April 2013 - WSA Receives Award from Utah State BLM Office
WSA was honored and surprised to receive an unexpected award from the Utah State BLM office at the annual Contrtactors Meeting held by PLPCO, BLM, SITLA and other agencies in Utah. The award is for Outstanding Service in the Protection of Cultural Resources, specifically for the work WSA conducted during 2012 recording 402 cultural properties on over 61,000 acres of survey as part of our Department of Wildlife Resources contract. Thanks to all our dedicated staff, the UDWR archaeologist in charge of the work, and the agency archaeologists who assisted with the effort. Great job by everyone!
March 2013 - WSA Embarks on New Business Line to Better Serve Our Clients
After 25 successful years in cultural resources management consulting, effective immediately, WSA now offers a broad range of environmental services to our varied clients in energy, mining, land use, transportation, water, telecommunications and other business sectors. This signifies a fundamental addition to our services from doing strictly archaeological assessment and mitigation. Gabriel Valdes (M.S. Biology) will be the first Senior Environmental Scientist at WSA. Gabe has collaborated on most of our significant pipeline jobs since 2003 and has extensive contacts in the Oil and Gas industry, among others.
WSA environmental permitting services include:
January 2013 - GTS Spindletop Project Becomes a Section 106 Success Story
AGL Resources' Golden Triangle Storage Project (see March 2008 News item, below) and WSA's associated cultural resources work at Spindletop has been recognized as a National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 Success Story by the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation - one of only a handful of such projects nationwide. This recognition comes as a result of AGL's enthusiastic sponsorship of WSA's work in providing new insights into this changing historic oil field settlement where both the modern petroleum industry and many major oil companies operating today had their origins. The Spindletop 'spotlight story' on the ACHP website can be viewed by clicking here. The ACHP website Success Stories can be found at www.achp.gov/sec106_successes.html.
December 2012 - WSA Completes Utah Department of Wildlife Resources Work
Under our existing contract with the Utah Department of Wildlife Resources (UDWR), WSA was awarded 20 separate cultural resource inventory projects encompassing 11 counties throughout Utah. The project areas varied in size from 245 to nearly 18,000 acres, and totaled 61,800 acres. Archaeological inventory was conducted between June and November, resulting in the recording of 402 historic and prehistoric archaeological/cultural properties ranging from lithic and trash deposits to rock art to architectural sites and features. Reports on each project will be complete by January 2013.
September 2012 - WSA Receives Prestigious California Preservation Foundation Award
WSA and our client, Transbay Joint Powers Authority, are very proud to have been the recipient of one of the annual California Preservation Awards from a very large field of applicants. The award is for the Transbay Travelling Archaeology Exhibit, showcasing the archaeological research and mitigation associated with construction of the Transbay Transit Center in downtown San Francisco. The local news blog can be seen here. The California Preservation Foundation notification can be seen here. Congratulations to the WSA staff and members of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority who helped bring this to such a successful conclusion.
June 2012 - WSA Awarded On-Call Contract with City of Tucson, Arizona
WSA is very pleased to announce we have been awarded an On-Call contract to conduct cultural resources and archaeological services for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and Federal Transit Authority (FTA) funded projects in the city.
May 2012 - WSA Awarded Multi-Year Contract with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
WSA is very pleased to announce we have been awarded a multi-year IDIQ contract with Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. The award applies to all 5 DWR regions over the entire state of Utah. NHPA Section 106 archaeological survey is conducted on state and federal lands as part of DWR wildlife habitat enhancement, fire protection, and as part of post-fire improvements. WSA has already been contracted to conduct thousands of acres of survey across the state. WSA will work closely with the DWR Archaeologist in Salt Lake City as part of continued project awards.
