Staff

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Kevin Ammons

Kevin Ammons has worked at NCPTT since 1997 and currently serves as an Administrative Officer and include, budget development and tracking, developing and tracking cooperative agreements with various NCPTT partners, and facility management of Lee Nelson Hall. Kevin has also worked on the MRP Literature Project, Louisiana SOS! and the MRP Visual Resource Database, during his tenure at NCPTT.

Kevin holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Arts in History from Northwestern State University. Prior to coming to NCPTT, Kevin worked as a graduate assistant and operated his own construction business.

Phone: 318-356-7444 x263
Email: kevin_ammons@nps.gov

James Barry

In 2016, James Barry began his career in the National Park Service at the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park. As an Interpretive Park Ranger, he led musical performances and historical presentations. James was also in charge of social media and fulfilled the role of webmaster for the park. Prior to that, James toured extensively throughout the country and the globe as a saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist. James is a proud veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Now, James joins the NCPTT as a Visual Information Specialist. He joins a talented team to enhance web and print media. James holds Master’s Degrees from the University of Miami and the University of Denver. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Purchase.

Email: james_barry@nps.gov

Mary Bistodeau

Mary Bistodeau joined NCPTT in August of 2003, has worked at NCPTT for 17 years, and has studied preservation at Northwestern State University. Prior to coming to Louisiana, Mary was a Benefits Manager for a California technology company for 21 years. As an Administrative Assistant for NCPTT, she support the staff in their endeavors, schedules business trips, maintains an in-house library, and greets visitors.

Phone: 318-356-7444
Email: mary_bistodeau@partner.nps.gov

Tad Britt

Tad Britt, RPA, is Chief of Archeology and Collections at NCPTT. Past experiences include serving as a Senior Researcher at the US Army Corps of Engineers, Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, Champaign, IL. He has extensive experience in program management and has developed several technologies that have cross-disciplinary applications.

Britt co-invented a hand-held a mobile GIS / GIS enabled standoff mapping and image capture technology. He was a recipient of the 2007 Federal Laboratories Consortium Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer. He has been a guest lecturer and has presented papers internationally. Tad Britt holds a Master of Arts (Anthropology), from the University of Mississippi.

Phone: 318-356-7444 x258
Email: tad_britt@nps.gov

Jason Church

Jason Church is the Chief, of Technical Services at NCPTT. Church coordinates and works to further develop the Center’s national cemetery training initiative and related research. Before joining NCPTT, he was a conservator and historic metals expert for the City of Savannah, Ga., Department of Cemeteries. He earned his M.F.A. in Historic Preservation from Savannah College of Art and Design and a B.S. in Building Science from Appalachian State University. Jason is a Professional Associate of the American Institute for Conservation.

Phone: 318-356-7444 x236
Email: jason_church@contractor.nps.gov

Catherine Cooper

Dr. Catherine Cooper is a research scientist in the Technical Services Program. She is assisting with in-house research and providing technical preservation consulting and services to other NPS units and beyond. Dr. Cooper earned her Ph.D. in Anthropology/Archaeological Chemistry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, B.C., where she specialized in using light stable isotope analysis to understand human dietary variation. Prior to joining NCPTT, she completed postdoctoral work at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the Arizona State Museum.

Phone: 318-356-744
Email: catherine_cooper@nps.gov

Kirk A. Cordell

Kirk A. Cordell was appointed Executive Director of the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training in Natchitoches, LA, in 2002. He is a LEED AP with more than 30 years of experience in the National Park Service, and has served in a number of preservation-related positions during his career. Prior to coming to the National Center, he headed the Park Cultural Resources programs in the Southeast Region of NPS, after working in its cultural resources planning, preservation tax incentives, and SHPO review programs. He previously worked as an architectural historian for the Louisiana SHPO.

Under his leadership, NCPTT has become a national leader in applying science and technology to the preservation of historic structures, landscapes, archeological sites, and materials, and has been the recipient of awards from professional and advocacy groups. He spearheaded NCPTT’s research and training partnerships with a range of preservation organizations, including APT, AIC, USICOMOS, and the AIA’s Historic Resources Committee.

