2009 Awards in Public Archaeology

Presented by the Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission at the 2009 Historic Preservation Conference, Phoenix, Arizona. The Theme of this year's conference was Building A Case For Communities.

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. David Wilcox

The Commission is conferring its 2009 Lifetime Achievement Category award on Dr. David Wilcox of Flagstaff. Dr. Wilcox is currently the Museum of Northern Arizona’s Senior Research Anthropologist, and from 1988 to 2006, he chaired the Museum’s Anthropology Department.

His research interests have focused on the “big picture” of Southwest archaeology, investigating the prehistoric social and political organization of southwestern settlements, communities, and the structure of regional or macro-regional systems.

Dr. Wilcox also has been an active participant in various aspects of public archaeology and has served the professional and avocational communities in a variety of ways, including as Chair of the Governor’s Archaeology Advisory Commission, and as a member of the Crow Canyon Research Advisory Committee and the Greater Flagstaff Open Space and Greenways Committee.

Dr. Wilcox has an exemplary record of academic achievement in his involvement in public aspects of archaeology and in service to the state of Arizona. For these reasons, the Governor’s Commission has chosen to present its 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award to an outstanding and highly professional archaeologist, Dr. David Wilcox.

Avocational Archaeologist: Marlene Conklin

Marlene Conklin, a member of the Verde Valley Archaeological Society, a chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society, is being recognized for her many contributions to the Museum of Northern Arizona and to the Coconino National Forest over the past 14 years.

Her contributions include providing indispensable assistance in the field and lab at the Museum of Northern Arizona and working with members of the Verde Valley Archaeological Society. In approximately 2002, the U. S. Forest Service implemented a site recording computer system known as INFRA. Ms. Conklin has worked diligently to transfer Coconino’s inventory of nearly 10,000 sites into INFRA and to enter them into the Museum of Northern Arizona system as well. This process requires meticulous attention to detail, an in-depth knowledge of the intricacies of the Museum of Northern Arizona and Coconino National Forest site systems, as well as incredible patience and good humor.

Avocational Archaeologist: Bernard J. Carey

Bernard J. Carey has served as a volunteer in the Arizona Site Steward program for nearly 6 years on the Coconino National Forest, and at the same time he took on the role of assisting Coconino National Forest archaeologists by locating misplotted archaeological sites recorded prior to the use of GPS. In March 2005, Mr. Carey, in partnership with volunteer archaeologist Christine Stephenson, initiated archaeological survey and site recording in areas within the Coconino National Forest. This effort resulted in the survey of about 700 acres and the addition of about 100 new sites. Mr. Carey also has worked on a number of other Coconino National Forest projects, including relocating and redocumenting sites recorded by a 1977 pipeline survey project.

Mr. Carey is a committed and enthusiastic volunteer, has logged well over 2,500 hours for the Coconino National Forest.

Site Steward: Shelley Rasmussen

Ms. Rasmussen became a Site Steward in 1994 and has not slowed down since. She received an award from the State Historic Preservation Office earlier this year for dedicating over 20,000 volunteer hours to the site steward program. Additionally, she finds time to lead interpretive hiking and field trips to archaeological sites, serve as a docent to a number of cultural organizations, work with the Bureau of Land Management at its Agua Fria National Monument, and work with members of the Arizona Archaeological Society. It is clear that not only is Ms. Rasmussen one busy woman, she is one who is truly dedicated and concerned about Arizona cultural resources.

Tribal Program: Shane Anton

Shane Anton holds the position of Cultural Preservation Program Supervisor for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community. In addition to serving in this important role on in-house Community issues, he also plays a very large role off the Community, working with agencies and consultants to ensure sensitive treatment of resources on projects in the Phoenix metro area. In this role, Mr. Anton has demonstrated that he is a true proponent of preservation, and clearly understands the coordination necessary between the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, agencies, consultants, and the construction industry, and bridges the gaps among these different groups. He actively seeks solutions to potential problems and is willing to listen to the needs of the other groups involved.

Government Agency: Kaibab National Forest Heritage Program

We are fortunate to have strong Forest Service Heritage Programs in Arizona. When we compare ours to those in other states in the west, particularly those to the north of us, we can see that, despite certain problems, Arizona is a leader and a role model.

