Biographies For Workshop Presenters

Adela Morris, President and CEO, Institute for Canine Forensics

Adela Morris has been active in human remains detection with her dogs since 1986 and has deployed her dogs on hundreds of searches specializing on cold cases, crime scenes and historic and prehistoric burials. She is an instructor and evaluator for Human Remains Detection dogs. Adela is the founder and director of the Institute for Canine Forensics (ICF), a nonprofit organization that specializes in locating Historic and Prehistoric burials. She’s also the founder of the Canine Specialized Search Team, a volunteer resource for the Santa Clara County (CA) Sheriff’s Office. Jasper is her 6th certified detection dog and Jett, her 16 month old puppy, is currently working on his ICF historical human remains certification.

Crystal Alegria, Co-Director and Montana Project Archaeology Coordinator, The Extreme History Project

Crystal B. Alegria has worked in the field of heritage outreach and education for the past sixteen years with an emphasis on community history, curriculum development, and archaeological site stewardship. Crystal is the Co-Director and Co-Founder of The Extreme History Project, a nonprofit based in Bozeman, MT that brings history to the public. She is also the Montana coordinator for Project Archaeology, a national heritage education program based at Montana State University. Crystal was the President of the Montana Archaeological Society and currently serves on the Bozeman Historic Preservation Advisory Board and the Bozeman Preservation Advocacy Group. She has a B.S. in Anthropology and a M.A. in History from Montana State University.

Ellen Baumler, Interpretive Historian, Montana Historical Society

Ellen Baumler earned her Ph.D. in English, classics and history from the University of Kansas. She has been the interpretive historian and National Register sign program coordinator at the Montana Historical Society since 1992. Ellen is a longtime member of the Humanities Montana Speakers Bureau, a 2011 recipient of the Governor’s Award for the Humanities, and co-curator of the Society’s recent award-winning Chinese exhibit, “Forgotten Pioneers.” The author of many books and articles, Ellen’s current project is a book on mortuary customs and cemeteries in Montana. She has also authored National Register nominations including those for Helena’s Home of Peace and Benton Avenue cemeteries.


Ethan Ryan, Archaeologist/GPR Specialist, University of Montana

Ethan Ryan is currently in the PhD program for Anthropology/Archaeology at the University of Montana. He has been the Ground Penetrating Radar Specialist for iResponse, LLC., an affiliate of the Chippewa Cree Cultural Resource Office of Rocky Boy’s Reservation since Feb 2017. Ethan previously worked for the Bureau of Land Management and has worked on large-scale research projects in Alaska, British Columbia, Montana, and Wyoming. Ethan’s specialties in addition to GPR include GIS, lithic analysis, and spatial analysis. In his free time, he enjoys fly-fishing, hiking, and playing music in two Missoula-based bands.

James Straight, Tribal and Cultural Resource Officer, Montana Department of Environmental Quality

James Strait is the Tribal and Cultural Resources Officer, as well as the Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) Manager for the Montana Department of Environmental Quality. James holds a BS in Anthropology from Iowa State University and a MA in Archaeology, specializing in the Northern Plains and stone tool analysis from the University of Arkansas. James has worked in the private sector doing Cultural Resource Management throughout the Midwest, Southeast, and Southwest, but his primary focus in archaeology has been in Montana, Wyoming and the Dakotas. Since joining DEQ in 2009, James has worked for the facility siting program. The UAS program within DEQ was started by James in 2012, and has become an invaluable toolset for many of the programs within DEQ such as small miner exploration, remediation and abandoned mine lands.

John and Daren Rummel, Montana Granite Craftsmen

Montana Granite is a locally owned and operated family business, providing almost a hundred years of experience to Montana families. The Rummel family and Montana Granite have a long-established history in the Helena community, dating back to 1930 when John Rummel opened the first shop on Montana Ave after working with John Kain at the Kain Granite Company.  Sixteen years later, the family built the current monument shop on Forestvale Road and then in 1958, expanded to Great Falls. Montana Granite Company of Helena changed hands in 1971 when Ken Ludtke and his family purchased it.  They serviced Helena until the early 2000’s when they sold it back to the Rummels who are now the fourth generation of Montana Granite monument makers and craftsmen. We are committed to helping preserve Montana family histories through our custom monuments and stonework and by working with our partners in Montana’s cemeteries.