A native of Richmond, Virginia, Cordell was an Echols Scholar at the University of Virginia, where he received a bachelor’s degree in architectural history, and completed graduate work in architectural history and preservation planning at Cornell University. He serves on the advisory boards of the Tulane University and College of Charleston preservation degree programs, and was invited to present the biannual Morrison Memorial Lecture at the Historic New Orleans Collection in 2012.

Phone: 318-356-7444 x222
Email: kirk_cordell@nps.gov

Kaitlyn Eldredge

My name is Kaitlyn Eldredge, I am originally from Boise, Idaho. I am a historical archaeologist with experience in 19th century U.S. military forts and various 20th century settings in the American West. I have come to NCPTT as the Research Associate working on the Fire Suppressants and Cultural Resources Project. I will be researching how chemical fire suppressants interact with cultural material types used in precontact and historic architecture. Additionally, I will be identifying the most effective methods for removing fire suppressants from these cultural materials. The results of this research will provide managers of cultural resources and wildland fire an understanding of the application and remediation of fire suppressants.

I am very excited to be a part of this research, as coming from Idaho I am no stranger to wildfire. I’m a recent graduate of the University of Idaho’s graduate program in Anthropology. While there I combined my passion for archaeology and my interest in wildland fire. I used experimental archaeology to study the effects of mechanical fireline construction and rehabilitation on archaeological sites. I look forward to expanding the knowledge of the ways in which wildland fire management activities impact our Nation’s heritage.]

Lance Ellis

Lance Ellis has been with NCPTT since January of 1998 and is responsible for administering all internal office computer systems. Lance manages NCPTT’s network and phone system, develops and maintains office databases, assists NCPTT staff with computer-related tasks and problems, and acts as liaison to the IT staffs of the National Park Service in Washington, DC, and Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

Lance has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Northwestern State University of Louisiana and a Master of Journalism degree from Louisiana State University. He comes to NCPTT after six and a half years experience in Washington, DC, providing computer support to the Department of Defense. He brings to NCPTT a broad range of experience in the computer industry as a network administrator, systems developer and automated information systems specialist.

Phone: 318-356-7444 x255
Email: lance_ellis@contractor.nps.gov

Andy Ferrell

The Deputy Director of NCPTT, Andy Ferrell coordinates the Center’s work. His research interests include sustainability, disaster preparedness and response, and preservation trades training. He joined NCPTT in 1999 and was previously the Chief of Architecture and Engineering. Prior to joining NCPTT, Ferrell worked at Gulf Engineers and Consultants as a cultural resource management specialist and environmental resources technician and taught in the Cultural Resource Management Program at Southeastern Louisiana University. He holds a Master’s in International Relations from Boston University-Brussels and a Master’s in Architecture/Historic Preservation from Louisiana State University.

Phone: 318-356-7444 x256
Email: andrew_ferrell@nps.gov

Vrinda Jariwala

Vrinda Jariwala is working as a research associate at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. She is working on the third phase of the research on removing crude oil from cultural resources using surface washing agents, which is funded by the Inland Oil Spill Preparedness Project. She would continue the research to the fourth phase for which she has received a grant from IOSPP, Department of Interiors. Before joining National Park Service, she studied A.P.D. Technical Building Conservation–a Historic Environment Scotland run programme at the Engine Shed, for which she received the Charles Wallace India Trust Scholarship. With her interest in the preservation of historic materials, she received the I.N.T.A.C.H. research grant for ‘Exploring Araaish through archival & scientific investigations’. She also worked as a research associate for the study on ‘Architectural elements of Indian Style’ and as a research assistant for ‘Characterization of Lakhori Brick’. Jariwala did her Masters in Architectural Conservation from the School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi. Through her final year thesis, she explored ‘Araaish: Revitalizing of traditional knowledge systems for material and building conservation in Jaipur’, which exposed her to different techniques of Araaish from craftsmen to craftsmen and conservation practices on site. After she graduated, she taught as an Assistant Professor at the Sushant School of Art and Architecture for two-and-a-half years till 2016.

