Paleontological Services

Far Western now offers paleontological studies to protect non-renewable fossil resources. The Earth’s rich fossil record yields important information on plant and animal evolution, changes in regional climate and local environment, the shaping of our continent, and the dynamics of past landscape and ecological interaction. Construction projects risk disturbing these significant resources. Beginning at the planning and permitting stages, Far Western uses the highest industry standards for mitigating resource loss through fossil documentation, collection, and preparation.

We welcome Dr. Russell Shapiro, a federally recognized Qualified Paleontologist, to our team. Earning his Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 1998, Russell has worked on a wide variety of projects in California, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, and Utah. His research has led him to excavations throughout the world, most recently to northern Alaska and South Africa. However, his heart will always stay true to the Basin and Range. This year, he was awarded the Distinguished Career Award from the Geobiology Division of the Geological Society of America. 

Dr. Shapiro and the Far Western team are ready to develop pre-disturbance plans through close consultation with clients and permitting agencies. The plans are largely based on literature and museum records searches, as well as analysis of geological maps. If warranted, a field survey looks for exposed fossils. If documented during a survey or exposed during ground disturbance, Far Western professionally collects and prepares fossils for curation in museum collections.

 

 

We are proud of the role we play in supporting scientific discovery through our resource protection program and paleontological outreach and education.

Covid-19: Precautions for travel and fieldwork

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and federal, state, and agency directives, Far Western is conducting fieldwork only under strict safety protocols that minimize the risk of spreading the virus between employees, clients, and the general public.  

Every aspect of fieldwork requires adjustmentswhether we are loading trucks, commuting to projects, documenting resources, or excavating test units. We have augmented our daily safety protocols and guidelines for all field crews to include appropriate social distancing, facial coverings, and vehicle and equipment sanitation.  

Far Western is committed to limiting the exposure of our employees to the virus that causes Covid-19. We thank our staff, field crews, and clients for their hard work designing and following these policies to protect the community.  

 

Kim Carpenter (1967–2019)

Kim Carpenter

Kim Carpenter passed away peacefully on July 4, 2019, after an eight-month battle with ovarian cancer.  She leaves behind her husband Tim, her children Elsa and Ian, her father Vic Holanda, brothers Travis Bounsall and Jay Holanda and their families, as well as a wide community of co-workers and academic colleagues.  She was important to people throughout the archaeological community as a scholar, leader, mentor, role model, and friend, and she will be missed deeply.

Kim was born in Montpellier, Idaho, in 1967, and spent most of her childhood in California.  She graduated from CSU Long Beach in 1992 with a degree in anthropology.  During her early years as an archaeologist, she worked at various cultural resources management firms, including Archaeological Resource Management in Anaheim and at Biosystems Analysis in Santa Cruz.  She returned to school in 1995, entering the graduate program at CSU Chico, working primarily under Frank Bayham, where she gained expertise with faunal analysis, which remained her primary research interest throughout her career.  Upon completing her master’s degree work in 1997, she entered the PhD program at the University of Utah under Jack Broughton, but ultimately decided to return to her career in CRM rather than finish the program.

Kim began working with her future Far Western colleagues in the late 1990s on the Tuscarora Pipeline and Alturas Intertie projects, two large data-recovery projects in northeastern California that served as training grounds for many archaeologists in her cohort.  It was here, too, that she met Tim Carpenter, whom she would marry in 2000.  She took a permanent job with Far Western in 1998, and quickly distinguished herself as both a researcher and businesswoman. She became a principal at the company in 2004, serving as principal investigator and project manager on a wide variety of projects throughout California and the Great Basin. 

While working as a full-time CRM professional, she made several important contributions to the theory and practice of archaeology in the western United States. With Bill Hildebrandt, she authored a chapter on California fauna in the Handbook or North American Indians (Hildebrandt and Carpenter 2006) and a chapter on hunting adaptations in California for another Smithsonian volume, Indigenous Subsistence Economies of North America (Hildebrandt and Carpenter 2011).  She was integral to the debate regarding Middle Archaic hunting and costly signaling in the Great Basin. Her faunal data (the internally famous “Holanda table of Eastern California mammalian bone”) was the linchpin of the costly signaling  argument; she contributed to two comments that factored into the debates (McGuire et al. 2007; Whitaker and Carpenter 2012). She authored or co-authored book chapters and articles focusing on Great Basin faunal assemblages and what they could reveal about prehistoric subsistence and intertribal interactions (Bayham et al. 2012; Holanda 2004). Her scholarly contributions were not just limited to published research.  She served as Associate Editor of the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology (2007-2012), and the Member at Large (2004-2008) and Treasurer (2012-2019) of the Great Basin Anthropological Association.

