R. Joe Brandon
Note from R. Joe:
It is not often I get to post a position for someone who had such a profound impact on my knowledge of archaeology. So please indulge me as I give a little backstory here to make an observation before you get to SEAS posting for a PI.
I got to know Doug Loebig, the co-founder of SEAS, when he had the misfortune of taking over a crew I was on. The crew comprising Navajo, occasionally Zuni, Alley-Cat the backhoe operator, and some bilagáana like me were on a pipeline running through the Tohatchi flats in the shadow of the Chuska mountains. The Field Director warned Doug that we were the “Next to Worthless Crew”. Maybe we were to him, but Doug didn’t give a frick. And because Doug was the new crew chief on the project, he (and we) were not in the queue for any of what everyone knew were going to be some impressive sites to mitigate. They gave him a nondescript surface scatter, LA 80410, and we resigned ourselves to dig another mediocre site. Doug took a walk across the scatter, went back to the truck to grab the hand auger with a couple of extensions, and dropped in a probe at what looked to be a random spot. Doug watched the soil come out of the auger, he felt it as it sifted through his fingers, hell he might have smelled and tasted it. When he was done he stated “There’s a pit structure here” as if it was clearly obvious (it was not). Then Doug looked around, walked a few meters north and dropped in another probe, and casually said “Here is another one”. A few probes later, Doug had determined there was an associated room block too. We all looked at one another. “Yeah, sure right, dude”. Then Doug broke out the transit and had us lay in the grid.
Over the following seasons, Doug guided us in excavating what turned out to be a very nice BMIII/PI site with some extremely unique and interesting architectural features (I could be wrong on the time period off the top of my head but I don’t want to dig the report out of the attic ;-). The period the site was from didn’t matter. What mattered is what Doug did. Which was pretty much everything. It was amazing to watch this totally humble dude just “know” so much about so many things: paleobotany, soils, mapping, survey, material culture, features, prehistoric and modern culture (and how they interleave), and be so willing to share it. What should have been a crappy long winter digging a non-site turned into one of the most memorable and educational experiences I ever have had the opportunity to be a part of.
It is a fine line between extolling the qualities of someone and coming across too strong. So all I can really say is that I would dig with Doug again.
In this boom period of CRM, people with the qualifications of what Doug and Cynthia’s company, SEAS, are looking for are in high demand and short supply. But if you are someone who might be a good fit, give their posting here a second glance and reflect for a minute about what it is you first got into archaeology for and what you want to do with your education, and yourself. You might find that immersing yourself in the four-corners with some great people might be the perfect complement to what it was you always meant to do, but might have lost sight of along the way.
Oh. And please don’t turn out to be an a-hole. ;-) Though that applies for every posting on ShovelBums.
For nostalgic value, here is some of the Next to Worthless Crew at LA 80410 Red Willow Hamlet. Though I am not in the pic, I was taking the crew shot with a 4”x5” large format camera, no self-timer :-) Doug is kneeling on the left.
RIP to our brothers, great friends, and archaeologists, David Silcock (standing solo, he was a Brit, go figure ;-) and Stan Brown (black cowboy hat).
Principal Investigator in the Four Corners Region - $60k+ -Permanent/Full-time (SEAS)
SEAS seeks to hire a qualified senior staff member to manage archaeological projects for a growing cultural resources program. Ideal applicant is an experienced archaeologist who lives in or seeks to relocate permanently to the Four Corners’ area. SEAS office is located in Ignacio, Colorado, which is about 20 miles southeast of Durango. We employ 6-15 archaeologists, depending on work load, and conduct work throughout the Southwest, mainly in the Four Corners states (Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah).
Four Corners’ area offers great quality of life for active families and individuals. Recreational opportunities abound, including hiking, mountain biking, rafting, paddling, fishing, and skiing. The area is brimming with craft breweries and distilleries, as well as music festivals, farmer’s markets, and excellent restaurants. Cultural resources are the soul of this area, hosting Mesa Verde National Park, Chaco Culture National Park, Chimney Rock National Monument, Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, to name just a few of the area’s cultural gems. This is an excellent opportunity for energetic, communicative, and self-motivated professional who wants to live and work in a beautiful place with many personal and professional attractions.
Responsibilities and Duties:
Schedules and directs crews of archaeologists to complete cultural resource inventory, monitoring, and/or excavation projects
Communicates with a diverse array of tribal, state, and federal agencies and private sector clients regarding project scheduling and requirements
Coordinates with SEAS’ managers for staffing and budget management
Ensures data quality from field collection to report production
Researches and writes comprehensive cultural overviews
Compiles and edits staff’s written report drafts using MS Office programs to produce high-quality cultural resource management reports
Ensures Section 106 compliance for survey, testing, and data recovery projects
Maintains a positive, cheerful attitude; communicates and works well with others
Masters of Arts in Anthropology, Archaeology, or specifically related field
Minimum 5 years of archaeological field work in the Four Corners region; exception may be made for a particularly motivated and gifted writer
Must hold permits or qualify to be listed as PI on permits for multiple agencies and jurisdictions throughout the Southwest
Section 106 training with strong applied experience
Other desired skills and abilities:
Project management experience
Extensive knowledge of Southwest cultural resources
Excellent writing and editing skills
Knowledge and experience with GPS/GIS
Excellent computer skills, particularly Microsoft Office products (specific knowledge of styles, formatting, pagination, tables of contents, footers, figures, and other details related to document production)
Strong background in both prehistoric and historic artifact analysis
Familiarity with the NEPA process, particularly as it applies to writing cultural resource sections for environmental assessments (EA) and environmental impact statements (EIS)
Salary: Starting at 60K annually with benefits. Salary negotiable depending on qualifications. Future partnership potential for the right individual.
Interested applicants should email Vita with references and a sample of professional
Equal Opportunity Employer