Before spending the last 22 years in various leadership roles at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, Tom Castaños earned a degree in anthropology and worked as both a researcher and community organizer at UTSA's Center for Archeological Research.
Ranger Castaños is highly-regarded by his peers in and out of the National Park Service as an expert of Spanish Colonial history in South Texas. Today, Ranger Castaños is the supervisory park ranger for interpretation at San Antonio's only national park. As such he is tasked with leading new rangers on their journey of learning, sharing, and preserving this amazing park for future generations.
Dr. Angela Lombardi is an Associate Professor in the UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning. Previously she was an Assistant Professor in Architectural Conservation and in Architectural Design at Sapienza University in Rome.
Dr. Lombardi has more than ten years of architectural and preservation experience. Her research, in the field of historic preservation, focuses on management of historic built heritage and archaeology within contemporary urban landscapes. Since 2013, Dr. Lombardi has been investigating cultural landscape conservation issues with an in-depth analysis of San Antonio’s water resources. In 2014, she began a research project focusing on the masonry and mortar analysis of two of the Franciscan Missions of San Antonio.
James B. Oliver is a registered Landscape Architect in the State of Texas. He holds a Master of Landscape Architecture degree from Texas A&M University where he specialized in the preservation of historic landscapes. Additionally, he was awarded a postgraduate “Certificate in Historic Preservation.”
Mr. Oliver served with the National Park Service for over thirty years as a staff landscape architect at the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park until his retirement in May 2021. Among his many accomplishments, he was distinguished as the “Professional of the Year” by the Alamo Federal Executive Board. Mr. Oliver is involved in all aspects of design, compliance and construction for the multitude of important projects that the park and its many partners undertake.
Dr. Steve A. Tomka began his studies in Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Missouri where he received his Bachelor’s degree in 1980. While at Missouri, through his mentors, he was introduced to the archaeology of South America where he eventually returned to complete his Ph.D. research working among llama-herders in the Bolivian Altiplano. After receiving his doctorate from the University of Texas at Austin in 1994, Dr. Tomka was hired at the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas in San Antonio as a Research Assistant in 1996 and was asked to serve as the Interim Director – and later Director of the Center – in 2001. He served in this role until the spring of 2014 when he joined the Raba Kistner Inc. team. He has worked as an archaeologist in the State of Texas for some 30 years with a significant portion of this time spent studying the missions of San Antonio and their Indigenous occupants.
Kristi Miller Nichols joined the Alamo in 2018, bringing 20 years of archaeological and archival research experience. She has an undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of San Diego and a master’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Kristi has worked on over 120 archaeological projects in the State of Texas with a focus on the Spanish Colonial Missions of the San Antonio River Basin. As a trusted and widely published expert in this field, she has provided archaeology services for the National Parks Service, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Transportation, and the City of San Antonio. While her specialty is Spanish Colonial archaeology, Kristi has worked on projects dating from pre-history to the present-day and has authored more than 80 professional publications.