Archaeologist/GIS Technician - Jezreel Ontiveros

Mr. Ontiveros is a Geographic Information System (GIS) Technician and Field Archaeologist. He currently serves as a Military Policeman with the California Army National Guard and has been serving for over 9 years. At NWB, Mr. Ontiveros is the lead GIS Technician and also undertakes archaeological field surveys, monitoring and excavations. He is a graduate of San Diego State University with a BA in Anthropology and Certificate in GIS from San Diego Mesa College.  Mr. Ontiveros is an active volunteer in the San Diego County Archaeological Society Climate Change Field Surveys and his goals are to continue to incorporate GIS and Archaeology.

Senior Archaeologist Erin M. Smith, Doctoral Candidate, MA, RPA


Ms. Smith has over fifteen years of archaeological experience in cultural resource management and academic research.  She has been involved in cultural and historical projects in California, Idaho, Washington, the American Southwest, Baja California, Mexico, and British Columbia, Canada.  In Canada, she has supported an Indigenous Archaeology through a collaborative participation and knowledge-based exchange between anthropologists and First Nations peoples.  This collaboration has worked to develop a better understanding of history (prehistory as an on-going history, including now) and to actively cultivate knowledge for the lives, cultures, and identities of peoples today. 

Over the years, Ms. Smith has been involved in southern California projects and research, covering landscapes from the coasts to the deserts.  Notable work includes La Casa de Estudillo at Old Town State Historic Park, Stonewall Mine at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, and the Southern Pacific Railroad River Station at Los Angeles State Historic Park. However, her experience also includes multi-phase projects throughout the continental west.  

In addition, Ms. Smith has been involved in multiple community-building projects, has served on the board of the San Diego County Archaeological Society, and is involved in historical preservation through the Daughters of the American Revolution society.  Ms. Smith has hosted and organized symposia for state, national, and international archaeological organizations, including the Society for California Archaeology, the Society for American Archaeologists, and the Society for Historical Archaeology.  Her recent publications are found in flagship journals, such as American Anthropologist and the Journal of Archaeological Science. Ms. Smith received her BA in Anthropology (concentration in Archaeology) from the University of California at San Diego in 2003, her MA in Anthropology (concentration in Public Archaeology) from California State University at Northridge in 2011, and is currently a doctoral candidate in Anthropology (concentration in Archaeology) at Washington State University with an anticipated degree in 2017.  She has been trained by leading professional and academic specialists in areas such as cultural resource management, lithic artifact analysis, shellfish analysis, palynology, and global information systems (GIS).  In addition to working in both public and private sector cultural resource management, she has taught anthropology courses at Washington State University and San Diego City College. 

Associate Archaeologist - Paige Kohler, M.A.

Ms. Kohler is a field archaeologist with experience in laboratory work, anthropological research, and historical research. Ms. Kohler manages NWB's Verizon Wireless Section 106 Review assignments. Ms. Kohler has contributed to multiple seasons at the Edom Lowlands Regional Archaeology Project in Jordan, as well as the Jezreel Valley Regional Project at Legio in Israel. She was a paid intern for the W.F. Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem, Israel, where she performed archaeological research, artifact cleaning, and sorting and cataloging of artifacts from local excavations. Ms. Kohler has worked on both solar and electrical projects as a cultural monitor. She received a BA in Anthropology (focus in Archaeology) and a BA in Religion from the University of California, San Diego, and an MA in Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies from Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ms. Kohler has traveled to seven countries and visited their respective archaeological sites in order to learn and broaden her perspective as a field archaeologist.

Field Archaeologist - Orlando Ramos

Mr. Ramos is a field archaeologist and a veteran of the US Navy with experience conducting survey, excavation, and monitoring throughout California. He has worked on many utility projects in cultural resource management, including the Fire Management Program (FiRM) by SDG&E, gas line work for SoCal Gas, and telecommunications work for Verizon. Mr. Ramos has contributed to historical archaeology at the Los Peñasquitos Ranch House, and bioarchaeology lab work for the San Diego Museum of Man.  Mr. Ramos is a world traveler who has expanded his perspective and expertise as a field archaeologist at archaeological sites in over thirteen countries. He has completed 40 hour HAZWOPER certification; certificate #754915043.

