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Pacifc Geoarchaeological Services

Seattle, Washington
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Selected Projects

SR 520 Bridge Replacement and HOV Project, Foster Island Shoreline Assessment, WSDOT-UCO, 2009-2010 (PGS subcontract with Parametrix, Inc.). 

Provided geoarchaeological and geomorphological expertise to help define the extent of the Foster Island landform and the former extent of the pre-1916 Lake Washington shoreline along the northern margins of Washington Arboretum Park.  This project was carried out to provide additional background and information for project environmental and cultural resources studies, to ground-truth remote sensing results, and to determine if proposed alignment alternatives for the SR 520 Bridge Replacement corridor would affect cultural resources of tribal concern within Washington Arboretum Park and the historic configuration of Foster Island.

I-5 Puyallup River Bridge Crossing, Tacoma/Pierce County HOV GEC Program, WSDOT 2009 (Subcontract with CH2M Hill).


PGS conducted geoarchaeological sonicore investigations in support of cultural resource studies for the Tacoma/Pierce County HOV Environmental Group for the M Street to Port of Tacoma Road portion of the project.  Objectives of the investigations included determination of the range of lithofacies types for vertical sedimentary sequences, construction of lithofacies assemblages and stratigraphic units, definition and description of environments of deposition, establishment of a chronostratigraphic framework based on relative and absolute chronometric data, and relating the sedimentary bodies to any archaeological deposits that may be encountered.


During field investigations, 25 sonicore continuous cores ranging from 30 to 110 feet deep were retrieved from both banks of the Puyallup River resulting in the identification of archaeological materials in one borehole at 14 feet below surface on the left bank of the modern river channel, and identification of Mazama tephra (approx 6845 B.P.) at 89 feet below surface on the right bank of the river.  In addition, a paleoshoreline predating 4000 B.P. at 30-36 feet below surface on the left bank of the river was reconstructed based on beach lithofacies found in boreholes.


San Antonio Creek Restoration Project, Extended Phase I Drilling Program, Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, 2008-present (PGS subcontract with Applied Earthworks, Lompoc, California).

This drilling program retrieved and archaeologically processed 23 continuous cores in the vicinity of the modern San Antonio Creek channel.  Variations in the vertical sequence were tracked using changes in the archaeological and lithological character of the deposits based on primary lithologic constituents such as color, texture, and the presence or absence of archaeological materials. Bulk sediment samples were collected from each facies, water-screened, and examined for archaeological residues.  As a result, archaeological materials dating to greater than 8000 radiocarbon years ago before present were discovered at 18 feet below surface, and data recovery excavations were carried out in September-October, 2008.  

Alaska Way Viaduct and Sewall Replacement Project, Seattle, Washington, WSDOT-Urban Corridors (Geoarchaeologist/Senior Archaeologist with NWAA).

I served as the staff Geoarchaeologist/Senior Archaeologist for Northwest Archaeological Associates, Inc, Seattle, Washington, for a number of tasks associated with this project.  As part of preparation for the project-wide historic and pre-contact research designs, I prepared a technical report describing the historic fill stratigraphic sequence and depth to contact with underlying intact Holocene-aged deposits based on analysis of over 400 previously drilled geotechnical boreholes along the Seattle waterfront and central business district. 

For another task, I examined 38 2-inch-diameter, 16-foot-deep geoprobes drilled along Seattle central waterfront (between the entrance to Battery Street tunnel and Atlantic Avenue) to identify stratigraphic sequencing in the historic fill underlying the modern waterfront and to set up initial facies descriptions for subsequent projects in the area.

I also served as coordinator for the 2007 Archaeological Coring Program during which 47 8-inch-diameter vibracores were drilled in the southern area of the proposed project. Each continuous core was characterized on a graphical log according to historic fill layer characteristics (wood, brick, coal, etc.), water-screened through nested sieves, and the resulting facies and artifact distributions matched to previous subsurface explorations.

Finally, I was responsible for excavating within 12x12-foot work zones surrounding the columns supporting Bents 93 and 94 along the Alaska Way Viaduct through the downtown business district. These bents had begun to sink following the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake, and were undergoing a temporary retrofit. Excavation methods included using sheet piles and excavating in controlled 6-inch-thick cuts within each work area with a small trackhoe. Spoils were placed in a roll-a-way parked adjacent to the work area, and screened before being hauled away.

