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Adrian (Adie) Whitaker, PhD


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Adie Whitaker is a Principal Investigator, Project Manager, and Faunal Analyst. He has worked at Far Western since 2008 and has over 15 years archaeological experience throughout California in both academic and CRM contexts. While he has worked in just about every corner of the state, he prefers to be on the Coast and has conducted fieldwork in every County that touches the Pacific Ocean in California.

At Far Western he has worked extensively on transportation-related projects that fall under the Caltrans Local Assistance program for Section 106 review or are being implemented directly by Caltrans. He is an expert on the 2014 First Amended Caltrans Section 106 Programmatic Agreement as it relates to Local Assistance, with experience in the Sierra Nevada foothills, Central Valley, and San Francisco Bay Area.

Dr. Whitaker currently manages cultural resources on-call contracts with Caltrans District 5 (Central Coast), Caltrans District 6 (San Joaquin Valley), Naval Facilities Command Southwest (California, Nevada, Arizona, and Utah), University of California at Davis, the San Mateo Joint Powers Board, and the Counties of Contra Costa and Fresno.

Dr. Whitaker has authored numerous excavation reports on the archaeology of the central Sierra Nevada, Central Valley, and San Francisco Bay Area in northern California and on the Santa Barbara Channel Islands and coast of southern California. Data from these reports have led to the publication of 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 ArchaeologyQuaternary International, California Archaeology, and the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology.

He was the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology from 2017-2020, Book Review Editor for JCGBA from 2015-2017, and is on the Editorial Board of California Archaeology. He has served on the Executive Board of the Society for California Archaeology as Northern Vice President (2010-2012) and Secretary (2009-2010) and has been the chair of the California Advanced Annual Meeting Planning Committee since 2013.

 

Inventory
Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Monitoring
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Adie’s Featured Projects

Adie’s Featured Publications

Whitaker, Adrian R. and Jeffrey S. Rosenthal

2020

Divergent Human Adaptive Strategies in Late Holocene Central California. In Cowboy Ecologist: Essays in Honor of Robert L. Bettinger (edited by Roshanne S. Bakhtiary, Terry L. Jones, and Michael G. Delacorte. Center for Archaeological Research at Davis Publication 19.

Ruby, Allika, and Adrian R. Whitaker

2019

Remote Places as Post-Contact Refugia. California Archaeology, 11(2), 205-233.

Whitaker, Adrian R., Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, and Paul Brandy

2019

Social Boundaries, territoriality, and the cultural ecology of artiodactyl hunting in prehistoric California. Quaternary International 518: 83-98.

Stevens, Nathan E., Whitaker, Adrian R., and Rosenthal, Jeffrey S.

2019

Bedrock mortars as indicators of territorial behavior in the Sierra Nevada. Quaternary International. Quaternary International 518: 57-68.

Byrd, Brian F., Adrian Whitaker, Patricia Mikkelsen, and Jeffrey Rosenthal

2017

San Francisco Bay-Delta Regional Context and Research Design for Native American Archaeological Resources, Caltrans District 4. Report submitted to Caltrans District 4, Oakland.

Colligan, Kaely, Adrian R. Whitaker, and William Hildebrandt

2015

Where The Pavement Ends: An Assessment of the Paucity of Haliotis rufescens in the Archaeological Record on California’s North Coast. California Archaeology 7(1): 33-58

Whitaker, Adrian R., and Brian F. Byrd

2014

Social Circumscription, Territoriality, and the Late Holocene Intensification of Small-Bodied Shellfish along the California Coast. Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology 9(2):150-168.

Whelan, Carly, Adrian R. Whitaker, and Jeffrey S. Rosenthal

2013

Hunter-Gatherer Storage, Settlement, and the Opportunity Costs of Women’s Foraging. American Antiquity 78(4):662-678.

Whitaker, Adrian R., and Brian Byrd

2012

Boat-Based Foraging and Discontinuous Prehistoric Red Abalone Exploitation along the California Coast. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 31(2): 196-214.