April 2012 - WSA given prestigious Texas Award for Public Outreach
WSA and our Austin office's Dr. James W. Karbula and his staff have been awarded the E. Mott Davis Award for Excellence in Public Outreach by the Council of Texas Archeologists (CTA) for the 2011 Phase 2 data recovery investigations of the Golden Triangle Storage Project (GTS) on the Lucas Gusher Spindletop Oil Field National Historic Landmark (NHL), Beaumont, Jefferson County, Texas. The award was presented to WSA and GTS at the April 2012 CTA meeting in Austin, Texas. Since 2008, WSA has conducted archival research and 17 separate archaeological field investigations including survey, testing and data recovery projects on historic Spindletop Oil Field industrial and residential sites. Phase 2 work included extensive "hands-on" participation in the fieldwork by the Boy Scouts of America and the Jefferson County Historical Commission, as well as live media coverage by local television. Our thanks to GTS who has consistently pushed for public involvement on the project from talks and lectures, to safety training of excavation volunteers, to publications and brochures. Phase 3 public involvement is still under development for late 2012 and may include museum displays of historic Spindletop artifacts. Congratulations!
February 2012 - UNEV Pipeline Archaeology Website Launches
WSA has created a website about Utah's unique heritage along the UNEV Pipeline Corridor as part of the Programmatic Agreement-required public outreach program for the UNEV project. Archaeological research at prehistoric and historic sites in the UNEV pipeline corridor, spanning 400 miles between Salt Lake City to Las Vegas, has provided a wealth of new information about the eastern Great Basin. The pipeline covers a vast cultural and natural landscape and intersects places that contain evidence of prehistoric use by highly mobile people, as well as remnants of historic settlement and transportation infrastructure. The website provides an opportunity to follow the pipeline route to learn about the places and associated stories of human history. Photographs, maps, and short site descriptions provide glimpses of Utah's heritage along the UNEV pipeline in this new easy-to-navigate website (www.UtahArchUNEV.com).
August 2011 - WSA given Utah Outstanding Achievement Award
WSA was notified by Wilson Martin, Utah State Historic Preservation Officer, that Dr. John Ravesloot and Dr. David Yoder have been selected to receive an Outstanding Achievement Award from Utah State History for the "outstanding efforts demonstrated during the Holly UNEV Pipeline Project, resulting in the mitigation of several prehistoric and historic sites". The awards will be presented at the 59th Annual Utah State History Conference in September. Our thanks go out to Utah State History, and to Holly and CH2M Hill, whose approach toward resource stewardship and historic preservation allowed WSA to identify and mitigate these significant resources on their behalf. Congratulations!
July 2011 - WSA's Austin Office Wins Texas Historical Commission Award of Merit
WSA was notified by the Executive Director of the Texas Historical Commission that Dr. James Karbula and his staff have been given the Award of Merit in Archaeology in the category of Archeological Research for their exemplary work at the Lucas Gusher Spindletop Oil Field National Historic Landmark in Beaumont, Texas (see news item below from March 2008). The award was given based on the "excellent quality of the investigation" and the "field work, data analysis and public outreach" associated with the project, and will be presented at the THC's Archeology Committee meeting in Austin in late July. Our thanks go out to the THC, and to AGL Resources and the Golden Triangle Storage Project staff, without whose dedication toward historic preservation this award would not have been possible. Congratulations to all!
The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) is offering the public a glimpse of archaeology in action along the future Southern Parkway corridor in conjunction with the statewide celebration of Utah Archaeology Week May 7 through May 14.
Archaeologists will guide visitors through discovery sites of ancestral communities constructed over 1000 years ago by prehistoric agriculturalists who lived along the Virgin River. Visitors will be able to observe archaeologists as they work to document history.
Tours will be offered on Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 9:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m.
Archaeologists are investigating 12 miles of the future construction corridor to identify sites potentially eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Their investigation includes high-precision three-dimensional laser mapping and exploratory trenching to determine the features that lie below the ground surface.
Participants may also gain a better understanding of how respected and acceptable solutions are being reached by projects addressing modern growth, archeological research, and tribal interests.
Parties seeking more information or desiring to schedule a tour time may contact Aubry Bennion at (801) 904-4075.
In April 2011, under contract to URS, WSA staff began conducting archaeological mitigation for Segments 3 and 4A of the Southern Parkway highway project in St. George, Utah. The Southern Parkway project is partially located on land managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and is receiving funding primarily through the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT) as well as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). As such it must meet the requirements of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, as amended, and the Utah Code Annotated regulations to consider the effects of undertakings on significant cultural resources. Seventeen archaeological sites located within the construction corridor are considered eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places.