Heritage Resources Investigations at the Mukilteo Multimodal Ferry Terminal Project Site, Washington State Ferries, 2006-2008 (NWAA Geoarchaeologist/Senior Archaeologist). 

Archaeological site45-SN-393 is an extensive shell midden buried under approximately seven feet of historical fill along the eastern arm of a cuspate spit in Mukilteo, Washington.  As senior archaeologist/geoarchaeologist for NWAA was responsible for archaeological testing within the footprint of a proposed multimodal ferry and light rail terminal to replace the current Clinton WSF ferry slip.  Testing was carried out using sixteen backhoe trenches and eighty-five four-inch-diameter solid cores.  The excavations and cores provided stratigraphic profiles with exposures from the ground surface down to pre-occupation basal glacial till sediments, and revealed information about the condition and physical extent of the site.  The Mukilteo Shoreline site was found within the study area beneath four to six feet of fill.  Radiocarbon ages suggest the site was initially occupied about 1,000 years ago and more widespread human activity commenced about 600 years ago.  Terminal dates on the shell midden range between 400 years ago to effectively historic times.  Also responsible for overseeing additional in-water and upland geoarchaeological monitoring of geotechnical boreholing in 2007 and early 2008 during the final design process for the proposed terminal.

Geoarchaeological Backhoe Trenching, Dillenbaugh Creek, Chehalis River Floodway, Lewis County, Washington, WSDOT, 2005 (NWAA Geoarchaeologist/Senior Archaeologist). 

Geoarchaeological fieldwork was conducted at the reconnaissance level using 28 backhoe trenches to characterize the vertical depositional sequence underlying a proposed WSDOT-sponsored wetland mitigation bank, and to find larger-scaled archaeological manifestations such as outlines of excavations for domestic structures and post- and stake-molds.  The trenches were placed 50 m apart along four transects.  The depositional sequence in each trench was described and illustrated with graphical logs showing the bounding contacts between depositional units and the major sedimentological properties of each deposit. As a result, fire-altered matrix and one chipped stone artifact were encountered in four of the trenches; subsequent finer-grained sampling with hand-excavated shovel probes revealed additional archaeological materials.

Construction of Facies Assemblage & Landform System Model for Baker Lake, Concrete, WA, Puget Sound Energy (NWAA Geoarchaeologist/Senior Archaeologist).

These studies focused on analyzing the effects and timing of paraglacial processes below Mount Baker during the transition from late glacial to Holocene conditions.  The facies assemblages organized observations about relative age of landforms and was used to examine site patterning in Baker Lake and Lake Shannon drawdown zones to analyze human use of mid-elevation mountainous areas in the Cascades.


Geoarchaeological Field Investigations During Data Recovery Excavations at 24LN1048, Kootenai River, Lincoln County, MT (Edaphos Research subcontract with Cascadia Archaeology).


Site 24LN1048 is at the mouth of Alexander Creek, a tributary of the Kootenai River immediately below the Libby Dam tailrace on a fan/terrace complex.  The landform is composed of debris flows originating in the Alexander Creek basin intercalated with flood deposits from the Kootenai River.  During the course of investigations, tributary and mainstem sediments were distinguished, at least two former locations of the Alexander Creek channel were documented, and modes of deposition for various parts of the fan where archaeological features had been identified were described.


Deglaciation in the Upper Pond Oreille River Basin, Albeni Falls, Sandpoint, Idaho, Seattle District Corps of Engineers 2001 (Edaphos Research subcontract with Northwest Archaeological Associates, Seattle, Washington).

Geoarchaeological field investigations collected data to carry out a project-wide geomorphic and landscape analysis in the upper Pend Oreille River basin within the reservoir drawdown zone from the powerhouse at Albeni Falls Dam to the outlet of Lake Pend Oreille near the town of Sandpoint.  Selected upland areas also were examined along the south side of the river upriver east of Albeni Cove and north of the river in the Saddler Creek basin and at Mirror Lake.  Fieldwork focused on summary descriptions of lithological and geomorphic data retrieved from a wide array of  contexts throughout the reservoir; data included observations on surface deflated sediments, sediment retrieved from auger holes, cutbanks, roadcuts, and quarry pits within the drawdown zone and observations of roadcuts and quarry pits in the uplands surrounding the reservoir.  The final product was a compendium of the field data, and a technical narrative relating the observations to river basin geomorphic response to deglaciation and climate change during the Late Pleistocene to Holocene transition.