In a hierarchy of owners, supervisors, and staff typical of many CRM companies, Kim’s rise at Far Western was remarkable. A rare combination of research capabilities, managerial savvy, and interpersonal skills propelled her from backdirt to boardroom. In 2015, by unanimous acclaim, she was elected president of Far Western, and then re-elected for two more terms.

One of the most impressive things about Kim was the sheer breadth of her interests and imagination. Happy to review an invoice, discuss Human Behavioral Ecology, pitch a client, identify a bone fragment, edit a report, counsel a wayward tech, or serve on the Board of Directors of the Cache Creek Conservancy, Kim was unbounded. Companies need such a person; the world needs such people.

In the midst of her remarkable career, she also raised, along with her husband Tim, her two children, Elsa and Ian. The devotion and intensity she brought to her work didn’t miss a beat at home. It was not unusual to see Kim blow out of Far Western at 4:00 to make a soccer practice drop-off, return to work for more desk and screen time, and then make the 7:00 pick-up. All in a day’s work (along with stopping at the store on the way home to pick up dinner). This was Kim. 

As tributes to Kim surfaced on social media and in condolences offered to her colleagues, a recurrent theme was obvious—Kim as mentor. As attested by many, Kim was an exemplary teacher and role model who had the unique capability to understand one’s strengths and weaknesses, perspectives, and personal challenges. Last summer she posted a picture of movie superheroes on her office wall with the text “Everyone has a super power.”  Kim excelled at identifying and nurturing the super power in everyone.  Those of us in the void left by her absence can only aspire to follow her example, by extending the same qualities of empathy and understanding to our own colleagues and friends.

 

 

By Jerome King, Kelly McGuire and Adie Whitaker

 

Kim Carpenter’s Scholarly Contributions

Whitaker, Adrian R. and Kimberly Carpenter

         2012       Economic Foraging at a Distance is Not a Question of If but When: A Response to Grimstead. American Antiquity. 77(1):160-167.

Bayham, Frank E., R. Kelly Beck, and Kimberley Carpenter

         2012       Large Game Exploitation and Intertribal Boundaries on the Fringe of the Western Great Basin.  In: Meeting at the margins:  Prehistoric Cultural Interactions in the Intermountain West. Edited by Dave Rhode.  University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah.

McGuire, Kelly, Kimberley Carpenter, and Jeffery Rosenthal

         2012       Great Basin Hunters of the Sierra Nevada.  In: Meeting at the margins:  Prehistoric Cultural Interactions in the Intermountain West. Edited by Dave Rhode.  University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Hildebrandt, W.R. and K. Carpenter

         2011       Native Hunting Adaptations in California: Changing Patterns of Resource Use from the Early Holocene to European Contact. In Indigenous Subsistence Economies of North America, pages 131-146. Edited by Bruce Smith. Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press. Washington D.C.

McGuire, Kelly R., William R. Hildebrandt, and Kimberley L. Carpenter

         2007       Costly Signaling and the Ascendance of No-Can-Do Archaeology: A Reply to Codding and Jones. American Antiquity, 72(2), pp. 358-365.

Hildebrandt, William R., and Kimberley Carpenter

         2006       California Animals. In Environment, Origins, and Population, edited by Bruce Smith, pp. 284-291. Handbook of North American Indians 3, W. C. Sturtevant. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

McGuire, Kelly R., Michael G. Delacorte, Kimberley L. Carpenter

         2006       Archaeological Excavations at Pie Creek and Tule Valley Shelters, Elko County, Nevada. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers number 25.

Holanda, Kimberley L.

         2004       Reversing the Trend: Late Holocene Subsistence Change in Northeastern California. In Boundary Lands: Archaeological Investigations along The California-Great Basin Interface. Kelly R. McGuire, Editor. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers Number 24.

Broughton, Jack M., Rampton, Dominique, and Holanda, Kimberley

         2002       A test of an osteologically-based age determination method in the Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus). Ibis 144: 143-146.

Holanda, Kimberley

         1994       Excavations at the Laguna Springs Adobe Site (ORA- 13B): Stagecoach Waystation and Prehistoric Camp Part III. Faunal Analysis: Invertebrates. In: Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterly: 30(2/3):21-24.

Kelly McGuire, Far Western President

We are pleased to announce that Kelly McGuire has been unanimously elected President of Far Western. Kelly is a Founding Partner and served as Chief Financial Officer through the first 40 years of our operations; a milestone anniversary reached in 2019! Kelly embodies Far Western’s core principle of providing high-quality cultural resources services backed by discipline-leading research and peer-reviewed publication.

 

 

While managing cultural resource compliance projects for a variety of clients and industry sectors, Kelly continues to provide important contributions to the study of California and Great Basin hunter-gatherer adaptations and human behavioral ecology.

We look forward to Kelly’s leadership in his new role.

FW Historical Archaeology Program

Far Western is pleased to highlight our expanding Historical Archaeology Program.