In her recent works, she worked on the facade conservation of the Embassy of France and the French Ambassador’s residence in New Delhi representing Agence Goutal, Paris as their local conservation architect. In Gwalior, she worked with Section CC Architects on two projects–Conservation of Kaneriked and Nimaji House at the Scindia School and Revitalization of Maharaj Bada as part of Gwalior Smart City Development Corporation. She has been involved in conservation projects such as Jaipur Smart City Projects; Mughal Riverfront Gardens of Agra – Mehtab Bagh; Madhya Pradesh Monuments Project-Conservation Plan for Badshah Halwai Temple, Jabalpur; Garud Temple & Shiv Temple, Gararu, Narsinghpur; and condition assessment of Chatta Bazaar, Red Fort, Delhi.

Isabella Jones

Hello there! My name is Isabella Jones and I am a Fall 2019 graduate of Northwestern State University. At NSU I earned a bachelor’s degree in biology with a concentration in natural sciences as well as a bachelor’s degree in art with a concentration in graphic communications. I have always been interested in wildlife as well as art, so I chose to pursue education in both fields. My biology degree has allowed me to learn a vast amount about animal physiology, animal species identification, coordinating and maintaining species management plans, and many other areas of interest. At the same time, the art program allowed me to be creative and develop my skills in both the fine arts as well as the graphic design medium.

My time here at the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training is spent on a variety of projects but my main focus is videography. I able to film various topics such as oral histories, fellow researchers explaining their projects, and an important series where we are documenting and explaining the equipment available at NCPTT. These videos can be found here on NCPTT’s website or on our corresponding YouTube page. My next big task here will include joining the Preserving Tenant Cabins Project. Our team will scan and document various tenant cabins across the nation. It is something I very much look forward to being a part of.

Through the process of recording and editing, I am able to learn a broad range of topics and skills. Being able to document and listen to personal accounts of the past has given me world knowledge I did not have before, such as Mr. Tommy Whitehead’s personal stories of Clementine Hunter, Mr. Elvin Shield’s recollection of his time living and working on a plantation, to each instrument video where research is conducted, and an explanation to such is provided. My skills have not stopped developing after graduating college; instead, my role here at NCPTT continues to encourage me to learn more, be more creative, and push what I thought were the limits because I am being shown that everything is limitless.

Abigail Poe

Hello! My name is Abigail Poe, and I am from Natchitoches, LA. I attend Northwestern State University where I will be graduating summa cum laude this spring as a biology major with a concentration in biomedical sciences and minors in chemistry and Spanish. From performing experiments as a child to researching what makes the things around us tick, I have always been passionate about this field, so I wanted to continue studying it as an undergrad. At my university, I have been able share this interest with others as a teaching assistant for general biology and chemistry classes and as president of TriBeta Biology Honor Society by bringing in speakers and hosting workshops. I have also participated in undergraduate research through my department as well as a fellowship at LSUHSC in Shreveport, LA.

Last August, I began working at NCPTT as a materials conservation research intern. My project focuses on characterizing the effects of herbicides on historic stone and masonry materials. An earlier project here by Caitlin Oshida showed the destructive effects of using glyphosate-based herbicides, so I am investigating how alternative solutions impact these materials. These results will be used to develop recommendations for managing weeds and other vegetation without causing damage to surrounding historic features.

This internship has given me the opportunity to learn new lab skills like cutting samples with a power saw and using analytical instruments like the FTIR to analyze them. I have truly enjoyed learning about historic preservation, from the hands-on experience through my research as well as talking to other researchers and staff here who have shown me their work. I am grateful for this opportunity to be involved with this project and look forward to sharing the findings of it with y’all in the future!

Debbie Smith

Debbie Smith is chief of NCPTT’s Historic Landscapes program. She came to NCPTT from the Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation (OCLP) where she worked as an historical landscape architect. Her work included research, planning, and preservation compliance assistance for designed and vernacular landscapes within the national park system.

Prior to OCLP, she taught in the Environmental, Design and Buildings Technology Department at Lansing Community College in Lansing, Michigan; worked as a cultural landscape consultant for Carlisle/Wortman Associates in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and served as an intern with the Michigan State Preservation Office in Lansing, Michigan.

