arkansas during which time they enrolled in three specialized courses in geospatial technologies and pursued independent research projects with the assistance of CAST faculty, staff and facilities.  Fellows also attended colloquia focused on archaeological applications of geospatial technologies, regular meetings to discuss independent projects, and short practicum courses offered by CAST staff and visiting speakers.  Following their residence at the University of Arkansas, fellows were offered a position on one of CAST’s numerous archaeological field projects around the world.


 The Digital Institute for Archaeology is based at the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies (CAST) at the University of Arkansas, one of the world’s leading research and education centers for geospatial analysis, remote sensing, digital photogrammetry, three-dimensional scanning and visualization, and spatial modeling.  CAST is a multi-disciplinary organization, uniting scholars and students from colleges and departments across campus in the common goal of making geospatial technologies available to a wide variety of researchers and to furthering the field through basic and applied research.  CAST is actively engaged in many different research enterprises with multiple grants totaling more than $1 million annually, enabling the organization to support twenty-two full time staff members.  In 2007, CAST moved into the new JB Hunt Center for Academic Excellence, an 110,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility housing the main offices, classrooms and research labs, as well as student computer labs. 

CAST has been selected as a Center of Excellence by numerous private partners specializing in geospatial technologies development which enable the organization to maintain an extensive suite of software and instruments.  Research and student computing labs contain more than 75 advanced workstations with access to dozens of the latest software packages in remote sensing, photogrammetry, visualization and geospatial data management.  CAST also owns an extensive range of field instruments for geophysical survey, mapping, photogrammetry, and related research. A detailed list of holdings can be seen here:  Since its founding in 1991, CAST has focused much of it work on archaeological applications of these technologies and today is at the forefront of research in the field.  CAST is actively involved in extensive archaeological research efforts around the world, many of which can be overviewed here: 


 Successful applicants should either be advanced PhD students in archaeology or have received a PhD in archaeology or a closely related discipline within the past five years.  While no previous formal training in geospatial technologies is required, applicants should have a clear vision of how such technologies will further their research agendas. 


 Dates. Applicants should specify in which semester they would like to participate.  Currently, funding is available for four semesters:

Semester Program Dates Application Deadline
Fall 2010 August 23-December 15 July 31, 2010
Spring 2011 
January 18-May 13 November 12, 2010
Fall 2011 August 22-December 14 April 15, 2011
Spring 2012 January 17-May 11 October 14, 2011







Tuition and fees. Fellows will have all tuition and fees paid for enrollment in three geospatial technologies courses offered by the Departments of Anthropology and/or Geosciences.

Accomodation.  Housing will be provided in furnished studio apartments within walking distance to campus.  Alternatively, a housing allowance may be available upon request.

Stipend.  Fellows will be given a $3000 stipend for the semester of residence.

Fieldwork funding. Fellows will be offered travel and living expenses to join one of CAST’s archaeological field projects following their residency.  CAST cooperates on field projects around the world, from China, to Bolivia, to Syria, as well as in the United States.  Most projects are approximately four weeks in length and take place during the summer.  Fellows will be encouraged to join one of these projects in order to gain experience deploying technical skills under real field conditions.

Work space and facilities. Fellows will be given a personal work space in CAST and key card access to CAST computing labs at the JB Hunt Center for Academic Excellence.  As enrolled students, fellows will also have full access to all University libraries, facilities and services.

Research support.  All fellows will benefit from individual collaboration and assistance of a dedicated CAST staff member and student assistant.  In addition, bi-weekly meetings with other fellows and program faculty will offer opportunities to discuss progress and challenges on projects.

Coursework.  All fellows are expected to register for three courses in geospatial technologies.  In general, one of these courses will be the program capstone course, Geomatics for Archaeology (ANTH 4903), which offers hands-on training in a variety of key instruments and software.  Two other courses will be selected from those being offered during the semester of residence, in general chosen from the listing below.

Colloquia and Practicums. Fellows will participate in bi-weekly colloquia at CAST during which faculty, graduate students and other fellows will present new research utilizing a variety of geospatial technologies and other approaches.  Visiting speakers and CAST staff will also offer occasional short courses or practicums on particular software, instruments or approaches.


At least six of the following courses are offered each semester.  The exact schedule for each semester changes depending on faculty availability and student interest.

  •  Geomatics for Archaeology (ANTH 4903) Casana

 Capstone course for the Digital Institute in Archaeology that offers a hands-on introduction to software and hardware used in contemporary archaeological geomatics.  Topics include spatial data management, total station and GPS-based mapping, satellite and aerial remote sensing, sub-surface geophysical prospection, 3-D laser scanning, and digital photogrammetry.