Historical Archaeology is the study of material culture supported by written documents and other historical evidence. In the Americas this coincides with periods of European and Native American contact and subsequent colonization, urbanization, industrialization, and globalization. Written, oral, and archaeological data provide different types of information, and historical archaeologists work to weave these together—filling gaps, exploring nuances, and providing a better understanding of past lifeways and historical developments. Working to connect the past and the present, historical archaeologists uncover and explore the material traces of life in the emerging modern world.

To meet the goals of cultural resources management and historic preservation compliance, Far Western historical archaeologists employ a wide range of archaeological and historical research methods to identify, evaluate, and treat historic-period sites, structures, features, and artifacts.

Historical Archaeology Team:

 

 

New Far Western Officers

The Far Western Board of Directors elects officers every two years. The new slate of officers, elected at the February 2019 Principal’s Retreat, is instrumental in both the long-term guidance and daily leadership of Far Western.

Chief Financial Officer: Paul Brandy. This is Paul’s first term as CFO, after serving as Secretary for four years.

Secretary: Adie Whitaker. This is Adie’s first term as a Far Western officer.

Newly appointed officers: Adie Whitaker, Secretary (left) and Paul Brandy, CFO (right)

The Board unanimously re-elected Kim Carpenter for a third term as President. Lin Wang has served for many years as our Finance Manager and was re-elected as Treasurer.

After several decades as an officer, Kelly McGuire will be stepping down as CFO, passing the books to Paul. Kelly will continue to provide leadership as Principal and Project Manager throughout Far Western. Thank you to Kelly for the many years of diligence and guidance as a Far Western officer.

Far Western receives the Presidential Special Achievement Award

Salt Lake City, Utah – Far Western received the Presidential Special Achievement Award for Excellence and their Numerous Significant Contributions to Archaeology and CRM in the Great Basin and Beyond. The award was announced at the biennial Great Basin Anthropological Conference in October.

 

There are those who do what needs to be done to meet the law or the contract and those who go the extra mile and strive to make a contribution that influences both theory and method, and ultimately our understanding of the past, as well as sharing our story with the public. This year’s Presidential awardees exemplify the best in Cultural Resource Management. – Kirk Halford, GBAA President

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

We thank the Great Basin Anthropological Association for this honor. We dedicate this to our Far Western team, everyone contributes to this kind recognition.

Far Western in Science Magazine

Ancient human parallel lineages within North America contributed to a coastal expansion

BY C. L. SCHEIB, HONGJIE LI, TARIQ DESAI, VIVIAN LINK, CHRISTOPHER KENDALL, GENEVIEVE DEWAR, PETER WILLIAM GRIFFITH, ALEXANDER MÖRSEBURG, JOHN R. JOHNSON, AMIEE POTTER, SUSAN L. KERR, PHILLIP ENDICOTT, JOHN LINDO, MARC HABER, YALI XUE, CHRIS TYLER-SMITH, MANJINDER S. SANDHU, JOSEPH G. LORENZ, TORI D. RANDALL, ZUZANA FALTYSKOVA, LUCA PAGANI, PETR DANECEK, TAMSIN C. O’CONNELL, PATRICIA MARTZ, ALAN S. BORAAS, BRIAN F. BYRD, ALAN LEVENTHAL, ROSEMARY CAMBRA, RONALD WILLIAMSON, LOUIS LESAGE, BRIAN HOLGUIN, ERNESTINE YGNACIO-DE SOTO, JOHNTOMMY ROSAS, MAIT METSPALU, JAY T. STOCK, ANDREA MANICA, AYLWYN SCALLY, DANIEL WEGMANN, RIPAN S. MALHI, TOOMAS KIVISILD

SCIENCE01 JUN 2018 : 1024-1027 Read Full Article Here

Two parallel, terminal Pleistocene lineages gave rise to Californian, Central, and South American populations.

This original research was also referenced in a New York Times article here.

Far Western Welcomes New Principal

We are pleased to welcome a new Principal to our Group: Dr. Adie Whitaker.

 

Adrian Whitaker Far Western Principal
Dr. Whitaker has been with Far Western since 2008 and has over 15 years of archaeological experience in California CRM.

He has authored numerous reports on the archaeology of California, while leading inventory and excavation projects from the San Francisco Bay to the Sierra Nevada to the Channel Islands. Building on data collected and collaborations formed during these projects, Adie has published numerous scholarly articles in regional, national, and international journals, including American Antiquity, the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, the Journal of Archaeological Science, the Journal of Coastal and Island ArchaeologyCalifornia Archaeology, and the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology.

He is Editor of the  Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology and continues to play a strong role in the Society for California Archaeology.

Far Western will benefit greatly from Adie’s enthusiasm and leadership. We value his ability to meet the compliance needs of our clients while expanding our knowledge of California’s past.