About Me: Ashlee

Hi, my name’s Ashlee. I’m an undergraduate in Archeological Sciences at the University of Washington. I’m really excited to spend time outdoors learning and practicing community-focused, low-impact archeology. I’m a big fan of gardening and watching all the insects and birds around me, as well as reading about new things.

Photo of Ashlee

From Auctions to Archaeology

In my previous life as an auction professional I would walk into a house, sort, evaluate, and catalog every material thing. From pencils to pictures, everything was assessed as to whether it held value or not. I found myself examining those homes and speculating on the life of the persons who inhabited them as told by the way they arranged and constructed their space as well as the things they accumulated over their lifetime.

It’s amazing how much you can tell about a person based on what is in their daily living space: What values did they hold? What was their socioeconomic background? How did they shape their cultural identity?

My undergraduate degree in religious studies and courses in anthropology added layers to my analysis that further shaped the hypothetical life of the person or people. Now that I am a graduate student at the University of Missouri I have been able to use these skills to deepen the understanding of how religion and material culture work together.

The focus of my research is on what material objects categorized as religious do in the context of Native American traditions, but also describing, identifying, and placing objects within their historical context. I often find myself walking a line between art history and anthropology. Through this work I hope to contribute to changing attitudes toward indigenous communities and help undo the perpetual misrepresentation of Native Americans as well as aid in efforts to reunite communities with their tangible and intangible cultural heritage. 

My current research project centers around religion’s role within indigenous knowledge systems and the post-colonial effects of salvage anthropology in the Pacific Northwest.

As a participant in FIMA this year, I am excited to incorporate low-impact archaeological methods into my reseach, working with the Grand Rhonde community. But…I really miss my furbabies back at home in Missouri.


About Me!

Hello! My name is Sophie Muro and I’m currently an undergraduate student at the University of Washington, studying Anthropology and Art History. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve developed a passion for being outdoors. Whether I’m hiking, long-distance running, or just spending an afternoon in the sun during a perfect west coast summer, I cherish the time I’m able to spend in nature.

While studying at the UW, I have been fortunate enough to engage in undergraduate research through the Pacific Northwest Archaeology lab on campus, run by Dr. Sara Gonzalez. As an Honors student at UW, I am currently conducting my own research project, utilizing the tools and mentor ship provided by the PNW lab to explore how photogrammetry and 3D digital modeling can be used to represent belongings found during our summer excavations. It is my hope that these models will be used to increase the accessibility of digital collections for Indigenous communities.

When I’m not on campus (which feels rare these days!) I love to bake, and I am currently working to perfect my blueberry scone recipe!

The annual Field School “Chelfie” or chicken-selfie!

What Sara Said

Hey there! I’m Sara, a 2019 graduate from San Francisco State University. I majored in anthropology and minored in education. My interest in archaeology and anthropology began when I took a trip to the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum in San Jose with my Grandmother when I was 5 years old. I remember being in absolute awe seeing a sarcophagus for the first time and walking through the tomb recreation. I got involved in education first as a para educator and then as a literacy tutor at the elementary level. Research interests include contemporary conflict archaeology. In the future I would love to create programs and curriculum to make archaeology and anthropology more accessible to K-12 students.

Aguilar, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum 1997


One of my cats, Leia, a 2 year old diluted calico

Hi all! I’m Kel, an Oregon State University student in archaeology. I nearly have my degree, I will officially be graduating in December 2019. I’m originally from a tiny town in Eastern Oregon, which I’m planning to return to after graduating to work with the US Forest Service. If I’m not in the classroom or at work, I spend most of my time playing video games or spending time with my cats. Being from a rural area, I’ve always enjoyed camping, hiking, hunting, and fishing and I can’t wait to be able to enjoy these things in my hometown once more.

I’ve always had an interest in archaeology, even if I didn’t realize it. I spent much of my childhood carrying around mummy books and constantly watching the History and Discovery channels, and any outside time was spent digging through the dirt in the hopes of finding something. Despite all that, it somehow it didn’t click that archaeology was what I was meant to do until nearly halfway through my college career. Now that I’ve found such an incredible community, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else. I’m excited to be a part of this amazing field school and finally get some hands on experience in archaeology that I’ll be able to utilize in the future.

Markee – An introduction

Hello, I am Markee an undergraduate of Anthropology, specifically Archaeology Science at the University of Washington.

I am excited to be participating in field archaeology after a year and a half of academic archaeology classes. I am interested in learning about archaeological processes as well as museum processes and functions.

When I’m not in the classroom I am spending time with friends, family and my cats.


Discovery Park Rock

About Victoria

Victoria with Benny the Beaver mascot for Oregon State

Elligsen – Victoria with Benny the Beaver mascot for Oregon State

I’m a senior at Oregon State University pursuing a double major in history and archaeology. I enjoy reading, hiking, traveling, and learning new things. I grew up watching a lot of History Channel documentaries so that I could push my bedtime later (back when it actually showed informative documentaries instead of shows about conspiracy theories). The specials about Ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome were the ones that held my attention the best, especially when they interviewed archaeologists who discussed the significance of their findings. You can imagine how much I geeked out when I discovered Percy Jackson as a fifth grader and Kane Chronicles (by the same author) was published shortly thereafter. My aspiration is to  work in Classical Greek and Roman maritime archaeology, but I’ll be happy to work in any archaeological settings. I’m looking forward to continuing my studies as a graduate student in a maritime and/or nautical archaeology program.

A couple other things: I became a PADI certified open water scuba diver last spring, the country Estonia does not give enough credit for how cool it is, Helsinki is my favorite city, and leg day is best day, but I finally like doing upper body for weight lifting too.



About Me!


My name is Juliet Oreste and I’m an undergraduate student at University of Washington. My major is currently undeclared but I am using this experience at Grand Ronde to enhance my education and participate in a possible career path.

I grew up in Marin County, California, so I’ve always been interested in the outdoors, and traveling to museums and historic sites around the country led me to an interest in archaeology. This is my first real archaeology experience outside of the classroom and I’m excited to do some hands on activities. I’m also interested in learning more about low-impact methodology, and incorporating that into indigenous archaeology. Learning more about indigenous communities is something that I have been looking forward to and think is important.

Outside of the classroom, I enjoy playing guitar, drawing, and listening to music. Before college I was super into trail running, but I’ve had less time (and motivation) to get out and on the trails since I moved up to Seattle. I also enjoy traveling a lot and have been on hiking trips in several places around the world and am looking forward to future adventures.

About Me

Hello! My name is Cessna Westra and I am very excited to be a part of FMIA 2019. I just recently graduated from Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma Washington, and I am hoping to start a career in government archaeology here in the Willamette Valley. I have lived in Eugene, Oregon my whole life and have come to love this place and everything about it. I am here hoping to learn how to work with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and how to improve the systems within US government archaeology, so that they can help manage tribal belongings in a manner approved of and preferred by the Grand Ronde.
Outside of the professional world, I enjoys being with friends and family as the primary joy in my life. I am also a new dog owner and am slowly realizing just how much dogs are really just small furry humans. I am eternally in love with books and movies and I tend to break into random lectures on Harry Potter if provoked. I love country music and horses as well in complete contrast, and have lived my whole life in between nerdy and country.
In school I majored in anthropology with a focus on archaeology. I hope to some day pursue a masters degree at OSU but I will always remain faithful to my fighting ducks back in Eugene where football is concerned.
I look forward to meeting many new people through this field school, and learning as much as possible about Grand Ronde heritage, practice, and culture.