John Grebenkemper, Historic Human Remains Detection Canine Handler, Institute for Canine Forensics

John Grebenkemper joined the Institute for Canine Forensics in 2007 after retiring from computer
design. His dog, Kayle, is a certified Historic Human Remains Detection dog. He and Kayle have traveled extensively to various archaeological projects to locate burial locations. The oldest burial they have found has been dated as 9,000 years old. This past summer they traveled to the South Pacific on a National Geographic project to look for the remains of Amelia Earhart. The material found on that expedition is currently under analysis to extract the degraded DNA. Before joining ICF, John spent 40 years working in the fields of physics and engineering research. He received a PhD from Stanford University, has published more than 20 technical papers, and received 8 U.S. patents.

John S. Harris, University of Montana

How might surface vegetation divulge the past story of a place to archaeologists? How do archaeologists know what to look for in site vegetation? These overlooked questions preoccupied John Harris’ master’s thesis, “The Sylvan Blindspot.” He holds a MA of anthropology from the University of Montana, where as a PhD student, he investigates the vegetal signatures of past human activities at historic log cabins and cemetery sites in Western Montana. His research interests include landscape archaeology,
historical archaeology, historical ecology, and historical ethnobotany.

John W. Olson, Archaeologist/GIS Specialist, The Extreme History Project

John W. Olson graduated Montana State University in May 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology, focus on Archaeology, and a minor in Geographic Information Sciences (GIS).  He has volunteered and worked for The Extreme History Project since 2013, and leads historic tours in downtown Bozeman. He is the GPS/GIS Project Coordinator for the Nevada City Cemetery GPS Mapping Project since March 2015 and has been part of the project to create the Cemetery Database. While working as the Store Manager and Buyer for the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, MT, he is investigating options and opportunities for a pursuing a Master’s Degree in Archaeology and furthering his education in GIS.

Kirsten Green, Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Montana

Kirsten received her BS in Anthropology from Southern Methodist University in 2006, then received her MA in Forensic Anthropology from the UM in 2008. She received her PhD in Physical Anthropology from UM in 2016 with research on stable isotope analysis of burials from a Maya site in Belize. Between her MA and PhD’s she worked for several CRM companies in California before landing a job at the State of California as an Associate Environmental Planner. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor here at the University of Montana in the Anthropology Department. Kirsten teaches Osteology, Forensic & Mortuary Archaeology, Introduction to Physical Anthropology, and a Seminar in Bioarchaeology. Kirsten also consults with the State Medical Examiner’s Office on forensic cases for the State of Montana. She continues her work in Belize each summer excavating, documenting, and cataloging burials for several sites in the Belize River Valley.

Mary F. Striegel, Chief, Materials Conservation, National Park Service

Mary Striegel is responsible for NCPTT’s Materials Conservation Program. Mary’s current work focuses on evaluation of preservation treatments for preventing damage to cultural resources. Among several projects, she and her staff oversee NCPTT’s National Cemetery Preservation Initiative. Through this initiative, the program investigates preservation treatments geared towards cemeteries and develops seminars and workshops nationwide. Mary came to NCPTT in 1995 from the Getty Conservation Institute. She earned her PhD in inorganic chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis, where she pursued interdisciplinary research on residual stresses in numismatics.

Riley Auge, Curator of Anthropological Collections Facility, University of Montana  

Riley Auge, PhD, RPA, holds a MA in Folklore and Mythology and a PhD in Anthropology/Archaeology. She has spent 17 years researching the material manifestations of traditional belief systems of various cultural and ethnic groups. She recently received the Society for Historical Archaeology’s Kathleen Kirk Gilmore Award for her dissertation Silent Sentinels: Archaeology, Magic, and the Gendered Control of Domestic Boundaries in New England, 1620-1725, which will be published this fall. She has published articles in national and international journals on the material culture of ritual and magic, presented at national and international conferences on the subject, and teaches classes and workshops on ritual, religion, and magic. Her research projects include the cemeteries of Virginia and Nevada City, MT. She is currently a curator for UM’s Anthropological Collections Facility and teaches in UM’s anthropology department.

Tim Urbaniak, Professor (Emeritus) of Drafting and Design Technology, Montana State University/TRU Technologies

For 20 years, Dr. Timothy Urbaniak led projects that explored archaeology and history through applications of technology. As the past Director of the Montana State University Billings Archaeological Field Team, he has led students and volunteers in projects and field schools that have included rock art and historic inscription surveys, 3D reconstructions of historic sites, digital imaging applications, surveying technologies, desktop virtual reality, three-dimensional scanning and applications of multimedia. In 2014 he completed his PhD in Anthropology at the University of Montana where he studied historic inscriptions and their role as a form of residual cultural communication. He is now retired emeritus from teaching following his 29th year at MSUB in the Drafting and Design Program and currently manages TRU Technologies LLC, a company specializing in applying technologies to archaeological and anthropological research. His research work exploring and documenting historic inscriptions continues.