Associate Professor of Practice
Master of Applied Science Program


Dr. Matthew Douglass is Director of the Master of Applied Science Program at the University of Nebraska and also serves as advisor for the Science for Educators Specialization in the program.

Matt's research has focused on modern and prehistoric human environmental interaction in semi-arid regions of the world, as well as public engagement and cultural resource managment in the Great Plains. He has worked to involve student in his field projects through independent study, graduate and undergraduate thesis research, and field schools, and has a number of ongoing student research collaborations.

Matt is actively engaged in interdisciplinary research collaborations in Kenya, South Africa, Australia, and the Great Plains, including the Koobi Fora Field School at Lake Turkana, Northern Kenya.


PhD - University of Auckland, New Zealand, Anthropology (2010)

MA - University of Nebraska, Anthropology and Geography (2005)

BA - University of Nebraska, Anthropology and Geography (2002)

Professional Responsibilities and Activities

Director, Master of Applied Science

Coordinator, Science for Educators Specialization

Affiliated Scientist, Technological Primate Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany


(In Revision) Jonathan Reeves, L.S. Premo, Matthew Douglass, Shannon McPherron, David Braun. Density, Discard and Disillusion: The Influence of Sampling and Outcrop Exposure on Measures of Hominin Land Use. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

(In Revision) Nora C. Greiman, LuAnn Wandsnider, Matthew Douglass, John R. Bozell, James Feathers, and Ronald Goble. Building a Ceramic Chronology for the Nebraska Sand Hills by OSL Dating of Ceramics from History Nebraska Archeological Collections with Attention to Repository Radiation Regime. Plains Anthropologist.

(Accepted) Matthew J. Douglass, Simon J. Holdaway, and LuAnn Wandsnider. Surface Artifact Scatters, Data Collection, and Significance: Case Studies from Australia and North America.Prepared for 2021 Society for American Archaeology Annual Meeting, Exploring and Refining Cultural Resource Management Data Collection Methods to Achieve Greater Scientific, Traditional, and Educational Values. To be submitted to Advances in Archaeological Practice.

(In Press) Water borrowing, water insecurity, and psychosocial stress among Daasanach pastoralists in Northern Kenya. Ford L, Bethancourt HJ, Swanson ZS, Nzunza R, Wutich A, Brewis A, Young S, Almeida D, Douglass M, Ndiema E, Braun DR, Pontzer H, Rosinger AY. Water International.

Bethancourt, H., Swanson, Z., Nzunza, R., Young, S., Lomeiku, L., Douglass, M., . . . Rosinger, A. (2022). The co-occurrence of water insecurity and food insecurity among Daasanach pastoralists in northern Kenya. Public Health Nutrition, 1-11.

(2022) Fire, pastoralism, and the management of late Holocene landscapes in southern Africa. Benjamin Davies, Mitchell J. Power, David R. Braun, Matthew J. Douglass, Stella Moser, and J. Tyler Faith. Quaternary Sciences Review.

(2022) From quartz curvature to late Holocene mobility at Spring Cave, Western Cape, South Africa. Benjamin Davies; Matthew J. Douglass; David R. Braun; John Parkington; Mitchell J. Power; J. Tyler Faith. Archaeological and Anthropological Sciences.

(2022) Water Insecurity, Water Borrowing, and Psychosocial Stress Among Daasanach Pastoralists in Northern Kenya. Ford, L.B., Bethancourt, H., Swanson, Z., Nzunza, R., Wutich, A., Brewis, A., Young, S., Almeida, D., Douglass, M., Ndiema, E.K. and Braun, D.R., 2022. medRxiv.

(2021) Simon Holdaway, Matthew Douglass & Benjamin Davies. Neo and Morpheus as Archaeologists: The Matrix and the Nature of Archaeological Explanation. Archaeology, History, Philosophy and Heritage:  Essays in Honour of Tim Murray. Springer.

(2021) Davies, B., M. Douglass, P. Fanning, and S. Holdaway. Resilience and reversibility: engaging with archaeological record formation to inform on past resilience. Archaeological Review of Cambridge.

