Description of past and current involvement in public education and outreach
I grew interested in public education due to the combination of curiosity and lack of fundamental understanding I encountered when discussing my career interests with friends and acquaintances. As I became more involved with local avocational groups in Texas, I determined there was a need for basic information to counter the Indiana Jones/Laura Croft myths which, while making for wonderful diversion and entertainment, served to undermine the archaeologist’s goal of reconstructing the past by means of material remains. These myths encouraged collecting, looting and trading in artifacts, and most lay people I encountered were unaware of the consequences of these activities. I decided to write the book, Digging Up Texas as a means of offering the general public a window on the science, techniques and value of archaeology. As a member of SAA’s PEC, I would hope to have a platform to continue to work toward a wider understanding of our professional goals.
I've been self-employed as a writer and a part-time archaeologist for the past 15 years. I've worked as a contract archaeologist for BC & AD Archaeology, Houston, Geo Marine Environmental Services, Plano, and for Dr. Kenneth Brown, Houston. I've traveled and studied (independent) in the Middle East and volunteered on the Caesarea Maritima site, in Israel. I'm the author of Digging Up Texas: A Guide to the Archaeology of the State published by Rowman and Littlefield under the imprint Taylor Trade Books. I am currently a Crew Chief for the Freedman's Town Community Archaeological Project in Houston, Texas, volunteering in that capacity for the past year. My duties include training and supervision of university archaeology students, maintaining records and documentation of excavations and assisting the Primary Investigators, Carol McDavid, Ph. D. (Cantab), and David Bruner, ABD. I am able to offer talents and abilities including research and writing skills, advanced level Internet and HTML skills, the ability to work well with unpaid (volunteer) staff and twenty years of experience with avocational archaeology.