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

Jacob Noble, Architectural Historian/Historian, and Principal Investigator

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Jacob Noble received a Master’s in Heritage Studies and Public History, with a focus in Historic Preservation, from the University of Minnesota in 2021. He earned a B.A. in history from Earlham College in 2018, with minors in Middle Eastern Studies and Museum Studies. While at the University of Minnesota, Jacob worked on a variety of projects, including web content development for the Minnesota Department of Transportation, a National Register listing update for the Fort Snelling at Bdote National Historic Landmark, and exhibit planning for the University’s Institute for Advanced Studies. Jacob’s capstone project focused on creating a museum installation documenting freeway development and displacement in Minneapolis for the Hennepin History Museum, in collaboration with community members. His professional interests include 20th century Midwest architecture, community-focused and inclusive preservation practices, and sustainability in preservation. At Wapsi Valley Archaeology, Jacob assists with Reconnaissance-level and Intensive-level architectural history surveys, National Register Nominations, and archaeological investigations.

Curriculum Vitae 

Keith O. Young, Archaeologist and Principal Investigator

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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.

Curriculum Vitae


Other Staff

Lindsey Barnes, Field Technician

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Lindsey Barnes earned her BA from the University of Iowa in 2011 after double-majoring in Anthropology and Ancient Civilizations. In her time as a field technician, she has surveyed and excavated at both historic and prehistoric sites across the state of Iowa. Lindsey excels in her time as a lab technician also and has cleaned and preserved many delicate artifacts, including prehistoric pottery shards discovered at Woodpecker Cave in Johnson County, IA, and historic faunal remains recovered from Mills County, IA. She has a specific interest in bioarchaeology, and has thoroughly studied human and animal osteology. Lindsey is a long-time member of the Iowa Archaeological Society.

Eleisha Barnett, Office Manager/Systems Administrator

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 Purdue University Global 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 figure in 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 the president of the Iowa Archaeological Society, and a member of the Association of Iowa Archaeologists, Society for American Archaeology, and the OSA Advisory Committee.

Copyright Wapsi Valley Archaeology, Inc., Anamosa, Iowa 2023