(2021) Asher Y. Rosinger, Hilary Bethancourt, Zane S. Swanson, Rosemary Nzunza, Jessica Saunders, Shiva Dhanasekar, W. Larry Kenney, Kebin Hu, Matthew Douglass, Emmanuel Ndiema, David R.Braun, Herman Pontzer. Drinking water salinity is associated with hypertension and hyperdilute urine among Daasanach pastoralists in Northern Kenya. Stoten.

(2021) Matthew Douglass, Benjamin Davies, David Braun, John Tyler Faith, and Mitchel Power. Deriving Original Nodule Size of Lithic Reduction Sets from Cortical Curvature:  An Application to Monitor Stone Artifact Transport from Bipolar Reduction. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

(2021) David Braun, J. Tyler Faith, Matthew Douglass, Benjamin Davies, et. al. Ecoystem Engineering in the Quaternary of the West Coast of South Africa. Evolutionary Anthropology.

(2020) Radu Iovita, David R. Braun, Matthew J. Douglass, Simon Holdaway, Sam C. Lin, Deborah Olszewski, Zeljko Rezek. Stone Tools and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Evolutionary Anthropology.

(2020) John Tyler Faith, Benjamin Davies, Matthew Douglass, David Braun, Mitchel Power et al. Ecometrics and the paleoecological implications of Pleistocene faunas from the western coastal plains of the Cape Floristic Region, South Africa. Quaternary Science.

(2020) Matthew Magnani, Matthew Douglass, Whitaker Schroder, Jonathan Reeves, and David Braun. The Digital Revolution to Come: Photogrammetry in Contemporary Archaeological Practice. American Antiquity.

(2020) Zeljko Rezek, Simon J. Holdaway, Deborah I. Olszewski, Sam C. Lin, Matthew Douglass, Shannon McPherron, Radu Iovita, David R. Braun, Dennis Sandgathe. Aggregates, formational emergence, and the focus on practice in stone artifact archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

(2020) Matthew Shaw, Chris Ames, Natasha Phillips, Sherrie Chambers, Anthony Dosseto, Matthew Douglass, Zenobia Jacobs, Brian Jones, Sam C.-H. Lin, Marika A. Low, Jessica-Louise McNeil, Shezani Nasoordeen, Corey A. O’Driscoll, T. Alexandra Sumner, Sara Watson, Alex Mackay. The Doring River Archaeological Project: Approaching the evolution of human landuse patterns in the Western Cape, South Africa. PaleoAnthropology.

(2019) Matthew Douglass, Zachary Day, Jeremy Brunette, Peter Bleed, and Douglas Scott. Incorporating Virtual Reconstruction into Local, Non-Monumental, Archaeological Projects: Two Case Studies from the Great Plains. Advances in Archaeological Practice.

(2018) Douglass, Matthew J., Sam C. Lin, David R. Braun, and Thomas W. Plummer. Core use-life distributions in lithic assemblages as a means for reconstructing behavioral patterns. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory. doi: 10.1007/s10816-017-9334-2

(2018) Napier, Tiffany, Matthew Douglass, LuAnn Wandsnider, Ronald Goble. Investigating the Human Respose to the Medieval Climate Anomaly in the Nebraska Sand Hills: A Preliminary Study in Building Occupation Histories with OSL Dating. Plains Anthropologist.

(2017) Douglass, Matthew and Simon Holdaway. Selected Samples: the nature of silcrete adzes in the formation of Australian stone artifact assemblages. Special Issue on Silcrete. Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

(2017) Douglass, Matthew, Dennis Kuhnel, Matthew Magnani, Luke Hittner, Michael Chodoronek, and Samantha Porter. Community Outreach, Digital Heritage and Private Collections: A case study in understanding archaeological remains on private lands through public engagement in the North American Great Plains. World Archaeology.

(2017) Bleed, Peter, Matthew Douglass, Alex Sumner, Maia Behrendt, and Alex Mackay. Photogrammetrical Assessment of Procedural Patterns and Sequential Structure in “Handaxe” Manufacture: A case study along the Doring River of South Africa. Lithic Technology.

(2017) Harold L. Dibble, Simon J. Holdaway, Sam C. Lin , David R. Braun, Matthew J. Douglass , Radu Iovita , Shannon P. McPherron , Deborah I. Olszewski , and Dennis Sandgathe. Major Fallacies Surrouding Stone Artifacts and Assemblages. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory.

