Cheryl M. Collins

Assistant Research Scientist Geography (DRI)
archaeology, 3d models, spatial analysis, GIS, radiation monitoring, lithic analysis, remote sensing, maps, nuclear testing era resources

Professional Interests

Cheryl Martin Collins is an archaeologist and GIS specialist, as well as a staff member on the Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP). She works on the Cultural Resources Management Program for Nevada National Security Site, writing reports, making maps, doing technical editing, creating site and architectural resource forms, and doing field work as needed. Using ArcGIS, Cheryl also computer mapping and modeling for various scientific projects at DRI. She has developed new procedures for converting 2D geologic cross sections into 3D models and accurately representing well log data in an ArcMap environment. Cheryl is proficient in designing GIS tool models to carry out complex procedures, and has also been trained in the acquisition and use of remote sensing products from various government and university-based resource portals. She periodically teaches a course in using GIS for environmental management at Nevada State College.

For the CEMP, Cheryl keeps an inventory of equipment, orders and packages supplies for field use, and helps carry out monthly maintenance on the monitoring stations.

Cheryls archaeological experience primarily covers the eastern and southern Great Basin prehistoric cultures and the nuclear testing period on the NNSS. Cheryl has worked on archaeological projects in southern Nevada, particularly in Nye and Lincoln counties. The focus of her academic research involved stone tool production and use by the Virgin Anasazi at Mt. Trumbull, located in far northwestern Arizona, and the exchange of obsidian between the Virgin Anasazi and other regional groups. Using X-ray fluorescence technology on obsidian artifacts recovered from Mt. Trumbull, Cheryl has identified additional trade directions beyond those which had been previously discovered through research on the exchange of shell, turquoise, and pottery through northwestern Arizona. She was invited to present her Virgin Anasazi research at a symposium during the Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology in 2005 and the Great Basin Anthropological Conference in 2006. With a grant from DRI's Lander Endowment, Cheryl also served as the PI on a project to carry out a cultural resources inventory on BLM land north of Cathedral Gorge State Park to facilitate the transfer of the northern part of the gorge to the State of Nevada.

Cheryl served five years as the president of the Archaeo-Nevada Society and was a recipient of a Nevada Historic Preservation Award in 2005. She volunteered as lead archaeologist on a project with Archaeo-Nevada to prepare artifacts excavated from the Elwood B site in Overton, NV for curation at the Lost City Museum. In addition to volunteer work related to archaeology, she also serves as an academic mentor to college students in the Foster Care 2 Success program.

3D Hydrologic Drilling Sample Video

Click here for a sample video of a 3D model - showing a hydrologic drilling operation with tunnels, wells, test locations, fault information, water locations, and stratigraphy. (Please note, this video contains no sound.)


M.A. 2009 University of Nevada, Las Vegas Anthropology
M.L.S. 1991 University of North Texas, Denton Library Science
B.S. 1989 University of North Texas, Denton Secondary Education/Spanish

Publications & Presentations


Reno, R. L., Collins, C. M., King, M. L. (2018). The Architecture of Mercury - Nevada's Boom Town: An Architectural Survey of Mercury, Area 23, Nevada National Security Site, Nye County, Nevada, TR 115 Rev 1, U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Field Office: Las Vegas


Reeves, D. M., Smith, K. D., Parashar, R., Collins, C. M., Heintz, K. M. (2017). Investigating the Influence of Regional Stress on Fault and Fracture Permeability at Pahute Mesa, Nevada National Security Site


Reeves, D. M., Smith, K. D., Parashar, R., Collins, C. M., Heintz, K. M. (2016). Determining the potential role of regional stress on preferential flow and transport at Pahute Mesa, Nevada National Security Site, AGU Fall Meeting: San Francisco, CA, December 12, 2016-December 16, 2016


Collins, C. M. (2012). A Class III Cultural Resources Inventory in Preparation for the Transfer of Land from the Bureau of Land Management to Cathedral Gorge State Park in Lincoln County, Nevada