If you’d like to ask us a question that isn’t listed on our FAQ page, or would like more information on our many public archaeology programs, please contact:

Exploring Joara Foundation
PO Box 296
Morganton, NC 28680
(828) 439-2463

EJF Executive Director Marie Palacios

EJF Executive Director Marie Palacios

Marie C. Palacios
Executive Director of the Exploring Joara Foundation, Inc

(828) 764-7461

Marie Palacios, originally a native of Morganton, NC joined the EJF team as the new Executive Director on September 2, 2014. She was formerly the Executive Director of Catawba County Hispanic Ministry, better known as Centro Latino of Hickory. She began her non-profit experience as a volunteer with Centro Latino in 2002 while completing her undergraduate degree at Lenoir-Rhyne University in Spanish and Comparative Literature (Modern and Foreign Language/with an emphasis in French). While still a volunteer, Marie developed an after-school program at Centro Latino for at-risk Latino youth grades K-12th and served as the Program Director until transitioning into the role of Executive Director which she filled from 2008-2014. For the past 12 years, Marie has dedicated her time and energy to education and advocacy within diverse sectors of the community. In addition to facilitating a variety of diversity trainings for local government, community organizations, and faith groups, Marie serves as an advisory member on committees addressing social justice issues at both the state and national level and has been the recipient of several community awards including: the Lenoir Rhyne University Community Service Award (2011), Maiden Rosenwald CDC “Dream Keeper Award” (2011), and the Hickory Ministerial Alliance “Spirit of the King” award (2013). She is a trained Spanish/English interpreter and the founder of “Spanish for Professionals,” an interactive Spanish course that gets professionals out of the classroom and into the community for a cultural and language experience.


Dr. David Moore is the foundation’s Executive Archaeologist.  He has worked at the Berry site for 25 years and currently directs the summer field school. He has directed major excavations at numerous sites in North Carolina including Hardaway, Warren Wilson, and Berry. His work in the upper Catawba Valley began in 1986 with excavations at the Berry site as part of his dissertation research. He is a faculty member in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Warren  Wilson College.

EJF Staff Archaeologist John Krebs demonstrating the use of a ground penetrating rader (GPR)

EJF Staff Archaeologist John Krebs demonstrating the use of a ground penetrating rader (GPR)

John Krebs
Staff Archaeologist of the Exploring Joara Foundation, Inc

(828) 413-2660

John Krebs is the Staff Archaeologist for the Exploring Joara Foundation. He has served in the position beginning in 2012. He began working in archaeology in 2010 at the University of West Florida as a Lab Assistant and then as a Graduate Research Assistant. His passion is for public archaeology, which engages members of the general public in research projects sharing archaeology as a community asset for the enjoyment of all to learn from.