Duane E. Peter, 2019 Recipient of the SAA Award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Management

03/19/2019 12:16 PM | ACRAsphere Blog Team

This post is authored by Michelle Wurtz Penton, Operations Manager of the Environmental Services Group at Versar, Inc. and Sarah Herr, President of Desert Archaeology. Michelle and Sarah nominated Duane for this award.

It is with pleasure that we announce that ACRA Past President Duane E. Peter, RPA (DP Heritage Consulting) is the recipient of the 2019 SAA Award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Management. Duane has been involved in cultural resource management for over 40 years and is known for his quiet considerate manner and steadfast commitment to both archaeological resources and the wide variety of people he works with. He built the cultural resources program at Geo-Marine, Inc. (now Versar, Inc.) that has overseen work in 45 states. He promoted the development of innovative and cutting-edge research techniques, including photogrammetry, 3D laser scanning, predictive modeling and remote sensing. Duane built a CRM program known for excellence and quality research in the Great Basin, Southwest, Southeast, Great Plains, and East coast. Duane’s has mentored numerous students and young professionals, many of whom have gone to take state or federal positions, climb the ranks in CRM firms, or who excel in various technical/specialty fields.

Outside of the daily CRM responsibilities, Duane is very active in public outreach. In coordination with local historic preservation groups he established the Annual Plano Archaeology Fair. The event offered budding “junior archaeologists” an opportunity to participate in a mock excavation while learning proper excavation techniques and basic archaeological concepts from professionally trained archaeologists. The event ran for 14 years and served the youth of Plano, Texas and the surrounding metroplex. In 2007, the City of Plano Heritage Commission presented Duane and his team the Excellence in Preservation Award for their role in providing the youth of Plano with a unique opportunity to participate in an archaeological excavation and to become acquainted with potential career paths through its annual archaeology fair. In 2013, the Annual Plano Archaeology Fair also received ACRA’s Public Service Award.

Duane directed “high profile” award winning projects such as the Freedman’s Cemetery project, in Dallas, Texas. The project included conducting osteological analyses, oral histories and archival research to complete technical reporting, but beyond the compliance expectation the work supported development of a museum exhibit, curricula materials, a concept for a book for the public, and the development of a masterplan for future education. In 2001, Geo-Marine received the E. Mott Davis Award for Excellence in Public Outreach from the Council of Texas Archeologists for educating the public about the history of Dallas’ African American community through studies from the Freedman’s Cemetery Project.

Duane was a founding member of ACRA, and he has served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He is currently the Immediate Past President, having finished a three‐year term serving as President of the organization. During his term as President, Duane developed a strategic plan for strengthening the CRM industry, and assisted with establishment of the Coalition for American Heritage. Duane was also integral to the development of ACRA’s internship guidelines and is currently working to promote synergy between the Academy and the CRM industry.

Duane will be presented the 2019 SAA Award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Management at the 84th Annual Meeting in Albuquerque. The Society’s Annual Business Meeting and Awards Presentation will be held at 5:00 pm on Friday April 12, 2019 in 290 Kiva Auditorium.

Congratulations to Duane!



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