Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Register
2017 Elections

2017 RPA Candidate Bio Sketches and Position Statements





Robert A. Heckman


Biographical Statement

I have worked as an archaeologist for more than 25 years. My breadth of experience includes working as an archaeological technician, crew chief, project director, ceramic analyst, principal investigator, and project manager on everything from small surveys to large, multi-year data recovery projects. I also have considerable experience volunteering my time with a diverse range of organizations, from the Arizona Archaeological and Historical Society and the American Cultural Resources Association to the American Civil Liberties Union. Additionally, I served on the inaugural editorial board for the Society for American Archaeology’s Advances in Archaeological Practice. My volunteer experiences honed critical and relevant skill sets that I will bring to the RPA. For example, I have the ability to seek consensus while maintaining a focus on essential matters and developing short-term and long-term action plans for implementation.


My current responsibilities include overseeing SRI’s six offices in four states (Arizona, California, New Mexico, and Washington) and working with SRI staff, clients, and stakeholders to ensure that all projects are conducted to the highest standards of our profession. During my tenure at SRI, I have worked closely with my colleagues and our clients to develop SRI-specific data collection standards and conventions that ensure our projects are not simply “one-off” events and instead result in truly cumulative data sets that can be leveraged to contextualize future work, support data-driven conclusions, facilitate longitudinal research goals, engage the public, and provide informed management options for our clients. The programs established and implemented at SRI track directly with the RPA’s Code and Standards and provide me with direct and practical experience in operationalizing the RPA’s principles at individual and institutional scales.


Position Statement

I am humbled and honored to be nominated for President Elect. The RPA is in the midst of an intentional and necessary transition to move to the next level as a professional registration organization and meet the current and future needs of our registrants and profession. The New Five Year Strategic Plan, 2017–2021, identifies and contextualizes the needs of the RPA and outlines several action items to accomplish the objectives. The RPA has worked hard to forge and nurture new and long-standing relationships with other societies, institutions, and registrants to ensure high ethical standards are adhered to, and the principles of best practice are employed in our work. Developing, nurturing, and expanding institutional relationships is critical to the viability and relevance of the RPA as well as maintaining an appropriate capacity to provide our registrants value in their membership. To me, developing new and expanding existing relationships is most critical to the continued success and viability of the RPA. I am eager to engage with the RPA governing body and continue the incredible work already underway in this regard.


I am also excited about, and committed to, the action items in the strategic plan that focus on how the RPA could develop and offer different registration tracks and create a program for assisting students and young professionals in advancing their careers. Again, this is about developing and nurturing relationships and providing a direct benefit to our registrants. I pledge to engage with these initiatives and ensure that their implementation continues to expand and create tangible benefits to registrants and to expand the RPA’s reach and relevance to the next generation of archaeologists. I would be privileged and honored to serve and continue the excellent work of the RPA in addressing the changing needs and challenges of our discipline.



Linda Stine


Biographical Statement

I have a rewarding career that included cultural resource management (private and government sectors) as well as academics (teaching and a research institute).  I am tenured in Anthropology at UNC-Greensboro and I am the director of the Archaeology Program.  My current research combines geophysical and archaeological investigations at Guilford Courthouse, the site of a Revolutionary Battle. I was trained by Joffre Coe (BA, UNC-Chapel Hill 1978), Norman Barka (MA, College of William and Mary, St. Eustatius 1984), and Carole Crumley and Roy Dickens (Ph.D., UNC-CH 1989). I was employed with the NC SHPO, Pat Garrow at Soil Systems, and at other firms. For a time I was the SC SHPO review archaeologist and developed their guidelines for archaeology.


Position Statement

As the RPA President-Elect I would work with the President to formulate and implement a plan of action to solve pertinent issues such as safeguarding a CRM law. Having served as the Chair of the Standards Board I appreciate the hard and important work of the various RPA committees. I am on the SHA’s ethics committee and note they often turn to the RPA to do the difficult work of assessing grievances.  We should continue improving our digital messaging and our physical presence at professional meetings and stress that the RPA is not only for CRM archaeologists.  The membership should be surveyed to see if they have suggestions for areas of future RPA development.  We need to get the message out that membership in the RPA is beneficial for all archaeologists, not only by offering them a grievance process against members, but by holding certification programs for field schools, and offering workshops for continued professional growth. 


