Senior Staff

Our staff has a combined 50 years of professional experience. We have completed approximately 800 cultural resource management and other archaeological research projects in Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, Illinois, Mississippi, New York, Tennessee, and other states in the Eastern U.S, and hundreds of archaeo-geophysical surveys all across the U.S. and internationally.

Our senior staff is comprised of individuals well-trained in field and laboratory archaeology, with experience in historic and prehistoric time periods. Click on the names below to learn more about individual staff members.

 

Jennifer L. Pecora, MA, President

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Jennifer Pecora is president and owner of Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc.  With nearly 20 years of professional administrative experience, Jennifer oversees all aspects of the company’s business development, including project budgeting, project management, Human Relations, Quality Assurance/Quality Control, Health and Safety, and other administrative tasks related to cultural resource management, social media, report editing, grant writing, certifications for the company, account management, accounts receivable/payable, National Historic Preservation Act compliance, and cultural collections and documentation.

Albert M. Pecora, PhD, Archaeologist

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Albert M. Pecora has been active in Midwestern, Southeastern and Ohio Valley archaeology since 1987. His primary research interests include prehistoric stone tool technologies, archaeological site formation processes, Ohio Valley prehistory and historic-era archaeology.

Albert has over 25 years of professional experience in archaeology.  While an undergraduate student at The Ohio State University, Albert attended the 1987 archaeological fieldschool held at Flint Ridge Memorial Park in Licking County, under Dr. Richard Yerkes.  This experience spawned a profound interest in lithic technology that continues to this day.  In 1988 Pecora attended the Flintknapping Fieldschool directed by Dr. J. Jeffrey Flenniken in Stanley, Idaho.  From there he developed an understanding in lithic technology that eventually led to his Ph.D. dissertation research.

In keeping with his childhood dream, Albert established Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc. while enrolled in the Ph.D. program at The Ohio State University. The initial purposes of the company were to gain access to archaeological data for his dissertation research and to prepare a future career by developing a professional cultural resource management firm.  This is not the traditional course followed by graduate students in Anthropology—but as his father would say, “my son beats to his own drummer.”

In 2002 Albert earned his doctoral degree in Anthropology, which is the parent discipline of Archaeology. Today, he is vice-president and oversees the staff of Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc. Under his direction, Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc. strives to provide the highest quality cultural resource management services possible.

Jarrod Burks, PhD

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Jarrod Burks, PhD is the Director of Archaeological Geophysics at Ohio Valley Archaeology. Over the past decade he has worked hard to pioneer the application of geophysical survey techniques on archaeology sites in Ohio and other areas of the Eastern U.S., especially in Cultural Resource Management contexts. The geophysical survey of Ohio earthworks is one of Jarrod’s major research, education, and preservation goals.

A note from Jarrod: Though trained as a dirt archaeologist, I began to wonder if there wasn’t a better way to do archaeology than what I was being taught in the early 1990s. Let’s face it, archaeology is hard work and it is expensive. I have found that geophysics is a great way to improve the effectiveness of archaeological field projects. It takes a lot of the guess-work out of locating intact archaeological remains, and it can produce some amazing images, including some kinds of site structure simply not visible with any other technique (e.g., shovel testing and  block excavation).

Jarrod received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Ohio State University in 2004, but has been working in Ohio since 1994, when he first started to see the benefits of becoming a fan of Buckeye football.

Stephen Biehl, BA

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Stephen Biehl has worked as a professional archaeologist since 1995 and at OVAI since 2001. In his is current position, he serves as a senior project archaeologist, laboratory supervisor, artifact analyst, and curation manager. He is also the director of OVAI’s Health & Safety Program. Stephen is also an expert in historic-era artifact analysis and has an advanced understanding of nineteenth century ceramic types and manufacturing methods. He also works very closely with State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) personnel with the Online Portal for submission for both Ohio Archaeological Inventory (OAI) and Ohio Historic Inventory (OHI) forms.

Stephen has authored or co-authored over 300 cultural resource reports, where he has acted either as the project manager and/or field supervisor. This work includes small scale (<1 acres) to large scale (>1,700 acres) projects throughout Ohio. This work entailed the coordination of the field crew and the background research at the onset of the project to the final submittal of the report and curation of recovered artifacts. During this tenure, Stephen has developed and refined a categorical analysis system for historic-era artifacts, with a refined expertise for nineteenth and early twentieth century ceramics and glass bottles, including the manufacturing techniques and production dates. Stephen oversees and completes the curation process of archaeological collections obtained during projects. He has served as an outside beta tester for personnel at the SHPO since 2002 for the then E-form-the precursor to the current I-form. Currently, he continues as a beta tester for the I-form and is frequently asked for input on developing new and more streamlined approaches to the application. Stephen has completed over 1,000 site forms (OAI and OHI) with a near-perfect review/acceptance rating with the SHPO. In fact, his site forms, especially the OAIs, are routinely used as prime examples of an accurately completed form during SHPO workshops.

Stephen’s archaeological interests include the study of land-use patterns during the Late Archaic and Early Woodland periods in Ohio, including Early Woodland mortuary practices along the Big Darby Creek, and the evolution of early nineteenth through mid-twentieth century farmsteads across Ohio’s landscape. Stephen has contributed hundreds of volunteer hours with local school groups and he routinely gives presentations on archaeology to local school districts, with a hands-on-approach that allows students to view and handle actual artifacts from archaeological sites. Stephen is also an active member of the Midwest Archaeological Conference and has co-authored a paper published in the North American Archaeologist journal. Stephen works with local amateur archaeologists document archaeological sites that are found in the Union County area.

Jamie Davis, BA, GIS

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Jamie Davis has been employed at Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc., since 2010 and has worked as a professional archaeologist since 2009. He earned his B.A. degree in anthropology and B.S. degree in mathematics from Ohio University in 2002 and 2006. Jamie also earned a Global Information Systems (GIS) Masters Certificate from Penn State University, in 2011.

In his current position at OVAI, Jamie serves as an archaeological crew chief and is the director of our GIS program. With his GIS expertise, he is responsible for making project maps, performing viewshed analyses, and various types of cultural resources-related terrain analysis. Jamie has a developed expertise in the spatial arrangement of archaeological sites and various terrain and environmental variables. His expertise is instrumental in pre-project planning, especially where archaeological resource modelling can focus field effort and ultimately reduce costs and increase our survey efficiency.

As an archaeological crew chief, Jamie has managed field crews in Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Tennessee. and Mississippi.