  • Introduction to GI Science (ANTH 3543) Limp

Introduction to computer assisted analysis and display of geographic data. Course develops the theory behind spatial data analysis techniques, and reinforces the theory with exercises that demonstrate its practical applications.

  • Introduction to Raster GIS (ANTH 4553) Kvamme

Theory, data structures, algorithms, and techniques behind raster-based geographical information systems. Through laboratory exercises and lectures multidisciplinary applications are examined in database creation, remotely sensed data handling, elevation models, and resource models using Boolean, map algebra, and other methods    

  • Archeological Prospecting & Remote Sensing (ANTH 4633) Kvamme

Ground-based geophysical, aerial, and other remote sensing methods are examined for detecting, mapping, and understanding archeological and other deposits. These methods include magnetometry, resistivity, conductivity, radar, aerial photography, thermography, and multispectral scanning. Requires computer skills, field trips, and use of instruments. 

  • Principles of Remote Sensing (GEOS 4413) Tullis

Fundamental concepts of remote sensing of the environment. Optical, infrared, microwave, LIDAR, and in situ sensor systems are introduced. Remote sensing of vegetation, water, urban landscapes, soils, minerals, and geomorphology is discussed. The course includes laboratory exercises in geomatics software and both remote and in situ sensor system field trips.

  • Introduction to Global Positioning Systems (ANTH 4593) Limp/Cothren

Introduction to navigation, georeferencing, and digital data collection using GPS receivers, data loggers, and laser technology for natural science and resource management. Components of NavStar Global Positioning system are used in integration of digital information into various GIS platforms with emphasis on practical applications. 

  • Digital Pompeii (HUMN 3923) Frederick

This course will introduce students to basic techniques in design, database, and visualization software while working on the Digital Pompeii Project, an effort dedicated to the creation of a 3D, searchable database of Pompeian houses and painting.  The course explores how these techniques enable an investigation of fundamental questions in archaeology, art and the social history of Rome.

  • Vector GIS (ANTH 4563) Tullis/Limp

Introduction to geographic information systems (GIS) applications in marketing, transportation, real estate, demographics, urban and regional planning, and related areas. Lectures focus on development of principles, paralleled by workstation-based laboratory exercises using Arc-node based software and relational data bases.

  • Landscape Archaeology (ANTH 4603) Casana

Provides an introduction to the methods and theories of regional analysis in archaeology. Topics include archaeological survey techniques, environmental and social processes recorded in the archaeological landscape, and analysis of ancient settlement and land use data to reveal changes in population, resource utilization, and environmental relationships.

  • Settlement Archaeology (ANTH 4133) Kvamme

The modeling of potential archaeological resource locations within regions receives significant resources and funding from government and private sectors. The theoretical and methodological basis behind such models is examined, as are the history, controversies, key issues, individuals, and the important role of GIS technology and statistical methods.

  • Quantitative Techniques (ANTH 4863) Cothren/Kvamme

Introductory statistics course for anthropology students examines probability theory, nature of anthropological data, data graphics, descriptive statistics, probability distributions, test for means and variances, categorical and rank methods, ANOVA, correlation and regression. Lectures focus on theory and methods; utilize anthropological data and statistical software.

  • Principles of Digital Photogrammetry (GEOG 5103) Cothren

Fundamentals of mapping with airborne and space-borne imaging and LIDAR sensors. Topics include image geometry, three-dimensional data extraction from stereo and convergent imagery, orientation procedures, error analysis, orthoimage creation and sensor integration.

  • Remote Sensing of Natural Resources (GEOS 5423) Tullis

Introductory digital image processing of remotely sensed data. Topics include data collection, laboratory design, scientific visualization, radiometric and geometric correction, enhancement, pattern recognition, artificial intelligence, and accuracy assessment in natural resource remote sensing.


Jesse Casana (Program Director, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology)

 Jackson Cothren (CAST Director, Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences)

 Kenneth Kvamme (Professor, Department of Anthropology)

 Fred Limp (University Professor, Departments of Anthropology and Geosciences)

 Jason Tullis (Associate Professor, Department of Geosciences)

 Dave Frederick (Professor, Department of World Languages, Literatures and Cultures)


Digital Institute for Archaeology Fellowship Application available here.

Questions?  Contact Katie Simon Turn on JavaScript! or program director Jesse Casana Turn on JavaScript!