Debbie received her Masters of Landscape Architecture degree from the University of Michigan in 1999.

Phone: 318-356-7444 x259
Email: debbie_smith@nps.gov

Mary F. Striegel

Mary F. Striegel is a conservation scientist and Chief of Materials Conservation with the NPS National Center for Preservation Technology and Training. Mary has 32 years experience studying cultural resources. She specializes in how materials decay and treatments to preserve cultural heritage. Mary has experience in stone and metal materials, experimental design, and disaster response. She holds a Ph.D. in Inorganic Chemistry from Washington University in St. Louis.

Phone: 318-356-7444
Email: mary_striegel@nps.gov

Simeon A. Warren

Simeon A. Warren joined NCPTT as Chief of Architecture and Engineering. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Center in trade education, building construction and environmental art practice.

As a trained cathedral stone carver, sculptor, conservator and Environmental Artist he spent his formative years working at Lincoln Cathedral, Wells Cathedral and studied at Glasgow School of Arts’ world renowned environmental art program. In 2001 he immigrated to the USA and was part of the formative team that developed the School of Building Arts which became the American College of the Building Arts in 2005. He was the founding Dean of the College and helped develop the college’s interdisciplinary program that integrates trade and liberal arts education alongside aligned fields in preservation, architecture and building design. In 2018 the college reached its goal of becoming an accredited institution presently supporting a student body of 100 students who gain a Bachelor’s of Science in the Building Arts. ACBA has become the leading Degree program for anyone wishing to pursue a building trade alongside a formal liberal arts education.

Recent significant projects included the conservation work at the historic Circular Congregational Church’s Gravesite in Charleston SC Carolina’s conserving and stabilizing pre-revolutionary monument’s alongside a documentation and site maintenance app developed for public access to the sites data and management of the site; The development of a ghost foundation of a house that used to be sited at Fort Dorchester and Village SC State Park; The Stone People project developing the reproduction of a Queen Eleanor Cross originally created and built in 1290. Simeon also ran his own stone carving practice in South Carolina creating unique one off fireplaces for clients and conserving the historic stone work in Charleston historic properties.

In 2019 he received South Carolina highest arts award the Elizabeth Verner O’Neill Governors Arts Award. In 2013 he was honored with the status of Dean Emeritus at ACBA and upon leaving the college in 2020 was nominated by the faculty as ACBA’s first Professor Emeritus. In 2016 he was awarded Historic Charleston Samuel Gaillard Stoney Conservation Craftsmanship Award and in 2012 Preservation Trade Networks Askins Achievement Award, he presently Chair’s PTN Askins Committee which announces the award annually at PTN International Preservation Trade Workshop.

David Watt

David Watt, M.A., RPA, joined NCPTT in 2019 as an archaeological research associate with nine years of experience in cultural resources management, geographic information systems (GIS), and geophysical surveys. He has experience conducting archaeological investigations across the Midwest and Southeastern United States as well as Mexico. He received his B.A. degree in Anthropology and History with a minor in Native American Studies from Illinois State University in 2013, his M.A. degree in Anthropology from Tulane University in 2016, and is currently pursuing his Ph.D. During his time at Tulane, he taught courses on Native American studies and Louisiana Archaeology. Mr. Watt’s research has been published in multiple journals including: Southeastern Archaeology, the International Journal of Historical Archaeology, the Parks Stewardship Forum, and presented at numerous conferences in the U.S. and internationally.

Mr. Watt’s interests include the archaeology of coastal landscapes, environmental archaeology, GIS predictive modelling, and he has a firm commitment to public outreach and education. Currently, he works on the Mississippi River Delta Archaeological Mitigation (MRDAM) Project as an archaeologist and GIS specialist developing a comprehensive mitigation plan for cultural resources of the Louisiana coastline that are at severe risk of erosion and relative sea-level rise (RSLR).

When not digging holes, Mr. Watt enjoys gardening with his wife, playing board-games, and is ever on the hunt for the next best IPA.

Last updated: September 14, 2021