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SAA Excellence in Public Education

Committee Members



Linda Derry (2002-2005)

Since 1985, Linda Derry has been Site Director and historical archaeologist for the Old Cahawba Preservation Project, an archaeological park managed by the Alabama Historical Commission. In this position, Linda undertakes significant levels of public outreach. Her research at the site involves extensive public outreach with descendant communities.

Linda is an NAI certified “Interpretive Guide” and teaches workshops on interpretive theory and practice for the needs of archaeology site interpretation. In the past, Linda worked for museums like the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and for state historic preservation offices in Alabama, Virginia, Massachusetts and Illinois.

Linda is an active member of the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Public Education and Information Committee (PEIC). Since 1992, she has been a member of the Society for American Archaeology's Public Education Committee (PEC). She is a Network Coordinator for SAA PEC for the State of Alabama. In this capacity, she helps keep track of the educational offerings made available by archaeologists in her state and is a dedicated contact person for Alabama educators seeking archaeology information.

Linda is also a Project Archaeology Coordinator for Alabama. (Project Archaeology is an educational program originally designed by the Bureau of Land Management that has now entered into a public/private partnership with an environmental group called The Watercourse.) Project Archaeology is designed to teach the value of our cultural heritage to children. Regional Project Archaeology facilitators like Linda provide training and mentoring to local educators, who in turn introduce archaeology into the classroom. Linda is Co-author of Discovering Alabama Archaeology (‘Project Archaeology's’ State Handbook), a resource designed to be used by school educators.

Linda has co-organized and/or presented in several conference sessions on public archaeology in both the US and abroad, presenting on both theoretical issues and interpretation strategies. She has also published on these topics and is co-editor of the SAA handbook, Archaeologists and Local Communities: Partners in Exploring the Past.

For more than 15 years, Linda has been active in the local avocational concern, the Alabama Archaeological Society (AAS), where she has served in various elected positions from Secretary to Program Chair to President. She is currently a member of the Board of Directors and Chair of their Public Education Committee. She helped AAS to develop and administer a grant to fund public education activities.

Linda was recently named to the Editorial Board for American Archaeology, the magazine of the Archaeological Conservancy.

K .Kris Hirst (2002-2005)

Since 1979, Kris Hirst has been Web-Master for, a World Wide Web site promoting and fostering archaeology on the internet that is archived at (previously The Mining Company). In this capacity, Kris has developed and maintained the longest running and most comprehensive offering of links and resources to archaeology-related material on the web. The site presents information about archaeology from around the world, including excavations past and present, museums, educational resources, cultural histories, and information about past and present inhabitants. Beyond an unparalleled array of links, one can subscribe to newsletters, to a bulletin board, chat, receive up to date info on events, and, in keeping with the interactive nature of the medium, find forms for recommending a web site along with a means for evaluating them. This cyber-mine of information is designed for professionals, students, teachers, and enthusiasts. Kris has also written more than 200 weekly articles about archaeology for the public published at

Kris is a principal investigator for the Cultural Resource Group of Louis Berger Group, Inc., in Iowa City where she writes and edits technical and popular reports on archaeology, and maintains the CRG webpage.

Kris is also co-editor of The Wasteflake Project an experimental project that uses open-source Wiki (“Quick Web”) technology to facilitate conversations on culture and science among people from all over the world. This new technology medium expands the potential use of the Internet as a collaborative tool among scientists and the interested public. Using a Wiki, internet users interact (create and edit) web pages as part of an active, Internet-based, “group think” dialogue. This communication method moves beyond the electronic discussion list (which permits free flow interaction between scholars in a given field), the internet journal (which allows online scholarly publication to become more widely disseminated), and the usual ‘web site’ (a passive form of information delivery) to allow immediate communication and open collaboration among researchers and others -- whether they are based in universities or not, in different departments or fields of endeavor, or in different countries and in different languages. The WasteFlake Project is a unique form of outreach in that it combines the intimacy and informality of a conference symposium with the inclusivity of the Internet, linking like-interested people around the world in both structured and free-form discussions about the interface between science and culture.

Ann E. Killebrew (2004-2006)

For the past two decades, Ann E. Killebrew has been involved in public archaeology and heritage programs in Israel and Belgium. Ann is currently co-principal investigator for the Wye River People to People program, a US State Department program to encourage cooperation between Israelis and Palestinians. The project, entitled ‘Recognizing and Preserving the Common Heritage of Israel and the Palestinian National Authority-A Plan for Cross-Cultural Education and Community Involvement in the Development of Historical and Archaeological Sites’, is designed specifically for Israeli and Palestinian community members and educators to promote shared heritage as a means of working towards peace and understanding in the Middle East. This program is a joint effort of the University of Haifa and the Palestinian Association for Cultural Exchange that entails the documentation of historic structures and oral histories of the local communities, community conservation of archaeological sites, educational programs on the university and community levels, and digitizing archival documents related to the heritage of Akko, Al Jib (Gibeon), and Beitin (Bethel).

From 1997-2001 Ann was a faculty member in the Department of Archaeology, the University of Haifa. During this period, she developed a graduate-level program in public archaeology, the first of its kind in Israel. She continues to coordinate two graduate level courses at the University of Haifa in heritage and public archaeology that also form part of the Wye River educational program.

