Mary Guillette Harper, M.A., RPA
President and Owner
Director of Archaeological Research
As president of AHS and its nonprofit affiliate, PAST, Ms. Harper has extensive experience in cultural resource project management. She has directed over 600 projects in over 34 years with AHS and PAST. She holds an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut, with concentrations in history, ethnography, and archaeology. She is a National Park Service 36 CFR 61-qualified prehistoric and historical archaeologist, historian, and cultural anthropologist, and she has extensive experience in industrial archaeology. Ms. Harper has special expertise in the history, archaeology, and ethnography of Native Americans and colonists in New England.
An expert in cultural resource management and environmental compliance, Ms. Harper oversees all archaeological projects and works with our senior archaeologists to develop and implement archaeological surveys. A working principal, Ms. Harper has written hundreds of technical reports and National Register nomination forms, along with the cultural resource components of over 100 environmental review documentations under Section 106, NEPA, Section 4(f) and state laws. She has also co-authored and authored books, articles, and text for websites such as the Marshfield Archaeology Project and museum-style exhibits. She is a Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA).
Bruce A. Clouette, Ph.D.
Senior Historian and Director of Historical Research
Dr. Clouette is a National Park Service-qualified historian, architectural historian, and industrial archaeologist. As the Director of Historical Research, he has over 35 years of experience with documentation of historic buildings and landscapes.
Dr. Clouette is also an expert in the evaluation and documentation of historic bridges, industrial and railroad structures, and waterpower and maritime features. He has produced hundreds of cultural resource management reports. He prepares cultural resource sections of environmental review documentation under Section 106, NEPA, Section 4(f), and corresponding state laws. He drafts memoranda of agreement for mitigation and, often as a component of mitigation, he has written and contributed to books on New England history, designed museum exhibits, and designed and written text for historic-themed websites.
A popular public speaker, Dr. Clouette frequently participates in public presentations. He holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Connecticut, with a doctoral dissertation on Hartford’s immigrant population.
Ross Harper, Ph.D., RPA
Senior Historical Archaeologist
A National Park Service-qualified historical archaeologist, historian, cultural anthropologist, and curator, Dr. Harper is an expert in colonial-period history, archaeology, ethnohistory, and ethnography of Native and Euro-American peoples of the Northeast.
He holds an M.A. in Anthropology from the College of William and Mary, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. His doctoral dissertation was a study of human-animal relations among Native American people in the Northeast Woodlands during the historic period. Prior to joining AHS in 1995, he was a staff archaeologist at Colonial Williamsburg and the Mashantucket Pequot Museum.
Dr. Harper is responsible for designing and directing many of AHS’s historical archaeology surveys and data recovery projects, particularly those with 17th and 18th-century components. His work overseeing the excavation and analysis of colonial New England homestead sites is widely respected. He has authored dozens of reports and articles on historic-period archaeology in New England. He is co-author, with Dr. Clouette and Ms. Harper, of Highways to History: The Archaeology of Connecticut’s 18th-Century Lifeways. A Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA), he is 40-hour OSHA HAZWOPER-trained at the supervisor level.
David E. Leslie, Ph.D.
Senior Archaeologist and GIS Specialist
Dr. Leslie holds a B.A. in Anthropology and Sociology from West Virginia University, an M.A. in Anthropology from Florida Atlantic University, and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Connecticut. His dissertation, Stable Isotopic Evidence for Landscape Reconstructions, Kapthurin Formation, Kenya, focused on integrating stable isotopic evidence for past environments with archaeological, geological, and geomorphological data to reconstruct landscapes associated with Middle Pleistocene hominins.
Prior to working at AHS, Dr. Leslie was a staff archaeologist at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum, Research Scientist at the University of Connecticut, and Adjunct Instructor at Manchester Community College, the University of Connecticut, and Southern Connecticut State University. He is a National Park Service-qualified archaeologist, 40-hour OSHA-HAZWOPER certified, and serves as the firm’s Health and Safety Officer.