 

Sharon A. Waechter, MA

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Sharon Waechter

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Sharon has worked as a professional archaeologist in California and Nevada since 1979. Her positions have included District Archaeologist and Assistant Forest Archaeologist with the Eldorado National Forest (five years); Resource Area Archaeologist with the Bureau of Land Management, Arcata (two years); Staff Archaeologist at the Cultural Resources Facility, Sonoma State University (three years); and as Principal Investigator, Field Director, report author, and general editor with Far Western since 1991. She is a Registered Professional Archaeologist, a member of the Society for Historical Archaeology, and a Lifetime Member of the Society for California Archaeology (SCA). Sharon is also past Editor of the SCA Proceedings and the SCA Newsletter.

 

Sharon’s professional experience encompasses both northern and southern California, from the Pacific coast to the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada, and into western Nevada. Her areas of special expertise and interest include 1) the archaeology and history of the Truckee/Tahoe region and the north-central Sierra, from Amador to Plumas counties; and 2) public education and interpretation. Her work includes many archaeological surveys, site evaluations and mitigations, environmental documents, management plans, web-site articles, Native American consultation, agency consultation, and public education/interpretation products. Sharon has extensive experience in both prehistoric/Native American archaeology and historical archaeology. She holds an M.A. in Anthropology and an M.A. in English/Creative Writing, both from the University of California, Davis.

 

Inventory
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Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
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Sharon’s Featured Projects

  • Boca Dam
    • Project Director/Historical Archaeologist. Survey and National Register evaluations at two major historical sites (Boca Townsite and CCC Camp Boca) and four prehistoric sites at Boca Reservoir, Nevada County, California. For MWH Global, Bureau of Reclamation (Mid-Pacific Region), and Tahoe National Forest.
  • Truckee River Legacy Trail 2006-2013
  • The Buttes Project 2002-2005

Sharon’s Featured Publications

Waechter, Sharon A., Susan G. Lindström, and William W. Bloomer

2012

Hot Rock Technology in Washoe Territory. In No Stone Unturned: Recent Trends in Ground Stone Studies in the Great Basin and Beyond, edited by Renee Kolvet and Meridith Rucks, pp. 21-28. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers No. 27. Carson City, Nevada.

Waechter, Sharon A.

2008

The Archaeological Perspective.  In A Place Called Tasegetu-Tubewabeg’ayoo:  A Compendium of Perspectives on the Culture and Archaeology of Hungry Valley, Nevada.  Reno-Sparks Indian Colony, Reno, Nevada. With M. R. Eben, G. Bengston, and D. C. Young. Synthesis of archaeological research in Hungry Valley, Washoe County, Nevada.

Eerkens, Jelmer W., Jeffrey R. Ferguson, Michael D. Glascock, Craig E. Skinner, and Sharon A. Waechter

2007

Reduction Strategies and Geochemical Characterization of Lithic Assemblages: A Comparison of Three Case Studies from Western North America. American Antiquity 72(3):585-597.

Waechter, Sharon A.

2002

A Record of Cultural Upheaval: The Late-period Residential Pattern in Crooks Canyon. In Boundary Lands: Archaeological Investigations along the California-Great Basin Interface, edited by Kelly R. McGuire, pp. 61-74. Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers No. 24. Carson City, Nevada.

Brian F. Byrd, PhD

Brian ByrdBrian Byrd

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Brian has extensive archaeological experience in a variety of semi-arid and arid settings world-wide. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona. Until the early 1990s, he conducted research in the Near East exploring the transition from hunting and gathering to farming, the onset of sedentary life, and the social organization of early villages at the end of the Pleistocene. Since 1992, he has directed numerous cultural resources management projects throughout California focused on the archaeological record of ancestral Native Americans. These studies have ranged from large-scale surveys to extensive data recovery excavations, in localities such as the San Francisco Bay area, the Central Valley, the Mojave Desert, Owens Valley, along the southern California coast, and on the Chanel Islands. He joined the Far Western team in 2004.