Preliminary archaeological surveys and site assessment have been completed. WSA archaeologists began exploratory backhoe trenching in late April to determine site boundaries within the construction corridor and the types of prehistoric structures and features that lie below the ground surface. This information is being used to guide further excavations in accordance with an approved Treatment Plan. The Southern Parkway corridor lies in a cultural transition zone containing prehistoric occupations associated with the Great Basin, the northern Southwest, and the farthest extent of the Mojave Desert. Most of the sites along the corridor represent prehistoric occupation by the Virgin Anasazi. The Anasazi (also known as Ancestral Puebloan because their descendants can be found today in the pueblos of northern Arizona and New Mexico) were prehistoric agriculturalists who occupied much of the plateau country in the northern Southwest including southern Utah. Work is expected to continue into Summer 2011, followed by analysis and technical report preparation into 2012.
Since January 2011, WSA's Pacific Region office in Orinda, California has been conducting archaeological testing and data recovery in a significant prehistoric site in a San Francisco East Bay locale. WSA has worked at the site on several occasions over the past decade and, as part of a new commercial development, is now monitoring excavation of utility trenches and building foundations. Our prior work at the site indicated the extensive presence of late prehistoric Native American burials, grave goods, and occupational surfaces and artifacts. Work in 2011 has resulted in the recovery of more than 125 prehistoric interments, which are being recovered in cooperation with the State-assigned Ohlone tribal representative, Ms. Ramona Garibay. WSA staff will continue to conduct work at the site into the summer, and expect additional discoveries as the work progresses. Analysis of the remains, artifacts, and features, and subsequent reinterment of the remains will occur in consultation with the Ohlone tribal representative. A complete technical report on the results of mitigation and analysis will be prepared in 2012.
WSA has been awarded an IDIQ contract for up to 5 years to conduct archaeological inventory and cultural resources management work for the 1.8M-acre Ouachita National Forest in central Arkansas and southeastern Oklahoma. It is the oldest (1907) and largest National Forest in the Southern Region of the U.S., consisting of a pine-hickory mix of timber, and is widely used for recreational activities. The Forest is planning to conduct timber operations that will call for NHPA Section 106 clearances. WSA's Austin, Texas office will provide the lead staff and technical expertise as needed during the life of the contract.
WSA has been awarded a GSA contract to conduct archaeological inventory of 305 acres in the New Harmony area of southern Utah. The work will be done on behalf of the Cedar City Field Office of BLM.
WSA has been awarded a General Services Administration contract to conduct archaeological inventory of 2400 acres for the Cedar City Field Office of BLM. The South Beaver CRI project will be conducted once snow melts in the project area.
Lindsay Wygant has given birth to her first child, a daughter named Tessa Pearl. Congratulations to Lindsay and her fiancé Ben Daigneau!
Brandon and Rachel Gabler proudly announce the birth of their first child, a daughter named Juniper Elise. Congratulations!
WSA has been awarded GSA cultural resources work throughout the western and southern US: to conduct survey and testing at Veterans Lake Dam in Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Sulphur, Oklahoma; to assess 79 historic features for National Register eligibility at the Mono Mills historic district in Mono County, California, and to conduct intensive archaeological inventory over 2,150 acres in 3 locations within the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area in Pima County, Arizona. Work on these projects will be undertaken during the Fall of 2009.
The team of PaleoWest, LLC and WSA have been awarded a multi-year contract to conduct cultural resource inventory and assessment for US Forest Service Region 3 in Arizona and New Mexico. Task orders are expected to be delivered this Fall.
WSA, under contract to R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, will conduct intensive survey, site testing, and geoarchaeological investigations on 4,000-acres at the US Army's National Training Center at Fort Irwin, California. Work will be conducted this Summer, with reporting in the Fall.
WSA Project Director Aimee Arrigoni and her husband Ben are thrilled to announce that they have completed the adoption of their daughter, Avena, from Ghana, West Africa.
WSA is happy to announce the addition of Dr. Brandon Gabler to our southwestern team.