(2016) Douglass, Matthew, Simon Holdaway, Justin Shiner and Patricia Fanning. Quartz and silcrete raw material use and selection in late Holocene assemblages from semi-arid Australia. Quaternary International.

(2016) Magnani, Matthew, Matthew Douglass, and Samantha Porter.Closing the Seams: Resolving Frequently Encountered Issues in Photogrammetric Modeling. Antiquity.

(2016) Lin, Sam, Matthew Douglass, and Alex Mackay. MIS3 artefact transport patterns in southern Africa using Cortex Ratios: An example from the Putslaagte valley, Western Cape. South African Archaeoligcal Bulletin.;dn=726702955800994;res=IELHSS

(2015) Douglass, Matthew, Michael Chodoronek, and Sam Lin. The Application of 3D Photogrammetry for the In-field Documentation of Archaeological Features: Two Case Studies from the Great Plains. Advances in Archaeological Practice.

(2015) Holdaway, Simon, Geoffrey King, Matthew Douglass, and Patricia Fanning. Human-environment interactions at regional scales: the complex topography hypothesis applied to surface archaeological records in Australia and North America. Archaeology in Oceania.

(2015) Holdaway, Simon and Matthew Douglass. Use beyond manufacture: non-flint stone artifacts from Fowlers Gap, Australia. Lithic Technology.

(2013) Douglass, Matthew and LuAnn Wandsnider. Fragmentation Resistant Measures of Chipped Stone Abundance and Size: Results of an Experimental Investigation of the Impact of Cattle Trampling on Surface Chipped Stone Scatters. Plains Anthropologist. 57(224).

(2012) Holdaway, Simon and Matthew Douglass. A Twenty-First Century Archaeology of Stone Artifacts. Journal of Archaeological Method and Theory 19(1): 101-131.

(2010) Holdaway,Simon, Patricia Fanning, Ed Rhodes, Samuel Marx, Bruce Floyd and Matthew Douglass. Human response to palaeoenvironmental change and the question of temporal scale. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology 292(1-2):192-200.

(2010) Lin, Sam, Matthew Douglass and Simon Holdaway. The Application of 3D Laser Scanning Technology to the Assessment of Ordinal and Mechanical Cortex Quantification in Lithic Analysis. Journal of Archaeological Science 37(4): 694-702.

(2008) Douglass, Matthew J., Simon J. Holdaway, Patricia C. Fanning and Justin I. Shiner An Assessment and Archaeological Application of Cortex Measurement in Lithic Assemblages. American Antiquity (73) 513-526.

(2008) Holdaway, Simon, Justin Shiner, Patricia Fanning and Matthew Douglass Assemblage formation as a result of raw material acquisition in western New South Wales, Australia. Lithic Technology 33:73-85.

Chapters in Peer Reviewed Books

(Submitted) Simon Holdaway, Matthew Douglass & Benjamin Davies. Neo and Morpheus as Archaeologists: The Matrix and the Nature of Archaeological Explanation. ANU E-press.

(2019) Magnani, Matthew and Matthew Douglass. Photogrammetry and StereoPhotogrammety. SAS Encyclopedia of Archaeological Sciences. Wiley-Blackwell.

(2016) Holdaway, Simon, Justin Shiner, Patricia Fanning and Matthew Douglass. Context and Complexity in Arid Australia: Assessing Human Reponses to an Unpredictable Environment. Edited Volume: Assemblage Formation and Archaeological Interpretation in the 21st Century, edited by D. Olszewski and AP Sullivan. University of Colorado Press, Bolder.

(2014) Holdaway, Simon, Douglass, Matthew and Rebecca Phillipps. Flake selection, assemblage variability and technological organization. In M. Shott (ed) Works in Stone. University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City.

(2013) Holdaway, Simon J., Matthew J. Douglass, and Patricia C. Fanning. A new ecological framework for understanding human - environment interactions in arid Australia. Edited volume: Intersections and Transformations: Archaeological Studies in Environment and Technology. Routledge Publishing.

(2012) Holdaway, Simon, Matthew Douglass and Patricia Fanning. Landscape Scale and Human Mobility: Geoarchaeological Evidence from Rutherfords Creek, New South Wales, Australia. In Kluiving, S.J. and Guttmann, E.G.B. (Eds.), Landscape and Heritage. Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam.