Brian is interested in hunter-gatherer adaptations and the origins of social complexity from a cross-cultural perspective. His investigations into ancestral hunter-gatherers are often interdisciplinary in nature, and explore the complex interrelationship between human decision-making, social interaction and complexity, and environmental factors. In 1999, he was awarded the Thomas E. King award for excellence in cultural resources management from the Society for California Archaeology. He is also a research associate with the Department of Anthropology, University of California, Davis, and an enrolled member in the federally recognized Shawnee Tribe.

Inventory
Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Monitoring
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Brian’s Featured Publications

Byrd, Brian F., Laurel Engbring, Michael Darcangelo, and Allika Ruby

2020

Protohistoric Village Organization and Territorial Maintenance: The Archaeology of Síi Túupentak (CA-ALA-565/H) in the San Francisco Bay Area. Center for Archaeological Research at Davis Publication 20, Series Editor Gregory H. Wada, Davis, California. 

Byrd, Brian F., Shannon DeArmond, and Laurel Engbring

2018

Re-visualizing Indigenous Persistence during Colonization from the Perspective of Traditional Settlements in the San Francisco Bay-Delta Area. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 38(2): 163–190.

Byrd, Brian F., Adrian Whitaker, Patricia Mikkelsen, and Jeffrey Rosenthal

2017

San Francisco Bay-Delta Regional Context and Research Design for Native American Archaeological Resources, Caltrans District 4. Report submitted to Caltrans District 4, Oakland. 

Byrd, Brian F. and Jeffrey Rosenthal

2016

Celebrating the Dead and Recrafting Social Identity: Placing Prehistoric Mortuary Practices in Broader Social Context. Chapter 11 In Archaeological Variability and Interpretation in Global Perspective edited by Alan R. Sullivan III and Debroah I. Olszewski pp.233-266. University Press of Colorado.

Garrard, Andrew N., and Brian F. Byrd

2013

Beyond the Fertile Crescent: Late Palaeolithic and Neolithic Communities of the Jordanian Steppe. The Azraq Basin Project Volume 1: Project Background and the Late Palaeolithic (Geological Context and Technology). Council for British Research in the Levant Supplemental Series Vol. 13, Oxbox Books, Oxford.

 

Byrd, Brian F.

2010

Public and Private, Domestic and Corporate: The Emergence of the Southwest Asian Village. The Archaeology of Tribal Social Formations: Selections from American Antiquity, edited by Michelle Hegmon, pp. 109-136.

Byrd, Brian F.

2005

Early Village Life at Beidha, Jordan: Neolithic Spatial Organization and Vernacular Architecture. British Academy Monographs in Archaeology 12. Published for the Council for British Research in the Levant by Oxford University Press. ISBN 01972013-1.

Ryan M. Byerly, PhD

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Dr. Byerly specializes in desert archaeology and vertebrate taphonomy, and has worked on multiple contract-based and academic archaeological projects throughout the western United States. Since 2011, he has served as Field Director for large scale archaeological surveys and site evaluations at the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms, California, and also conducted Formative-Era research in southeastern Nevada under the auspices of the Lincoln County Archaeological Initiative. Ryan has also participated in several projects focused on Lower Paleolithic through Neolithic human biological and cultural evolution in Germany, Egypt, and Armenia, and has most recently worked at Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, as part of the on-going research efforts of The Olduvai Paleoanthropology and Paleoecology Project.

 

Inventory
Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Monitoring
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Ryan’s Featured Projects

Ryan’s Featured Publications

Byerly, R. M., and J. C. Roberson

2015

Late Pleistocene to Middle Holocene Archaeology in the Mojave Desert: Recent Discoveries in Twentynine Palms, California. Paleoamerica 1(2):197-201.

Byerly, R. M., J. C. Roberson, and C. P. Egeland

2015

The Coffin Bison Kill (5JA7): Bridging Perspectives on the Past at the Door to North Park, Colorado. North American Archaeologist 36(4):266-288.

