Following are highlights from the expertise of our most senior and valued staff members. Full vitae of these professionals are available upon request, as is additional information on the remainder of PaleoWest’s extensive stable of technical and administrative support staff.
Tom Motsinger, M.A., RPA
President and Senior Archaeologist
Tom Motsinger founded PaleoWest after 24 years providing archaeology consulting services, including managing some of the largest and most complex archaeology projects in the western U.S. As an archaeologist, Tom has published scientific articles in professional archaeological journals such as Kiva and Journal of Field Archaeology, contributed chapters to edited volumes for major publishers, and co-edited such volumes himself. This combination of scientific credentials, business acumen, and proven success in solution-oriented consulting were poured as the foundation of PaleoWest and continues to guide the firm’s approach. Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Cultural Resources Association, the national trade organization for cultural-resource firms.
Douglas R. Mitchell, M.A., RPA
Doug Mitchell joined PaleoWest as a Principal and Partner in 2008, following a successful tenure of building an Arizona-wide cultural resource program elsewhere. A noted expert on the prehistoric cultures of Arizona and the American Southwest, Mitchell has authored numerous articles for scientific journals such as American Antiquity, Journal of Field Archaeology, Journal of Archaeological Science, North American Archaeologist, and Kiva and has contributed chapters or served as editor for several books on the archaeology of the Southwest. A past President of the Arizona Archaeological Council, Mitchell serves as Vice President for PaleoWest in our Phoenix, Arizona headquarters.
Kevin Thompson, M.A., RPA
Kevin Thompson brings more than 30 years of high-level experience in cultural resource management across the western United States and the Pacific to PaleoWest’s Denver office. His lengthy record of success for clients includes the $14 million Animas-La Plata Water Storage Project in Colorado, the Entrega/REX pipeline and the Exxon LaBarge Project across Wyoming, and several large environmental impact statements. Kevin has authored scientific articles, technical documents, and professional peer-reviewed papers concerning the archaeology of the Northern Colorado River Basin and the Intermountain West. Kevin now serves as Vice President out of our Denver, Colorado office.
Cory D. Breternitz, M.A., RPA
Principal and Senior Archaeologist
Cory Breternitz is the founder and former President of Soil Systems, Inc (SSI). Its staff and expertise joined into PaleoWest in 2009. Author of a multitude of professional publications centered on various aspects of archaeology, Cory has been a Board member and President of the American Cultural Resources Association, and recently served on the Board of Directors for the Society for American Archaeology. Following the merger of SSI into PaleoWest, Cory serves as Senior Archaeologist in our Phoenix and Farmington offices.
Dr. Todd Bostwick
Senior Research Archaeologist
Prior to joining PaleoWest in 2010, Dr. Bostwick served for 21 years as City Archaeologist for Phoenix, the city whose very name references its prehistoric past. Dr. Bostwick has authored and co-authored a host of professional articles and books on Southwestern archaeology, archaeoastronomy, and history. Dr. Bostwick also served as the general editor for more than 25 volumes of the Pueblo Grande Museum Anthropological Papers and Occasional Papers series of Hohokam-focused publications. Among the many awards he has garnered was the 2005 Arizona Governor’s Award in Public Archaeology. He currently serves as the Director of the Verde Valley Archaeology Center.
Dr. Rebecca Schwendler
Principal Investigator/Project Director
Dr. Schwendler carries to PaleoWest more than 20 years of expertise, including serving as the Public Lands Advocate and advisory archaeologist for the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Western Regional Office in Denver. Dr. Schwendler’s expertise is varied, but includes a research focus on hunter-gatherer social organization and trade. Dr. Schwendler has taught several undergraduate archaeology courses, authored multiple peer-reviewed articles, presented numerous papers at professional meetings, and given many public talks, fostering her passion for archaeological education. Her professional service has included leadership in the Society for American Archaeology’s Program, Media Relations, and Student Paper Award committees, the latter as Committee Chair for three years.
Dennis Gilpin, M.A., RPA
Senior Archaeologist, Ethnographer, and Historian
Dennis Gilpin carries more than 30 years of experience with all phases of archaeology. He has directed archaeological testing and data recovery at Paleo-Indian, Archaic, Pueblo, Navajo, and Euroamerican sites. He is particularly adept with Archaic period archaeology, Pueblo architecture, prehistoric agriculture, and historical archaeology. He is well known for his discoveries of early maize in the Chinle Valley, his research on the Chacoan system and the transition to modern Puebloan settlement, and his studies in Navajo archaeology and history. Also a highly regarded applied ethnographer, Dennis has conducted ethnographic research and tribal consultation among dozens of tribes in the western U.S. A past Registrar of Professional Archaeologists, Dennis serves as Senior Archaeologist, Ethnographer, and Historian in our Flagstaff, Arizona, office.
Ted Roberts, M.A., RPA
Project Director – Director of Field Procedures
Ted Roberts serves an important dual role at PaleoWest, acting both as our senior-most Project Director and as the firm-wide Director of Field Operations. In this latter role, Ted has headed up the development and implementation of the paperless “PaleoWay” system of running field projects using iPad tablet computers and a customized database that generates client deliverables as soon as fieldwork is completed. Ted also manages a centralized system of scheduling of field personnel across all of PaleoWest’s offices. He currently serves as the President of the Arizona Archaeological Council.
Director – Administration & Government Contracting
Noel Motsinger joined PaleoWest in 2009, coming from 12 years in the student financial aid industry. She has a strong background in working with federal Title IV and state regulations, helping postsecondary educational institutions navigate the complexities of implementing and maintaining programs under those rules. In her role at PaleoWest, she is responsible for overseeing the administrative functions of the company and federal government contracting.
Shawn Fehrenbach, M.A., RPA
Director of Graphics and GIS
Shawn Fehrenbach has served with PaleoWest since 2010 as Archaeologist and Project Director and was appointed PaleoWest’s Director of Graphics and GIS in 2012. Shawn develops and maintains PaleoWest’s database systems, oversees the management and analysis of spatial data, and heads the production of graphics for our reports and publications. He’s helped develop the “PaleoWay” system, using iPad tablets and data management systems that integrate the digital data collected in the field into a seamless workflow for analysis and report production in the office. In addition to his work in the Southwest, Shawn has experience working in the American Midwest and the Hawaiian Islands, and he is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, conducting dissertation research in Cambodia.
Jason Chuipka, M.A., RPA
Jason came to PaleoWest in 2011 and heads the Farmington, New Mexico, office while serving as the Principal Investigator for the Navajo Gallup Water Supply Cultural Resources Project, the largest federal archaeology project in the U.S. He has 20 years of fieldwork experience and has been directing archaeological projects in Utah, New Mexico, and Colorado for more than a decade. An expert in the use of digital data collection methods, Jason continues to work with the PaleoWest team to streamline and improve the ways that archaeology fieldwork and reporting are conducted. Jason has authored numerous technical reports and regularly presents his findings at professional conferences. He has published articles in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology and Kiva. Most recently, he co-authored contributions to volumes published by Cotsen Press at the University of California and the University of Arizona Press.