(2011) Douglass, Matthew J. & Simon J. Holdaway. Quantifying stone raw material size distributions: Investigating cortex proportions in lithic assemblages from Western New South Wales. In J. Specht & R. Torrence (Eds.), Changing Perspectives in Australian Archaeology, Part IV. Technical Reports of the Australian Museum, Online, 23. Sydney: Australian Museum.




Current Grants

[PI] CNH2-S: Long Term Perspectives on Water Security, Food Security, and Land Management Among Pastoralists Experiencing Change. NSF. Matthew Douglass, Herman Pontzer, Asher Rosinger, Purity Kiura, Larkin Powell. $748,870 (2019-2024).

[Co-PI] CNH-S: Exploring the history of coupled climatic and human influences on ecosystem changes during the last one million years.  National Science Foundation. J. Tyler Faith, David Braun, Matthew Douglass, and Mitchel Power. National Science Foundation,  $741,821. (2018-2023).

[Sen. Pers] Collaborative Research: REU Site: Past and Present Human-Environment Dynamics in the Turkana Basin, Kenya. NSF. David Braun, Ashley Hammond, et al. $384,467 (2019-2023).

[Co-PI] Three-Dimensional Technologies and Arctic Education. Natalia Magnani, Samuel Valkeapää, Matthew Douglass, Sami Laiti, Jelena Porsanger, and Matthew Magnani. UArctic Project Call for Networking Activities on Arctic Research and Education Applicants. 387,440 NOK (approximately $41,000). (2020-2022)

Past Grants

[PI] USDA Artifacts Roadshows: A Citizen Science Approach to Archaeological Reporting, Site Stewardship, and Public Education. USDA Forest Service/ Univ. of Nebraska. Matthew Douglass ($38,750.00) (2018-2022).

[PI]Update to Challenge Cost Share Agreement Between the University Of Nebraska-Lincoln and the USDA, Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands National Grassland Visitor Center. USDA Forest Service/Univ. of Nebraska. Matthew Douglass ($64,687.31) (2017-2020).

[PI]Challenge Cost Share Agreement Between the University Of Nebraska-Lincoln and the USDA, Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region Nebraska National Forests and Grasslands National Grassland Visitor Center. USDA Forest Service/Univ. of Nebraska. ($104,766.80). Matthew Douglass and LuAnn Wandsnider. (2014-2020)

[Co-Organizer]From a Landscape Perspective: Papers in Honor of Prof. Jack Harris. Wenner-Gren Foundation. David Braun, Simon Holdaway, Matthew Douglass and Emanuel Ndiema. ($19,720) (2014)

[PI]Archaeological Inventory of the Platt National Park and National Historic Landmark District Chickasaw National Recreation Area. National Parks Service. Matthew Douglass and LuAnn Wandsnider. ($94,000) (2013-2016)


Human Natural System Coupling among Pastoralists Experiencing Change with colleagues from Univ of Nebraska, Penn State, Duke, and National Museums of Kenya. Investigating recent, historic, and prehistoric resilience among the pastoralists in northern Kenya.

One Million Years of Human Environmental Interaction in the Fynbos Biome of South Africa with colleagues from the Univ of Utah, The George Washington University. Investigates origins of human engineered landscapes in southern Africa over 1 million years in the past.

Koobi Fora Field School with colleagues from The George Washington University, National Museums of Kenya, American Museum of Natural History, Penn State, Duke. investigating c. 3.5 mya of human environmental interaction in the Turkana Basin.

Digital North: Three-Dimensional Technologies and Arctic Education, with colleagues from Harvard, University of Tromsø, Sámi University of Applied Sciences. Project seeks to understand the complex intersection of these different factors as they affect a small indigenous community living within a complex international management environment.

USDA National Forests and Grasslands Challenge Cost Share Agreement to develop an integrated experiential and outreach educational program and conduct archaeological research for the National Grasslands Visitor Center.

Great Plains Archaeology Virtual Reconstruction




149A Hardin Hall
3310 Holdrege Street
Lincoln, NE 68583

Research Areas

Prehistoric/Historic/Modern Human Environmental Interaction;

Citizen Science/Public Engagement;

Geoarchaeolgy/Landscape Archaeology;

Lithic Technology; Archaeology/Anthropology of: Great Plains, Australia, Kenya, South Africa.