Brandon Gabler, Ph.D., has joined WSA as Assistant Lab Director and a Staff Archaeologist in our Tucson Regional office. Dr. Gabler received B.A. degrees in Anthropology/Archaeology and Mathematics from Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania. In 2009, he received both his M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology, specializing in archaeology and ecological anthropology, from the University of Arizona. He has worked on projects in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, and Arizona, ranging from archaic and early agricultural periods in scope through the recent historical period. Prior to joining WSA in 2009, he conducted survey and excavation in northern New Mexico with the Los Alamos National Laboratory Cultural Resources Team from 2004–2009, using these data to produce his dissertation. Dr. Gabler’s dissertation research focused on the changing settlement pattern, land use, and demography of the Ancestral Puebloans on the Pajarito Plateau, specifically around Los Alamos and the northern portion of Bandelier National Monument. Dr. Gabler has also assisted in editing reports for the Ironwood Forest National Monument, Mission Santa Ana de Cuiquiburitac, and Sanford Ranch projects for the Bureau of Land Management in Tucson, Arizona.
After two months of proposal preparation and review, WSA received an Award from GSA to provide services to the state and federal government in Environmental Consulting Services and Geographic Information Services. The award, which allows federal agencies to select WSA (on the basis of our outstanding marketing efforts, experience, competitive rates and charisma) to conduct contract work, will run until April 2014. Our GSA Contract Number is GS-10F-0142V. To access our GSA contract information, please go to the GSA Advantage website.
WSA Tucson Senior Archaeologist Michael Boley and his wife Charlotte proudly announce the birth of their first child, a boy, named Samson Elijah Oxtoa Boley on February 18th. Mom and son are doing great - congratulations!
David T. Yoder, Ph.D., RPA, has joined WSA as a Senior Archaeologist in our Intermountain Region office in Cedar City, Utah. Dr. Yoder received a dual history/anthropology BA and shortly thereafter a secondary teaching license from Weber State University, followed by an MA from Brigham Young University and a PhD from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He has seven years of experience in the Great Basin and Southwest having conducted excavation and archaeological survey in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada. Dr. Yoder is currently an editor of the peer reviewed journal Utah Archaeology. He is proficient with the analysis of multiple data sets with some of his most current research including architecture and mobility among the Fremont, the early use of ground stone and adoption of small seed processing on the Colorado Plateau, Basketmaker and Puebloan footwear, and the use of soft-X ray radiography for examining perishable artifacts. In addition to his technical report writing he has published in such resources as the Journal of Archaeological Science, the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, Kiva, and Utah Archaeology.
WSA GIS Analyst Nazih Fino and his wife Cecilia have given birth to a beautiful daughter, named Serene. Congratulations!
Mr. Scott O'Mack, M.A., has joined WSA as a Project Director in our Southwest Region office in Tucson Arizona. Mr. O’Mack has over 25 years of experience in archaeology and historic preservation. Before settling in Tucson ten years ago, he worked as an archaeologist and ethnohistorian on a wide variety of projects in Mexico, Central America, and the U.S. Midwest. Over the past decade he has specialized in the history and historic archaeology of Arizona and New Mexico, with a particular focus on the multicultural history of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His recent projects have included studies of ranching history in southern Arizona, field documentation of historic-period irrigation systems in Arizona and New Mexico, historic context development for the archaeological remains of Hispanic settlements in New Mexico, an oral-historical study of a Mexican pottery-making community in southern California, and in-depth archival research on a nineteenth-century cemetery in Tucson.
We welcome Scott to WSA as he aids in expanding our expertise throughout much of the southern and southwestern US, while making us even more responsive to the needs of our clients and state and federal agencies.
AGL Resources is proposing to construct the Golden Triangle Storage Project near Beaumont, Texas to store natural gas within a subterranean salt dome which is the site of the 1901 "Lucas Gusher" at Spindletop, marking the beginning of the U.S. (and Texas) petroleum industry, and tripling US oil production overnight. WSA has been contracted to develop an historic context and field verify (using GPS and GIS) visible resources within the Spindletop National Historic Landmark property. This context and the data generated during archival work will assist the Texas SHPO in developing mitigation to offset potential impacts to this NHL property and any residential, commercial or industrial features remaining in the area.