Nomination Committee


Jason Cooper


Biographical Statement

Cultural Resources Lead, WSDOT Northwest Region (2017 – present)

Principal Investigator, Jones & Stokes Associates and Amec Foster Wheeler (2001-2017)

Senior Archaeologist, BOAS Inc. and LAAS Inc. (1998-2000)

Staff Archaeologist, Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies, Desert Research Institute, USFS – Elko Ranger District, and Caltrans (1991-1997)


I am the Cultural Resources Lead for the Washington State Department of Transportation’s (WSDOT) Northwest Region based in Seattle. I joined WSDOT earlier this year after spending the last 19 years working in the Pacific Northwest for “mom-and-pop” CRM shops, a regional environmental firm, and most recently a large multinational A/E firm. I am a Registered Professional Archaeologist since 2005 and have 26 years of academic and applied archaeological experience in the western United States and eastern Mediterranean basin.


I received my BA (1992) in History from San Diego State University (SDSU) with a minor in Anthropology. It was at this time I discovered the South Coastal Information Center on campus at SDSU and learned how it was integrated with the California State Park’s Office of Historic Preservation. Shortly thereafter, I took my first job in CRM with Caltrans in 1991. I went on to complete my MA (1997) in Anthropology at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) focusing on the archaeology of arid lands. While attending UNLV, I worked for the Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies and Desert Research Institute on multiple Great Basin cultural resources projects. I have also participated on multiple overseas archaeological expeditions/field projects in the countries of Cyprus, Jordan and Egypt. These international projects opened my eyes to the world of archaeology in remote settings and emphasized the importance of pre-field planning logistics in order for a successful field season.


In the Pacific Northwest, I have conducted intensive pedestrian archaeological surveys, archaeological testing projects, and data recovery efforts on precontact and historic period archaeological sites. I have completed over 100 cultural resources report in Washington State and recently was co-author of an article in the Journal of Northwest Anthropology. I am a member of the Association for Washington Archaeology and Society for American Archaeology.


Position Statement

As a member of the Nominations Committee, I will continue to honor my pledge to abide by the Code and Standards of the Register of Professional Archaeologists and promote a forward-thinking, agile attitude toward the position.




Stephen Wagner


Biographical Statement

I have been a professional archaeologist for more than two decades, primarily in cultural resource management settings. During this time, my work has focused in the Upper Midwest of the United States and the Plains in Canada. Currently, I am a project archaeologist with Bison Historical Services in Calgary where I have held permits in Alberta and Saskatchewan. I have a B. A. from Luther College and M.A. from Northern Illinois University. My research interests include landscape use and small upland pre-contact campsites, Woodland ceramic assemblages of the Upper Mississippi, and the application of interpretive methods and tools within cultural resource management settings. I have authored or co-authored nearly 50 technical reports and five journal publications and serve as a peer reviewer for several regional journals. I am an active participant in professional conferences and workshops and present outcomes of my research and applied work regularly. I incorporate public outreach as a co-host for the CRM Archaeology Podcast



Position Statement

I am happy to serve the RPA as a member of the Nominations Committee. In this position I will seek to find solid candidates for the open positions among the RPA membership, and especially those within the professional networks I am a member of.





Christopher Sims


Biographical Statement

I have been active as an archaeologist for over a decade, applying the discipline in cultural resource management, academic research, and nonprofit public programs. I run the podcast and public archaeology outlet, Go Dig a Hole, and I am an outspoken advocate for sustainability, collaboration, and greater public engagement. I have authored or contributed to more than 30 CRM reports, peer-reviewed articles, and local periodicals based on my work in archaeology and human-environment interaction. Education: B.A. from Appalachian State University, and M.A. from University of Louisville. Current Position: Vice President of Codifi, Inc. and based in Portland, Oregon. Formerly an archaeological Project Manager at Corn Island Archaeology in Louisville, Kentucky and at Brockington and Associates prior to that. I have volunteered with American Foreign Academic Research (AFAR) for the past six years, where I assist in running an archaeological field school in Belize and host the annual academic conference for Maya archaeology, Maya at the Lago. Professional Service: Consultant for the Center for Digital Archaeology. Past board member for Bicycling for Louisville.


