He also has an academic background in geomorphology. Ryan is particularly interested in fluvial geomorphology and alluvial geoarchaeology. He has extensive experience testing and excavating archaeological sites in alluvial settings and conducting geomorphological and geoarchaeological assessments for CRM projects.
Ryan earned his M.A. in geography from West Virginia University in 2009. While a graduate student, his research focused on geomorphology, sedimentology, pedology, and natural (i.e., noncultural) site formation processes. Ryan used sedimentological, pedological, and archaeological data recovered from a deeply stratified site in the Ohio River Valley as the basis for his thesis, Holocene Landform Evolution and Natural Site Formation Processes at the West Blennerhassett Archaeological Site (46WD83-A), Wood County, West Virginia. The information presented in the thesis contributes to an understanding of Holocene fluvial environments and archaeological site formation processes along landforms in the Ohio River Valley.
Ryan will assist the project team with describing and sampling sediments and soils along the Middle Cumberland River. He will also use data from the project to infer changes in the depositional environment over time as well as to determine the natural formation processes that have affected archaeological deposits at the site.