 

Principal Investigators

 

Dedicated and creative project direction and scholarship.

 

Melissa Johnson, BS, BA

Far Western, Davis Office
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Melissa has worked in cultural resources management since 2008. She graduated from Santa Clara University, cum laude, with a Bachelor of Science in Anthropology and Bachelor of Arts in History. Ms. Johnson currently holds a position as Project and Proposal Director at Far Western’s Davis office. Prior to this, she worked as Projects Coordinator/Staff Archaeologist at a Sacramento-based cultural resources firm. Initially conducting fieldwork throughout northern California, Ms. Johnson has more recently focused her interests in research-based projects. This work has included documenting the locations of intact Native American burials versus re-burial locations resulting from various capital improvement projects, as well as projects that have required the organization and accumulation of massive quantities of data. She prepared an archaeological sites sensitivity study for over 400 miles of roadway in Stanislaus County, and managed cultural resources data for over 100 California Army National Guard armories throughout California.

In her capacity as Proposal Coordinator, Ms. Johnson has over three years of experience writing proposals and navigating state and local agencies’ processes for request for proposals/qualifications as well as the intricacies of federal contracting, including General Service Agency and military bids.

 

Inventory
Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Monitoring
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Melissa’s Featured Projects

  • California Army National Guard Cultural Resources Database
  • PG&E Staff Support
  • Caltrans Reburials Project

Tammara Ekness Norton, BA

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Tammara has worked as a professional archaeologist and graphic artist since 1979. She graduated from California State University, Sacramento, with a double major in anthropology and art and has been with Far Western for more than 30 years. Her position at Far Western has evolved from Graphic Artist to Production Supervisor and now—Art Director. Her responsibilities include working in tandem with authors, GIS, graphics, production staff, clients, and Native American consultants to develop information graphics for technical and public products in all media—including film. She is highly skilled in communication design, graphic arts, and scientific illustration. Her clients have included California State Parks, the Bureau of Land Management, the US military, PG&E, the City of Vacaville, the Town of Truckee, Tahoe City, the University of California at Davis, Caltrans, CalFire, and the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. 

 

Inventory
Evaluation and Testing
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Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
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Tammara’s Key Projects

Jerome H. King, MA

Jerome King
Jay King
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Jay is the current President of Far Western. He attended the University of California, Santa Cruz, for his undergraduate degree, graduating in 1991, and Simon Fraser University for his master’s degree, graduating in 1997. Jay has worked as an archaeologist in California and the Great Basin since 1991; he began working at Far Western in 1999 and became a principal at the company in 2015.  He also serves as a Principal Investigator on projects throughout California and Nevada. He specializes in information management and analysis. As a founder of our GIS and Cartography group, Jay has completed a number of landscape-level sensitivity models and geoarchaeological studies, sample survey designs, large-scale cultural resources data-acquisition and maintenance projects, as well as custom application development. As an archaeologist, he has led and contributed to a wide variety of inventory, testing, and data-recovery projects. His work has been published in American Antiquity, the Journal of Archaeological Science, the American Museum of Natural History Anthropological Papers, the Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, and other outlets. 

 

Inventory
Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Monitoring
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Jay’s Featured Projects

  • Ruby Pipeline
  • Caltrans Cultural Resources Database and Legacy Data Collection
  • Battle Mountain Pasture

Jay’s Featured Publications

Hildebrandt, W., K. McGuire, J. King, A. Ruby, and D.C. Young

2016

Prehistory of Nevada’s Northern Tier: Archaeological Investigations along the Ruby Pipeline. American Museum of Natural History Anthropological Papers, Number 101.

Duke, Daron, and Jerome H. King

2014

A GIS Model for Predicting Wetland Habitat in the Great Basin at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition and Implications for Paleoindian Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science 49:276-291.

