Meet Our Archaeologists

Stacey Young, MA, RPA
South Carolina State Park Service Archaeologist

Stacey serves as the archaeologist for the South Carolina State Park Service. In this role, she plans and conducts archaeological projects on all 47 state parks and newly acquired properties. Stacey has over 20 years of experience working on archaeological sites throughout the eastern United States and Puerto Rico. 
Stacey developed an interest in anthropology as an undergraduate student at the University of Memphis and participated in her first archaeological field school in 1999 at Shiloh National Military Park. The investigations at Shiloh focused on a homestead present before and after the Civil War battle and provided an opportunity for public interpretation. Through additional coursework, internships, and volunteer opportunities, Stacey gained experience in museum exhibit development, collections management, artifact documentation, and curation practices. Stacey received her Master’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2004 wherein her research focused on archaeology of African American sites. She gained additional field experience working on precontact Native American sites, artifact curation, and held an assistantship with the United States Forest Service in the Chickasawhay Ranger District of the DeSoto National Forest. Since receiving her MA, Stacey has worked with various cultural resource management (CRM) firms on projects across the Southeastern United States. Her research interests include the organization and development of communities, site formation processes, Southeastern Archaeology, African American archaeology, public and descendant community involvement in archaeology, and museum studies and collection management.

Stacey is involved with archaeological research projects at the new Black River State Park, Edisto Beach State Park, Hampton Plantation State Historic Site, Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site, and Sesquicentennial State Park and works on compliance projects for all of the parks.

Nicole Isenbarger, MA, RPA
Charles Towne Landing State Historic Site Archaeologist

Nicole has 25 years’ experience working on archaeological sites throughout the southeast and the Bahamas. Local and regionally trained she has worked on sites that ranged from the Archaic period to the early 20th century for variety of government, private, and non-profit agencies. Her first archaeological field experience was at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site as a College of Charleston undergraduate intern, which solidified her passion for the colonial period and local history. She returned to State Parks as a lab intern and later field technician for the South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology excavations that identified the first impermanent building in the town commons for the c.1670 English settlement at Charles Towne Landing. Her training and early experiences allowed her to work on urban sites, formal gardens, and Lowcountry plantations.

After receiving her master’s degree from the University of South Carolina her research focuses have included colonial commerce; local agriculture, industry and markets; the African Diaspora; and symbolic anthropology. Much of her research has looked at the pottery that was made and used by enslaved Africans in their daily lives, spiritual practices, and as a marketed ware to help purchase necessities and support their families. Nicole’s work for SC State Parks at Redcliffe Plantation and Rose Hill Plantation focused on revealing traces of the lives of the enslaved Africans and freedman that lived and labored on these plantations.
Nicole returned to Charles Towne Landing in 2015 where she has been researching the c.1670 English town and settlement and evidencing the lives and labor of the early colonists, enslaved Africans, woman, and indentured servants. Her current work is offering new insights into the early development of the Carolina colony. What Nicole enjoys most about being an archaeologist for State Parks is the ability to conduct long-term research and sharing newly learned information and her passion for culture and history with the public.

Madison Del Vecchio, M.A.
Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site Archaeologist

Madison started her journey towards becoming a professional archaeologist as a college student in northern California. It was there that she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from Sonoma State University and focused on gaining experience in historical research and archaeological field methods. Her first real field excavation was in the port city of Ostia Antica, outside the ancient city center of Rome, Italy where she helped to uncover a 3rd century C.E. residential complex. To further her skills and career opportunities, Madison continued on to earn a Master’s Degree in Anthropology from East Carolina University. During this graduate program, Madison specialized in bioarchaeology, or the study of human skeletal remains from archaeological contexts. In addition to bioarchaeology, she has always been especially interested in the archaeology of personhood, burial customs and rituals, and health and disease. After a small stint as a dental assistant during the COVID years, Madison started as the Archaeologist and Interpretive Ranger at Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site in the fall of 2022. In this role, she has been able to continue her passion for archaeology field and lab work, in addition to exploring the many ways that historical sites can be meaningfully interpreted to the public. Her favorite part of being a SC State Park Archaeologist is interacting with visitors as they observe the active archaeological excavations.