Evaluative Testing and Salvage Excavations Conducted as Part of the Colville Confederated Tribes' 2000 Grand Coulee Dam Cultural Resources Project, and, Cultural Resources Inventory Survey of Lake Roosevelt Between Elevations 1289 and 1310 Feet Above Mean Sea Level and the Tailrace TerraceProject Title, Franklin D. Roosevelt Reservoir, Northeastern Washington, 2000 (Edaphos Research subcontract with Applied Archaeological Research, Portland, Oregon).

Geoarchaeological objectives during the broad-scale subsurface testing program were focused on examining archaeological spatial patterning over extensive tracts of the drawdown zone, and to retrieve geomorphic data deemed relevant for preliminary historical reconstructions of the postglacial geomorphology at each of the site landforms visited during testing.  During the archaeological survey program, the scope of the geoarchaeological objectives were broadened to include examination of exposures and landforms along the full length of the reservoir in order to 1) collect sedimentologic and stratigraphic evidence indicating conditions conducive to preservation of buried archaeological materials, 2) collect data on landform formation histories, 3) tabulate the relative abundance of landform types present in the project area, and 4) assess the effects of reservoir-related erosional processes on landforms and archaeological site integrity.  The data were presented as large-scale lithologic cross sections through landforms based on shovel probe and borehole data, scaled sketches of reservoir cutbanks showing stratigraphic relations of major depositional units, and smaller-scaled drawings of test unit profiles and on-site exposures as appropriate; these data were accompanied by technical narratives describing the methods used, the results, and interpretations.

Geoarchaeological Investigations at 45-ST-63 (Deadhorse Site), Franklin D. Roosevelt Reservoir, Stevens County, Washington, 1999 (Edaphos Research subcontract with Applied Archaeological Research, Portland, Oregon).

Conducted geoarchaeological investigations under subcontract with Applied Archaeological Research, Portland, Oregon, during archaeological testing to determine site damage resulting from erosion during the winter 1996-97 weather event.  Scope included identifying, describing and documenting the major depositional units and soil bodies comprising the site, construction of a site formation model for the site environs, and production of unit profiles, site-wide cross sections and technical narrative for inclusion in the final report.

Geoarchaeological Investigations during Archaeological Testing, 45-OK-5, Rufus Woods Lake, Okanogan County, Washington, Seattle District Corps of Engineers 1998 (Edaphos Research subcontract with Cascadia Archaeology, Seattle, Washington).

Provided geoarchaeological support during U.S. Army Corps of Engineers-sponsored archaeological testing at a housepit site along the Columbia River in northeastern Washington.  Archaeological testing was conducted to assess damage due to erosion along the reservoir shoreline fronting 45-OK-5, and to determine potential impacts to remaining archaeological resources potentially affected by future erosion.  Scope of work included describing and documenting lithostratigraphy and soils comprising the site deposits, characterizing the depositional architecture and landform history of the site, and producing profiles, section drawings and technical narrative for the final testing report.

Other Cultural Resources Management Experience


§  Preliminary landscape analysis during archaeological presence/absence testing at Rice Bar, Central Ferry, WA. Walla Walla District, Army Corps of Engineers (2003)

§  Geoarchaeological field investigations during testing at Cama Beach, Island County, WA. (2001)

§  Geoarchaeological investigations at Cathlapotle Indian Town, Ridgefield, WA. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (1998)

§  Geoarchaeological Consultant for Willamette National Forest, OR. (1997)

§  Geoarchaeological investigations during data recovery excavations at 10AM413, Little Salmon River, ID. (1997)

§  Museum Aid.  National Park Service, Western Archaeological Conservation Center, Tucson, AZ. (1986) 

§  Field Technician.  National Park Service, Southwest Cultural Resources Center, Division of Anthropology, Santa Fe, NM. (1985)

§  Field Technician. Site testing during spring drawdown of Lake Koocanusa, Eureka, MT. (1981) 

§  Field Technician. Chief Joseph Dam Cultural Resources Project, Nespelem, WA (1979)

§  Field Technician. Cultural resource inventory prior to timber harvesting on the Kaniksu National Forest, ID. (1978)

§  Field Technician. Libby Dam, Libby Additional Units Re-Regulating Dam Project, Libby, MT. (1978) 

§  Field Technician. Survey of the Fort Peck-Havre Transmission Line, MT. (1977)

§  Field Technician. Bonneville Dam 2nd Powerhouse Project, WA (1977)