Associate Archaeologist - Phill Bosque


Mr. Bosque is an archaeologist and US Army veteran. At NWB Environmental, Mr. Bosque leads NWB's role in the SDG&E Fire Management Program (FiRM). He has extensive experience working at California State Parks as an archaeological field technician. His recent projects include Field Director during the construction of the new Los Angeles State Historic Park, which included monitoring construction, excavating historical architecture, collecting artifacts, and data recovery of a 19th century railroad depot. Mr. Bosque has worked with the Maya Research Program in Belize where he excavated a Mayan village site at Xnoha with the University of Texas at Tyler under Dr. Guderjan. At San Diego State University he worked under an honorarium from the Smithsonian Institute analyzing zooarchaeological remains found at prehistoric sites from Santa Cruz Island under Dr. Braje. Mr. Bosque is a graduate of San Diego State University where he obtained his BA in Anthropology.

Associate Archaeologist - Michael "Bucky" Buxton


Mr. Buxton is a veteran of the US Navy who became interested in archaeology while working as a commercial sea urchin diver. He now has over 25 years of experience as a professional archaeologist and has worked in a variety of settings for California State Parks and several private sector resource management firms. He has participated in archaeological survey, excavation, laboratory analysis, and report preparation for numerous prehistoric and historic archaeological sites in California. He has also completed research and fieldwork at many Spanish, Mexican, and American archaeological sites throughout Southern California. Mr. Buxton was awarded the 2013 Golden Shovel Award from the Society of California Archaeology for his outstanding field work, and has twice won the San Diego Institute of History Copley Award (1991 and 2004) for his papers relating to the American period of San Diego history. His publications include several articles on the maritime history of San Diego and numerous archaeological reports.

Project Manager - Archaeologist – Michael Taylor
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Mr. Taylor is an archaeologist and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. As a field archaeologist, Mr. Taylor has extensive experience in desert surface surveying, prehistoric and historic site excavation, archaeological testing, data recovery, artifact identification, archaeological monitoring, laboratory analysis, marine shell speciation, cultural resource management, and collaboration with Native American tribal members. As a member of an archaeology team, Mr. Taylor conducted field and lab work for the multiple award-winning restoration of California State Park's historic Cosmopolitan Hotel in Old Town San Diego. Mr. Taylor received his BA in Archaeological Anthropology from Columbia University in the City of New York.

Our Team

Senior Project Manager – Josh Tansey, M.A. In Progress
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​Mr. Tansey is an archaeologist and a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Tansey has seven years of archaeological field and laboratory experience. His field experience includes survey and excavation as field director, crew chief, and as a member of both survey and excavation crews. He has over a year of experience monitoring utility improvement projects with the City of San Diego. In addition, he has chemical laboratory experience pertaining to ethnobotanical analysis. Mr. Tansey is currently pursuing his MA in Cultural Resource Management at Adams State University. He has completed 40 hour HAZWOPER certification; certificate #754912057.

Principal Investigator – Dr. Susan Hector, RPA
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Dr. Susan Hector has 40 years of experience with prehistoric, historic, and ethnographic cultural resources in southern California. In addition, she has substantial management experience beyond the cultural resources subject area. She served as the Director for San Diego County Department of Parks and Recreation, and the Environmental Programs Manager for San Diego Gas & Electric Company and has taught anthropology and archaeology at San Diego City College. She is currently the Principal Investigator for NWB Environmental Services where she manages cultural resources projects.

Dr. Hector has prepared more than 300 compliance technical reports for federal, state, and local agencies. She has authored many scientific articles and publications, made technical and popular presentations on prehistoric and historic archaeology, and has professional experience with the cultural resources of the Great Basin, American Southwest, and California. She has special expertise in the development of management plans for cultural resources located within undeveloped areas such as utility corridors, open space preserves, and parks. Dr. Hector worked for the County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation for 12 years, her final years there as the Director of the department. While working for the County of San Diego, Dr. Hector successfully obtained grants for historic preservation and natural resource conservation. She was directly responsible for the development of a cultural resources management program for the County. From 2009 to 2012, she was a Principal Environmental Specialist, Cultural Resources, and provided services for both San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Company, for whom she developed a cultural resource management program. A significant part of this program is its GIS capabilities for screening projects for impacts to archaeological sites. She developed the Arc Avoid GIS tool that is used to manage operations and maintenance work within the SDG&E service area, and the company received an ACRA award in 2011 for her work.

Dr. Hector has directed and completed archaeological and historical research projects, field surveys and inventories, test programs, and data recovery projects throughout the west. She has special expertise in ethnobotany, shellfish analysis, lithic tool analysis, historic artifacts, ethnography and ethnohistory, and hunter-gatherer special activity areas. Her diverse background includes museum curation and project management. She has also taught classes in anthropology and archaeology at the college level in Los Angeles and San Diego.