Dr. Leslie has over 10 years of geoarchaeological and environmental archaeological experience, collaborating on academic projects in the Northeastern United States, Kenya, and Europe. Dr. Leslie’s academic work has been published in anthropological and geological journals, integrating environmental, geological, and archaeological datasets. At AHS, he manages projects that involve significant components of GIS, geoarchaeological, and environmental data sets, such as our intensive study of the paleoenvironment of the Norwalk, Connecticut area.
Marguerite Carnell, M.Phil.
Senior Architectural Historian
Ms. Carnell brings additional expertise in architectural history and historic preservation to AHS as a National Park Service-qualified architectural historian and historian. Following her passion for design and architecture, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Connecticut with a B.S. in Design and Resource Management. She went on to receive her M.Phil. in American Civilization from the George Washington University, with interdisciplinary studies in architectural history, material culture, religious history, and women’s history. She also completed coursework in architectural conservation at Columbia University.
With over 25 years of experience, Ms. Carnell has spent much of her career documenting, preserving, and restoring historic resources. She has worked on all types of historic buildings, cultural landscapes, bridges, railroads and other types of transportation infrastructure, and water supply systems. Since joining AHS in 2014, she is responsible for researching and writing cultural resource management reports, historic resource surveys and documentation, environmental compliance reviews, National Register nominations, and historic tax credits.
James Sexton, Ph.D.
Dr. Sexton is a National Park Service-qualified architectural historian and historian. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in the History of Art from Yale University, with a dissertation focusing on changes in community structure as reflected in the buildings of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Guilford. He has over 20 years of experience in the investigation and documentation of historic properties, and he has an excellent understanding of the regulatory environment for above-ground cultural resources and the necessary skills to perform survey and documentation studies. Dr. Sexton has completed many nominations to the National and Connecticut State Register of Historic Places, as well as Historic District Study Commission Reports for proposed historic districts. He prepared the National Historic Landmark nomination for the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Hartford, Connecticut. Dr. Sexton has extensive experience with historic building assessment, having completed more than 20 Historic Structure Reports. He also has experience with large-scale survey projects and environmental compliance reviews.
Eric Heffter, Ph.D.
Eric Heffter has over 10 years of experience studying the archaeology and geoarchaeology of North America and Central and Southeastern Europe, working in both cultural resource management and academic settings. He holds a B.A. in Anthropology with minors in Maritime Archaeology and Business from the University of Connecticut, and an M.A. in Anthropology from the University of Arizona. He was a Fulbright scholar to the Republic of Serbia in the Balkans in 2016, where he conducted Paleolithic fieldwork. He graduated with a Ph.D. in Anthropology and minor in Geosciences from the University of Arizona in 2021. His dissertation analyzed stone tools to gain a better understanding of human population movements in the Balkans during the Early Upper Paleolithic Period. His research interests include lithic analysis, applying GIS to archaeological datasets, Paleolithic Archaeology, and geoarchaeology.
Before joining AHS as a Project Archaeologist in 2021, Dr. Heffter worked as an archaeologist on various projects at the Mashantucket Museum and Research Center and the University of Massachusetts Archaeological Services, and served as a teaching assistant at the University of Arizona. At AHS, he is involved with all stages of archaeological investigations, report preparation, and GIS analysis.
AHS’s core staff of full-time field archaeologists specialize in southern New England. Most of our field crew has been with the firm for several years. Our low turnover is a key factor in quality and efficiency. Accustomed to working as a team with senior staff, our archaeologists accomplish work quickly and smoothly, with no downtime or duplication of effort.
Our staff of full-time archaeologists and historians is assisted by student interns and part-time/seasonal employees, who are always trained one-on-one by AHS staff to ensure that top quality is maintained.
Our laboratory staff has extensive experience processing and curating New England artifacts. The inventory, conservation, and curation of artifacts at AHS are overseen by laboratory supervisor James Poetzinger and conservator Robyn Beausoleil.
Mr. Poetzinger supervises artifact processing in our wet and dry laboratories and oversees field archaeologists who are cross-trained as laboratory workers. He also maintains our site database.
Ms. Beausoleil, National Park Service-qualified conservator and curator, is responsible for implementing technical procedures in our dedicated conservation laboratory. She stabilizes fragile artifacts, assuring their long-term preservation, and oversees our curation facilities. AHS serves as both a temporary and long-term repository for artifact collections from Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.