The Kaibab National Forest Heritage Program, aggressively active since the late 1980s, has been engaged in the protection, documentation, interpretation, and development of a myriad of cultural resources on the Kaibab National Forest.

The Forest Service team responsible for this program has shown exceptionally thoughtful, dedicated, committed, and innovative leadership in the protection of the wide variety of cultural resources under its care.

Private, Non-Profit Entity: Grand Canyon-Flagstaff Stagecoach Line Partnership

The Grand Canyon-Flagstaff Stagecoach Line Partnership was created in 2005 by a number of individuals and organizations who recognized the significance of the well-preserved historic route of the Grand Canyon-Flagstaff Stagecoach line. This stagecoach operated from May 1892 until the close of the tourist season in 1900. The stagecoach, during its eight-year life, made Flagstaff the Gateway to the Grand Canyon. It succumbed to what became powerful competitors: the railroad and the automobile. The partnership—Sherry and Richard Mangum, the Coconino and Kaibab national forests, Coconino County, Arizona State Land Department, the Nature Conservancy, Northern Arizona University, Babbitt Ranches, the National Park Service, Arizona Natural History Association, and others—works to protect the stagecoach line from vandalism, off-road vehicles, and development.

The partnership conducts historical research; collects maps, photographs, and documentation; and carries out extensive public education programs.

Private, Non-Profit Entity: Kaibab Vermillion Cliffs Heritage Alliance

The Kaibab-Vermillion Cliffs Heritage Alliance was created to help protect and preserve cultural resources of the eastern Arizona Strip region. Originated by Carl Taylor, Coconino County Supervisor, in 2006, the Alliance includes the Kaibab National Forest, North District; the Arizona Strip Office of the Bureau of Land Management; Grand Canyon National Park; and Coconino County.

The group’s stated mission is to help protect and preserve cultural resources by bringing together agencies, tribes, organization and individuals to monitor, manage, research, and interpret those resources.

Since its founding, the Alliance has sponsored two archaeological field schools and several volunteer cultural resource site documentations, and has supported a number of public education programs.

Private or Industrial Development: Linda Ellinor

Linda Ellinor is an enlightened property owner in one of Arizona’s oldest communities, Tubac. She purchased three adjacent properties in the heart of Tubac to establish a new business. Realizing the historic importance of the properties—the Charles D. Poston Territorial House, an adjoining building Poston used as the office of the Sonoran Exploring and Mining Co., and the Ysidro Opera House—she contacted the Tubac/Santa Cruz County Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society for advice and assistance. The first two buildings appear to predate Poston’s arrival in 1856, and the opera house was built about 1898. The property also has foundations that may date to the Presidio Period of Tubac’s history, or between 1752 and 1775.

Her interest and concern for these historic properties has gone beyond mere curiosity. Mrs. Ellinor authorized archaeological excavations on the properties, which were performed under the auspices of Deni J. Seymour and the Tubac/Santa Cruz County Chapter of the Arizona Archaeological Society. The artifacts recovered are currently being identified and analyzed. Mrs. Ellinor provided financial support for the excavations and has instructed her architects to modify their planned design, so as to preserve evidence of a foundation wall. No state, county, or local law required her to do what she did here.

Ms. Ellinor has placed a part of Tubac’s history above her own economic interest as a property owner and thereby sets an example for other Tubac property owners.

Private or Industrial Development: Kinder Morgan Energy Partners

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, a subdivision of Kinder Morgan, is one of the largest oil, natural gas, and gasoline pipeline companies in the United States. Over the last decade, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners has expanded its operations through various projects, two of which have been completed in part within Arizona. It has made significant contributions to Arizona’s archaeological heritage through public outreach and education initiatives. Since 2006, the partnership has supported the protection and preservation of archaeological resources through the financial support for printing education brochures and posters, and sponsoring conferences, expos, public lectures, and a kiosk. The public outreach brochures were made available at the 2009 Arizona Archaeology, among other venues. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners also helps fund the Arizona Archaeology and Heritage Awareness Month activities.

This partnership meets its legal responsibilities as far as cultural resources are concerned, but goes well beyond by reaching out and explaining to the public the results of its efforts to mitigate the impacts of its operations on our non-renewable cultural resources. This is an unusual company, and one I hope other land disturbing companies will emulate.

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