March Featured Grad - Levi Keach

Levi Keach office smlMeet Levi Keach, a Ph.D. student in Anthroplogy at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He is currently studying the spatial and landscape archaeology of an Early Aceramic Neolithic (c. 10.5-9 ka ago) site called 'Ais Giorkis on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

What brought you to DRI?

The exciting work being done on the archaeology of nuclear testing by DRI attracted my attention shortly after I relocated to Nevada for graduate school. It is situated at the intersection of my love of archaeology and my interest in the processes by which the Cold War has conditioned our present culture. Moreover, the experience is directly related to my post-graduation career goals, particularly attaining a position as a Post Archaeologist with the Department of the Army.

levi keach2Levi Keach engaginging in archaeological survey at the NNSS

What are you studying?

Academically, I work with Prof. Alan Simmons at UNLV studying the spatial and landscape archaeology of an Early Aceramic Neolithic (c. 10.5-9 ka ago) site called 'Ais Giorkis on the Mediterranean island of Cyprus.

What research projects are you working on? And who at DRI are you working with?

I am working for Dr. Beck on the NNSS Cultural Recourses Management Project. The entire team is really great and I feel privileged for the opportunity to work with them.

What are your short-term and long-term goals while at DRI?

I try to live by the values I learned in the army, one of those values is to always improve one’s fighting position, as I should complete my PhD within the next academic year, I’m focusing on leaving whoever holds my assistanceship next with the best possible conditions for success. In the short-term, this really just means do the best job I can with the CRMP whether that means writing reports, fieldwork, or further developing or geodatabase capabilities, while maintaining my metadata. Longer term, while I believe I’m in a good position for my target career, I would love an opportunity to diversify my GIS KSAs beyond archaeology.

Tell us about yourself. What do you do for fun?

levi keach3Levi Keach at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. for federal trainingI moved to Las Vegas in 2012 with my wife and son after completing my B.A. at the University of Kansas. I have worked as line cook in fine dining, as a school bus driver, as a grocery manager, and a soldier. I am a veteran of the Iraq War, who fought with the Army’s 1st Infantry Division during the Baghdad Surge. I am interested in landscape archaeology and archaeology as geography of the past. ‘Fun’ as a scheduled activity isn’t something I have much room for in my life right now. Nevertheless, there is great fun to be found in raising of my son, hanging out with my beautiful and talented wife Lorna after a long day, doing literature research, fieldwork is great—of course—I love hiking, the outdoors, and orienteering; fieldwork lets me do all three and get paid for it! Back when I had time for scheduled fun, I really enjoyed camping, going to small punk rock and heavy metal shows, playing table-top RPGs like Traveller and AD&D, and target shooting.


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