Duke, Daron, and Jerome H. King

2014

A GIS Model for Predicting Wetland Habitat in the Great Basin at the Pleistocene-Holocene Transition and Implications for Paleoindian Archaeology. Journal of Archaeological Science 49:276-291.

McGuire, Kelly R., William R. Hildebrandt, Amy J. Gilreath, Jerome H. King, and John E. Berg

2013

The Prehistory of Gold Butte: A Virgin River Hinterland, Clark County, Nevada. University of Utah Anthropological Papers No. 127. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Hildebrandt, William R., and Jerome H. King

2012

Distinguishing between Darts and Arrows in the Archaeological Record: Implications for Technological Change in the American West. American Antiquity 77:789-799.

Jeffrey S. Rosenthal, MA

Jeffrey Rosenthal
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Jeff received a B.A. in Anthropology from Sonoma State University in 1991 and an M.A. in Cultural Resources Management from that same institution in 1996.  He is currently a Principal at Far Western where he provides a research emphasis on the San Francisco Bay area, Central Valley, and adjacent regions of the Sierra Nevada and Coast Ranges.  His interests include hunter-gatherer adaptations, landscape evolution and its effects on the archaeological record, paleo-biogeography and paleo-environment of California, and the culture history of central California.  Results of Jeff’s research have appeared in Quaternary Science Reviews, American Antiquity, Journal of Archaeological Science, Journal of Ethnobiology, Journal of Vegetation History and Archaeobotany, Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology, and the Journal of the Society for California Archaeology, among others. He is also the lead author of the Central Valley chapter in California Prehistory, edited by Terry Jones and Kathryn Klar, and is the co-author of monographs published by the Center for Archaeological Research at Davis and the San Luis Obispo Archaeological Society, as well as several book chapters published by the University of Utah Press and Texas A&M Press. In 2006, Jeff, along with Jack Meyer, received the Martin A. Baumhoff Special Achievement Award given by the Society for California Archaeology, and his work has also received the Governor’s Historic Preservation Award (2007), and the California Preservation Foundation Design Award (2005).

 

Inventory
Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Monitoring
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Kelly R. McGuire, MA

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Kelly R. McGuire, MA

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One of the original founders of Far Western, Kelly has more than 35 years of archaeological experience, primarily in California and the Great Basin. Along with his duties as Chief Financial Officer (1979-2019) and President (2019-2020), he has supervised cultural resources programs for a variety of water resources, communication, resource management, transportation, military, and energy-related developments. Kelly’s research interests include California and Great Basin hunter-gatherer adaptations and foraging theory focusing on human behavioral ecology. His work has appeared in books and encyclopedias, as well as in American Antiquity; Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology; Quaternary Research; Journal of Ethnobiology; University of Utah Press Anthropological Papers; Museum of Anthropology Occasional Papers in Anthropology, CSU-Bakersfield Occasional Papers in Anthropology; and Nevada State Museum Anthropological Papers. Kelly maintains an abiding interest in outreach efforts for archaeology. He has developed a number of pamphlets and web-based modules for educational institutions and the general public, co-produced a feature-length documentary The Obsidian Trail which was aired nation-wide on PBS, as well as Breaking New Ground: Native Americans Working as Archaeologists.

Inventory
Evaluation and Testing
Effects Mitigation
Geoarchaeology
Sensivity and Constraints
Environmental Planning Support
GIS and Cartography
Monitoring
Public Outreach and Interpretation

Kelly’s Featured Projects

Kelly’s Featured Publications

McGuire, Kelly R., William R. Hildebrandt, Amy J. Gilreath, Jerome H. King, and John E. Berg

2013

The Prehistory of Gold Butte: A Virgin River Hinterland, Clark County, Nevada. University of Utah Anthropological Papers No. 127. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Hildebrandt, William R., and Kelly R. McGuire

2012

A Land of Prestige. In Contemporary Issues in California Archaeology, edited by Terry L. Jones and Jennifer E. Perry, pp. 133-151. Left Coast Press, Walnut Creek, California.