Melissa joined OSA in April 2019 as a Staff Archaeologist and historic cemetery specialist. Originally from southwestern Pennsylvania, she obtained her BS. in anthropology and archaeology from Mercyhurst University in Erie, PA in 2004. She received her MA in historical archaeology, with an emphasis in public archaeology from the University of West Florida in Pensacola, FL in 2013. Her master’s thesis focused on the maintenance of memory, tradition, and cultural landscape by examining a 19th century African American cemetery in Bay County, Florida.
Before coming to OSA, Melissa worked in the private sector, for the Exploring Joara Foundation in Morganton, NC, the Florida Public Archaeology Network, the National Park Service, local historical societies, university archaeology labs and field schools, and the Sagamore Institute of the Adirondacks at Vanderbilt’s Great Camp Sagamore. She has a passion for connecting people to their local history, historic cemeteries, and archaeological resources.