I came to Calvin knowing I was interested in pursuing archaeology, but I graduated in 1993, before an archaeology minor was offered. I found that geology suited my interests, and I sought out Bert de Vries in the history department and participated in an Umm el-Jimal field school.
After graduating from Calvin, I earned an MA in anthropology from the University of Minnesota, doing geoarchaeological research on several sites in central Alaska. An interdisciplinary program in quaternary paleoecology supported my research, and I was able to utilize the rock magnetism lab at University of Minnesota to study the record of climate change in the wind-blown sediments that buried the stratified central Alaska sites.
Since graduating, I have worked in the field of cultural resource management. In the first few years I enjoyed traveling the western US, conducting archaeological surveys to discover and excavate sites in Oregon, Washington, Wyoming, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Iowa. Finding myself in northwest Iowa for a few years, I taught an archaeology course at a summer camp for junior high students hosted by Dordt College.
In 2001 my family and I settled in Seattle, and Cascadia Archaeology has employed me since 2005. Cascadia is a consulting firm that provides archaeological services for both private sector clients and government agencies, such as Washington State Parks and the Washington Department of Transportation. While archaeological work frequently requires travel, I am able to primarily work in the Puget Sound region, which allows me to maintain a well-balanced family and work life.
As a project manager, I conduct archaeological surveys or assessments prior to development projects, such as road construction. On larger site excavation projects I provide descriptions and analysis of site stratigraphy, soils, and geomorphology to develop models of site formation. I particularly enjoy using scientific inquiry to consider how the natural world affects and is affected by human behavior.