Position Statement

I am honored to accept the nomination for RPA Registrar. It would be my pleasure to assist the RPA with the review of applications and acceptance of new members. These duties are directly aligned with my broader mission of fostering mentorship and building an inclusive archaeological community, while enforcing professionalized standards. I remain actively engaged as a member of several professional societies and will leverage the deep experience of my network to apply insights on our industry’s level of preparedness in a manner that is consistent with the guidelines of the RPA. I hope to bring my fast and thorough communication skills to bear in this role, and dutifully serve new members of our organization.



John Welch


Biographical Statement

My research career began in 1992 with a season of ethnographic field studies in Costa Rica and field school at Macal–Tipu in Belize (1982, Hamilton College). I then served on the staff of the U Arizona field school at Grasshopper (1984–1989) and worked as a consulting archaeologist (1990, International Archaeological Research Institute Inc.; 1990–1995, Statistical Research Inc.). I spent 15 years as a U.S. government staff archaeologist (1992–1993, BLM; 1993–2005, BIA) and served as the White Mountain Apache Tribe Historic Preservation Officer (1996–2005). In 2005, I joined the faculty at Simon Fraser University, a public university in British Columbia with over 25,000 full-time students. I am jointly appointed in the Department of Archaeology and the School of Resource and Environmental Management. I am the founding director of SFU Archaeology’s Professional Graduate Program in Heritage Resource Management and maintain research and outreach interests in ‘the two southwests’—British Columbia and AZ–NM. My current research foci are archaeological resource crime and the Pinal Apache Genocide, 1859–1874.


My non-profit management experience includes service on the board of directors for the Fort Apache Heritage Foundation, a non–profit I helped found in 1997. I have also served as an officer or committee chair for the White Mountain Conservation League (1994–1999), the Arizona Wilderness Society (2001–2003), the National Association of Tribal Historic Preservation Officers (1999–2004), the RPA (2011–2013, Continuing Professional Education), and the SAA (2014–present, Amity Pueblo Task Force). I am on the editorial board for the SAA journal, Advances in Archaeological Practice. 


Position Statement

I would be my honor to serve as the RPA Registrar. I have been a registrant (#10227) for about two decades and remain committed to RPA as the principal organizational means for boosting professionalism and assuring all archaeological clientele of the value and integrity of our discipline and practice. I would continue my commitments to RPA by working with the Registrar Advisory Committee, as needed, and facilitating expeditious registration for qualified applicants.


Standards Board

Alex DeGeorgey


My professional career spans 23 years with both public agencies and the private sector engaged in the management of cultural resources in California. I’m co-owner of Alta Archaeological Consulting, a small private cultural resource consulting firm located in Northern California. My key responsibilities include serving as Principal Investigator for complex, high profile archaeological investigating, mentoring staff, and serving as a technical resource for senior project managers. I meet the Secretary of the Interior’s standard for cultural resource specialists involved in preservation activities at all levels of government involving historic-era and prehistoric archaeological resources.


Position Statement

I’m honored to be a candidate for the RPA Standards Board. Throughout my professional career I’ve been involved in political and regulatory issues relating to cultural resource management. For two years I served on the board of the Mendocino Archaeological Commission reviewing building permits and providing management recommendations for cultural resource studies on behalf of the Mendocino County Department of Planning and Building. I’m regularly involved in volunteer preservation efforts including listing local properties to the National Register of Historic Places, the California Register of Historic Resources and nominating California Landmarks. I’m proud of the positive working relationship I’ve cultivated with the local Native community. I continue to play an active role in the Society for California Archaeology and the Society for American Archaeology.

As a contracting archaeologist, I’m aware of the competitiveness and tough business environment that exists among members of the CRM community. I believe that my professional experience and on-going engagement with archaeologists of various backgrounds has provided me with insight regarding professional standards that may arise on CRM projects. As a member of the Standards Board I will help to maintain the high ethical standard of the RPA.



