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Location: Kernville
State: California
Program: Cultural Resources
Contract Length: 7 Months

Job Description:

The Great Basin Institute, in cooperation with the USFS, is recruiting an Archaeology Crew Lead to complete Section 106 and Section 110 cultural resource surveys, site recording, and monitoring for various projects within the Sequoia National Forest. These projects all serve GBI’s Cultural Resources program’s greater mission of helping the USFS in their critical goal of improving forest resilience in the face of worsening climate conditions and increased wildfire threats. The work that you will do directly protects sensitive cultural sites, helping ensure the stories they tell are preserved for generations to come.

The Archaeology Crew Lead position provides professional development and leadership opportunities in cultural resource management including increased exposure and responsibility enacting USFS processes, procedures, and compliance measures; assisting in reporting and data entry/quality assurance and control; and increased technical experience. Expanded opportunities and exposure to additional disciplines (e.g., forestry, wildlife, hydrology, etc.) and projects may exist. This position will serve USFS vegetation management and fuels reduction efforts, supporting initiatives for healthy, productive, and resilient forest landscapes and resources.

The Archaeology Crew Lead will perform a variety of activities to support all stages of project work. Leads will be responsible for crew safety and oversight, provide or assist in training, and communicate with agency and GBI staff as needed. Crew size will range between 2-6 people. Primary archaeology field duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Lead archaeology crew to conduct and complete field surveys in areas planned for forest projects to document, assess and characterize the status of new cultural resources.
  • Monitor existing sites and complete site updates and condition assessments.
  • Prepare California DPR site records, GIS maps, and photographic records in addition to inputting data to the USFS heritage database.
  • Lead and collaborate with agency personnel and all other crew members to support field safety, communication, planning, logistics, quality assurance, field implementation, and reporting efforts.

Primary office duties include, but are not limited to:

  • Performing literature reviews and project background research.
  • Assisting with Section 106 and Section 110 reporting, including drafting project maps.
  • Drafting California DPR archeological site records, archeological site maps, and archeological sketch maps.
  • Assisting with GIS data management.

Contract Timeline:

Start and end dates may vary according to local conditions: Tentatively mid-May through mid-November.

Projects are weather dependent and there is always a chance the season will end earlier if weather prevents safe field operations.


The Forest Service, a federal agency in the U.S. Department of Agriculture, administers the Sequoia National Forest which consists of three ranger districts. The Giant Sequoia National Monument has two separate sections; the northern portion located on the Hume Lake Ranger District near Dunlap, California, and the southern portion on the Western Divide Ranger District just east of Springville, California. The Kern River Ranger District lies at the southern end of the forest near Lake Isabella.

The Sequoia is one of nineteen National Forests in California. It takes its name from the giant sequoia, the world’s largest tree, which grows in more than 30 groves in the forest’s lower elevation slopes. The Sequoia’s landscape is as spectacular as its trees. Soaring granite monoliths, glacier-carved canyons, roaring whitewater, and more await your discovery at the Sierra Nevada’s southern end. Elevations range from 1,000 feet in the foothill region to peaks over 12,000 feet in the rugged high country, providing visitors with some of the most spectacular views of mountainous landscape in the entire west.

Compensation and Benefits:

  • Wage: $26/hour with overtime at 1.5x hourly rate. Full time, average 40 hours per week.
    • Health, Dental, and Vision Insurance premiums are covered 100% by GBI. Available on the first day of the month following the start of employment.
    • Shared housing provided.
    • Camping Per Diem: $15/night as necessary.
    • Uniform Stipend.

Job Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree in anthropology, archaeology or related discipline, including relevant field methods training coursework AND two years of archaeology related field work;
  •  Experience leading crews in the field, including oversight of crew safety, communication, fidelity to methods and data quality;
  • Proficiency in navigation using GPS, topographic map and compass;
  • Ability to recognize and record prehistoric and historic artifacts, features, and sites;
  • Possess a clean, valid, state-issued driver’s license with the ability to safely operate and maintain a 4WD vehicle on and off paved roads;
  • Ability to work effectively in a team setting with USFS staff, GBI staff, interns, volunteers, academic, state, and federal partners;
  • Ability to work safely and productively in remote field settings under adverse conditions. This may include occasionally overnight work & camping in remote areas for consecutive nights;
  • Ability to understand, implement and adhere to established data collection, inventory, assessment, and monitoring protocols;
  • Capacity to collect and maintain field data in an organized manner that is easily understood and accessible to other resources staff;
  • Strong communication skills with a diverse audiences, both written and oral;
  • Willingness to work a variable schedule in response to project needs, possibly including some weekends, nights, holidays;
  • Physically fit to work outdoors, carry up to 50 pounds of personal and/or field equipment, hike up to 10 miles a day, and withstand the rigors of a forested and/or high desert environment in all seasons.


  • At least one year of field leadership experience;
  • Previous work experience in the Sierra Nevada region and/or the Great Basin;
  • Familiarity with Section 106/110 of the NHPA and California SHPO and Nevada SHPO compliance procedures;
  • Knowledge of cultural resource management issues in the Western United States;
  • Advanced skill using specialized software such as Microsoft Office Suite, ArcPro GIS, and Google Earth.

We encourage you to explore GBI’s upcoming and current employment opportunities HERE, and reach out to the appropriate GBI staff if you have questions or concerns regarding the application process or eligibility standards.

Thank you for your commitment to GBI’s cause – promoting science-based adaptive management of public lands through field studies programs, conservation practices, public outreach and more.