Archaeologist is a steward for PSE's sites, historic districts, traditional cultural places, historical archives and a hydroelectric museum.
CULTURAL RESOURCE SCIENTIST
What do you do? I work as a cultural resource scientist for Puget Sound Energy. I manage historic places of archaeological, architectural, traditional and historical interest and consider these places and materials in compliance with environmental and historic preservation laws. Puget Sound Energy is a steward of many significant archaeological, historic and traditional places in Washington.
How did you get started in that field? As an undergraduate at the University of Vermont, I had a work-study job for the archaeological program. I worked in the field to learn archaeological methods and techniques. I worked on pre-contact Native American sites and historic period archaeological sites. Soon after graduation, I went out West to work for the Forest Service as an archaeologist. I received my master’s degree from Oregon State.
What’s a typical day like? It varies, which makes it interesting. I could be in Bellevue writing and researching projects, or at one of our facilities like Wild Horse Wind and Solar Facility in Ellensburg; Baker River Hydroelectric facility in Concrete, Wash.; or the Snoqualmie Falls Hydro facility in Snoqualmie doing field work. I also spend time in archives looking for records on our company’s 142-year history in Washington.
What’s the best part of the job? The variety and the ability to learn new skills and gain experience, which makes my line of work challenging, interesting and rewarding. I have a passion for cultural resources, and PSE appreciates this and allows me to make a difference by managing significant archaeological sites, historic districts, traditional cultural places, historical archives and a hydroelectric museum for our customers and the State of Washington.
What surprises people about your work? Most people are shocked that PSE employs someone who provides cultural and environmental stewardship for resources that don’t generate money for the company! They are surprised to learn that PSE has the world’s first completely underground hydropower plant and that the remnants of Washington’s first cement plant are on PSE lands. Finally, many people are surprised when I tell them I don’t look for dinosaur bones!
Do you have a cool job or know someone in the Puget Sound area who does? Email us with your recommendations for people to feature in Cool Jobs.