Chris Webster


Biographical Statement

I have been in CRM Archaeology since 2005 when I changed careers from commercial airline pilot to archaeology! After working across the country as a field technician in 17 different states I earned my MS from the University of Georgia in Archaeological Resource Management. In 2012 I formed Digital Technologies in Archaeological Consulting in Reno, Nevada. DIGTECH is a company committed to creating positive change in a field that is slow to adopt new ideas. In 2014 I formed the Archaeology Podcast Network with a partner and two podcasts. Now, we have over 76,000 monthly subscribers and 19 different shows - all of which promote public archaeology and public and professional education.


Position Statement

As a member of the Standards Board I would be very engaged and interested in helping the field maintain high ethical standards. On the CRM Archaeology Podcast we are always promoting ethical and safe work practices and it’s near and dear to my heart as a company owner as well. I also plan to use this position to learn more about the inner workings of the RPA in order to help bring the organization into a positive future where all skill and educational levels are recognized. I believe recognizing every archaeologist as a professional is of the highest ethical concern facing this organization today and that we need to make a change to stay relevant and to make sure everyone in the field is represented.


Standards Board Alternate


Jared Barrett


Biographical Statement

I am currently a Principal Investigator for TRC Environmental Corporation, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee. Prior to joining TRC in 2002, I received my B.S. from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse in 1998 with a degree in Archaeological Studies. My first job in archaeology was working for the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center (MVAC) where I learned a great deal about archaeological survey, excavation, and laboratory techniques. In June 2002, I finished my M.A. in Anthropology at Western Michigan University under the direction of Dr. Michael Nassaney. Since 2002, I have served as Project Manager / Principal Investigator at TRC I have managed 100s of projects for both private and federal clients. I have worked as a student, a professional in academia, and in cultural resource management for the past 22 years. During this time I have served on local and statewide committees and boards for a variety of organizations, including: Tennessee Council for Professional Archaeology (TCPA) – President Elect 2016-2018 and past member Board of Directors (2012-2016); Member Murfreesboro School Board (2012-present); Member Rutherford County Board of Zoning Appeals (2011-present); and Member Rutherford County Beer Board (2011-present). I have also spearheaded various public archaeology awareness efforts with TCPA in Tennessee including the Tennessee State Artifact legislation in 2014 and making September Tennessee Archaeology Awareness Month in 2015. 


Position Statement

I am honored to run for Standards Board Alternate for the RPA. I have been a member since 2008 and believe strongly in its mission to maintain and promote high ethical standards in archaeology both in academia and cultural resources management. As a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals in Rutherford County, I review appeals on a monthly basis where we evaluate each case, hear evidence, and as a board come to a fair decision based on the merits of the appeal. As Standards Board Alternate, I will work with other board members to bring my years of experience in academia and cultural resources management to deal with cases that are brought before the Standards Board. I will work with the other board members to ensure that that we review and evaluate each case objectively so we can make a fair decision that upholds the Standards and Codes of the RPA.




Gabriel Hrynick


Biographical Statement

I am currently an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of New Brunswick. Before coming to UNB I was a visiting assistant professor at Bates College and completed a PhD at the University of Connecticut. I have also worked in CRM and museum contexts, with field experience in New England and Atlantic Canada. I joined the RPA in 2013 and am a member of the RPA-affiliated Association of Professional Archaeologists of New Brunswick, serving on that organization’s communications committee. Most of my research has been on the archaeology of the Atlantic Northeast. My recent research contributions include a co-edited special issue on methods for excavating and analyzing shell middens and papers on the Protohistoric period and ancient Wabanaki architecture on the coast of the Maine and the Maritime Provinces. I am currently developing a program of archaeological survey aimed at collaborative assessment and mitigation of eroding coastal archaeological sites using citizen science data collection and Wabanaki-led prioritization of sites to salvage.


Position Statement

I am honored to be nominated to run for Standards Board alternate. I consider the RPA Codes and Standards an essential mechanism for ensuring ethical practice and codifying progressive archaeological practices. Fundamentally the Codes and Standards offer a vehicle by which the professional archaeological community can positively shape the profession. As an archaeologist with active research in two countries, I am particularly interested in how the international nature of the RPA can serve to advocate for the archaeological ethics worldwide. If elected as alternate on the Standards Board, I would draw on my varied experiences in dealing with cases fairly, sensitively, and expeditiously.


Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal