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Thomas Whitley

Associate Professor; Director of the Anthropological Studies Center

Thomas Whitley
Thomas Whitley



Stevenson Hall 3726

Office Hours

Fri: 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Advising Area

  • General


My work bridges the gap between academic archaeology and Cultural Resources Management. I have been a professional archaeologist for 30 years and have specialized in using computer/digital technology to understand the human past. I’m interested in how we can represent, recreate, and model cognitive patterns and human ecology in non-material ways. From a research perspective this means interpreting things like risk, energy management, productivity, and social interaction using both environmental and cultural criteria. From a CRM perspective it means assessing the significance of cultural and historical landscapes, examining location choice (i.e. predictive) models, and developing digital approaches to public outreach and interpretation. My objectives as a teacher are to train students to apply archaeology to the social and cultural landscape, to develop cutting edge technical skills, and to think “outside the box” when it comes to doing either academic archaeology or CRM. My objectives as the Director of the ASC are to create opportunities for students to gain on-the-job experience with internships and project work, to develop engaging and innovative products for the tribal and local communities we work with, and to provide the highest quality professional services to our clients.


Ph.D., University of Pittsburgh 2000
M.A., University of Pittsburgh 1990
B.A., University of Washington 1987


Archaeology, Cultural Resources Management, GIS and spatial analysis, remote sensing, 3D modeling and photogrammetry, digital technologies, environmental and human energetics modeling, historical mining landscapes, North American Prehistory and Contact Period, Iron Age Europe, and Australia.

Selected Publications & Presentations

Thomas G. Whitley (2017) Geospatial Analysis as Experimental Archaeology, In, Archaeological GIS Today: Persistent Challenges, Pushing Old Boundaries, and Exploring New Horizons, M.C.L. Howey and M. Brouwer Burg (eds), Journal of Archaeological Science 84:103-114.

Thomas G. Whitley (2016) Human Energetics and the Modelling of Cultural Landscapes. In, Proceedings of the 3rd International Landscape Archaeology Conference, Rome, Italy, 17th – 20th of Sept 2014. J.W.H.P. Verhagen, T. Whitley, and M. Brouwer-Burg (Session 12 editors), Amsterdam: Vrije Universiteit. DOI 10.5463/lac.2014.63

Thomas G. Whitley (2016) Archaeological Simulation and the Testing Paradigm. In, Uncertainty and Sensitivity Analysis in Archaeological Computational Modeling. M. Brouwer Burg, H. Peeters, and W. Lovis (editors), New York: Springer.

Thomas G. Whitley (2016) From Historical Ecology to Prehistoric Economy: Modeling the Caloric Landscapes of the Past. In, The Future in the Past: Historical Ecology Applied to Environmental Issues, H.T. Foster and L. Paciulli (editors), Columbia SC: University of South Carolina.

Thomas G. Whitley (2015) Permeability and Persistence of Physical and Social Boundaries in the Context of Incarceration in 19th Century Western Australia. Archaeology in Oceania 50(3), P. White (editor), Hoboken NJ: Wiley, DOI: 10.1002/arco.5063.

Thomas G. Whitley (2015) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Documenting and Interpreting Historic Archaeological Sites: Part I – Attack of the Drones. Technical Briefs in Historical Archaeology 9:34-40, Washington DC: Society for Historical Archaeology.

Thomas G. Whitley (2015) Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) for Documenting and Interpreting Historic Archaeological Sites: Part II – Return of the Drones. Technical Briefs in Historical Archaeology 9:41-48, Washington DC: Society for Historical Archaeology.

Thomas G. Whitley (2013) A Paleoeconomic Model of the Georgia Coast (4500 to 300 BP). In, Life Among the Tides: Recent Archaeology of the Georgia Bight, V. Thompson and D.H. Thomas (editors), New York: American Museum of Natural History Anthropological Papers, pp235-285.

Verhagen, J.W.H.P., and T.G. Whitley (2012) Integrating Archaeological Theory and Predictive Modeling: A Live Report from the Scene. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 19(1): 49-100.