Ann also served as a consultant in heritage education at the Ename Center for Public Archaeology and Heritage Presentation (1997-2002) in Belgium (). Her projects included designing and coordinating several undergraduate university summer courses and workshops on European heritage in cooperation the University of Maryland College Park (with Mark Leone, Paul Shackel, and Frank McManamon; see

Ann has also directed public presentation projects at several archaeological sites in Israel including ancient Qasrin and Tel Megiddo (Armageddon). She is currently directing a program in public archaeology and outreach at the Tel Dor excavations.

Ann is currently an assistant professor of archaeology of the Levant under a joint appointment in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies and Jewish Studies at the Pennsylvania State University, University Park. She has authored several articles on public archaeology and site interpretation in Israel.

George Brauer (2005-2008)

For more than 30 years, George Brauer has taught archaeology as part of social studies education in the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) (Maryland). Over the years, as a classroom teacher, a Department Head, and now at the District Level-- as a Social Studies Curriculum Specialist in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction--George has integrated archaeology content into school lesson plans, student readers, student assessments, and teacher guides for social studies subjects taught in grades K-12.  George is Founder and Director of the Center for Archaeology/Baltimore County Public Schools, an outdoor education facility established in 1983 to support the District’s essential curriculum. At this facility, archaeology has been used as a means for teaching thousands of students social studies content. Archaeology is also used for professional development in Teacher In-Service programming. (Information on the BCPS program of archaeology education is archived at here.)

George was recipient of the 2001 SAA Excellence in Public Education Award. His high school curriculum Critical Thinking and Archaeology received the National Council for the Social Studies’ Award for Outstanding Curriculum in the Nation (1994). His co-authored, Grade 3 Gifted and Talented (GT) archaeology curriculum' received the National Association of Gifted Children’s Curriculum Study Award (in 2001) . In 1999, George received the Archaeology Society of Maryland’s Patricia Seitz Memorial Teacher of the Year Certificate of Excellence. George has 30 years of volunteer experience on prehistoric and historical archaeology sites in the Mid-Atlantic region. He presents and publishes on his archaeology education program in both education and archaeology venues, including a co-authored contribution to the recent SAA publication, Archaeologists and Local Communities: Partners in Exploring the Past.

Kirsti Uunila (2006-2009)

From 1996 to 2004, Kirsti Uunila directed the Public Archaeology program at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum, an archaeological preserve in Southern Maryland which is owned and operated by the Maryland Historical Trust. There had not been an active public archaeology program there for more than 10 years. In addition to resuscitating the program, Kirsti teamed with the education staff to broaden outreach to the community and, especially to educators. Beginning in 1996, JPPM offered accredited in-service training to school teachers, in partnership with the county public schools that included archaeology as a means to address issues in multicultural education. This project has been described in a paper Kirsti and Maureen Malloy presented at SAA in 1999, and elsewhere.

In addition to the week-long in-services and eight-week summer public archaeology project at a selected site at JPPM, Kirsti nurtured a volunteer program to investigate cultural resources off-park in Calvert County, where she was detailed to provide historic preservation services from 1993 to 2004. In this role, she had teams of volunteers identify and record sites, do independent research, and encouraged them to find ways to link the work to other areas of interest, for example, History Day or Science Fair competitions. Since 2004, she has started a volunteer program at the Calvert County Department of Planning and Zoning. At least one day a week, volunteers assist with field documentation, historical background research, and maintenance of the photo library, including digital image files. She also serves as a mentor through the public schools’ mentorship program.

Kirsti has forged partnerships with environmental and land-preservation nonprofit organizations, writing grants for them to conduct archaeological surveys on land that they have preserved, and making presentations to their boards and members. She wrote the scopes of study, oversaw the archaeological projects, and assisted the consultants in developing volunteer groups that drew heavily from the sponsoring organizations’ membership. With the help of these projects, the nonprofits’ members have a deeper understanding of the connections between the cultural and environmental histories on the land they care for, and are active stewards and interpreters of the cultural resources that are on and in the land.

Calvert County’s annual Tree Tour is one way that the public witnesses the impact of human action on the landscape. Each year Kirsti and a naturalist working for the county host a bus tour of several sites that have champion trees. In an entertaining and informative presentation, which includes a printed booklet, the two discuss the trees themselves and the historic contexts that selected and allowed the trees to flourish. On the road between sites, participants learn about the history and archaeology of the countryside they are passing through. The Tree Tour encourages participants to be aware of their choices affect the environment and to be advocates for cultural sites.

In her role as historic preservation planner for Calvert County, which she took on full time in 2004, she is among the staff charged with writing the county comprehensive plan and other planning documents. She articulates the need for identification, protection and preservation of archaeological and above-ground sites and the importance of including these actions in plans and ordinances. The comprehensive plan also includes an action to ensure that local heritage is included in school curriculum.

She is a member of SAA’s committee on government archaeology

Kirsti was a presenter in a training seminar for NPS interpreters, “The Public Meaning of Archaeological Heritage”. An abbreviated version of her presentation, “Using the Past in Calvert County, Maryland: Archaeology as a tool for building community” is at  

She recently served on a panel, “Determining What Is Important,” that was charged with rethinking significance. The findings will presented and discussed at the Preserve America Summit, to be held in October 2006 to mark the 40th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act.

page updated 12/2/10