PCAS General Meetings

Monthly lecture meetings feature noted archaeologists and anthropologists who provide insight into a variety of topics. Lecture meetings are held at the Irvine Ranch Water District Community Room, 15500 Sand Canyon Avenue (between the I-5 and I-405) in Irvine, on the second Thursday of each month, at 7:30 pm. Meetings are free and open to the public. See vicinity and detail maps of PCAS meeting location.

The Irvine Ranch Water District makes its facilities available for use by residents and nonprofit organizations merely as a public service, but does not, by allowing this use, endorse or support the purpose of the event or its sponsor. .

Many past PCAS lectures are available on the PCAS YouTube channel.

PCAS Zoom Meetings  


March 14, 2024

Speaker will appear via Zoom. There will be no in-person meeting this month.

Dr. Ben Potter

Late Pleistocene Peopling of the Americas: Integrating Genetics and Archaeology

Ancient genetics have transformed our understanding of the peopling of the Americas, yet archaeological and paleoecological data have yet to be fully integrated to produce more rigorous and realistic models. This talk will bring together the most recent archaeogenetic data (most published within the last few years) to bear on the archaeology of the far north. The talk will highlight both the emerging consensus among these records as well as important areas of disagreement on the origins and expansions of the earliest Americans. Potential routes (coastal and interior) will be evaluated based on current data.

Dr. Ben A. Potter is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. His research interests include high latitude adaptations, intersite variability, site structure and organization, and long-term history. He leads investigations at important subarctic sites, including Upward Sun River, Mead, Gerstle River, and Delta River Overlook, and is currently engaged in archaeogenetics, geoarchaeology and human ecology research directed at understanding the peopling of northeast Asia, Beringia, and the Americas.


April 11, 2024

In-Person and Zoom Meeting (Speaker will be present at the in-person meeting.)

Jared Mathis

Relics and Tales of Moulton Ranch

Jared Mathis will discuss the development of Orange County starting with Lewis Moulton, his great-grandfather, who traveled from Boston to California in 1874 and leased Rancho Niguel land. He worked the land learning the trade of sheep herding and in 1895 he purchased the Rancho Niguel property and expanded his holding into a 22,000-acre operation called the Moulton Ranch, which included modern day cities of Laguna Niguel, Laguna Hills, Aliso Viejo, and part of Laguna Beach and Dana Point.

As the great-grandson of Lewis and Nellie Gail Moulton, Jared Mathis has deep roots in Orange County. He is CEO of the Moulton Company, a private equity real estate group. He is also President of the Moulton Museum which is located in Laguna Hills. The museum opened its doors in September 2022 and actively archives, restores, and preserves Orange County historical artifacts from farm implements and buggies to documents, artwork, and images of the period. The archive contains family photos, maps, furniture, ephemera, personal papers, and corporate history. Mr. Mathis is active in many other community activities and is Board Co-Chair of Laguna Playhouse, serves as a Trustee for Laguna College of Art & Design, and is a member of Chapman University’s Board of Governors. Jared is also a life member of the Saddleback Area Historical Society and a board member of the 4-M Water District.


May 9, 2024

Dr. Patrick O’Grady

Rimrock Draw Rockshelter, Oregon


June 13, 2024

Dr. Gregory Haynes

Current Research Directions for Prehistoric Ceramics in the Southern California Deserts