PaleoWest Archaeology
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The Team

PaleoWest was founded on the principle of providing the very best cultural resource consultants to our clients. We pride ourselves on being the most innovative team of problem-solvers in the business.

Following are highlights from the expertise of our most senior staff members. Full vitae are available upon request, as is additional information on the remainder of PaleoWest’s extensive team of technical and administrative support staff.

Tom Motsinger, M.A., RPA



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.


Contact Tom

T: 602.980.6687

Kevin Thompson


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 in our Denver, Colorado office. Kevin currently serves on the Board of Directors for the American Cultural Resources Association, the national trade organization for cultural-resource firms.


Contact Kevin

T: 303.263.8993

Shawn Fehrenbach, M.A., RPA


Shawn Fehrenbach has served with PaleoWest since 2010 as Archaeologist, Project Director, Director of Graphics and GIS, Chief Information Officer, and was appointed PaleoWest’s COO in March of 2015. As head of operations, Shawn ensures our methods are on the cutting edge to enhance PaleoWest’s efficiency and the quality of our work products. Shawn directs PaleoWest’s IT systems, oversees the management and analysis of spatial and tabular datasets, and monitors training initiatives and project execution company-wide. He has helped develop the PaleoWay system, using iPad tablets and data management systems that integrate 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, the Hawaiian Islands, and Southeast Asia.


Contact Shawn

T: 602.245.5149

Vanessa Mirro, M.A., RPA


Vanessa Mirro has 20 years of experience in cultural resources management (CRM) in California, the eastern United States, and Canada. Her areas of expertise include project management, business development, tribal consultation, and regulatory compliance. She has been a leader in the CRM industry and has held executive, board, and chair positions for several large CRM firms and various heritage organizations, including American Cultural Resources Association and the Register of Professional Archaeologists. She has directed hundreds of projects and prepared and implemented cultural resources management and treatment plans for various transportation, renewable energy, water infrastructure and storage, gas and electric transmission, and urban development projects to ensure compliance with Section 106 of the NHPA, CEQA, and other federal and state laws. She successfully managed numerous large-scale, multiyear projects, such as Metropolitan Water District’s San Diego 6 Pipeline Projects (SD6) in Riverside and San Diego counties; PG&E’s Hinkley Groundwater Remediation Project in San Bernardino County; and the State Route 79 Realignment Project in Riverside County. As well, Ms. Mirro has conducted successful consultation with numerous Native American groups and resource agencies.


Contact Vanessa

T: 626.807.0364

Clint Helton, M.A., RPA


Clint Helton has over 20 years of professional experience in environmental consulting within the United States and internationally, and is a technical expert in cultural resources and cultural heritage studies. Clint regularly directs and manages teams, interfaces with clients and regulators, acts as senior technical consultant, provides expert witness testimony, and leads technical studies and environmental assessments in support of California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), and National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), among others.  Clint has completed hundreds of projects throughout the United States, particularly in California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and Wyoming, and has significant experience supporting both commercial and government sector clients with a multitude of project types, including solar and wind energy, power plant licensing, oil and gas transmission and development, transportation, land development, water, and public works.  Throughout his career, Mr. Helton has held roles in operations, project delivery, project management, and business development. Mr. Helton is a highly effective leader and an innovative problem solver, making him a valuable asset to any team.


Contact cLINT

T: 949.500.2496

Noel Motsinger


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.


Contact noel

T: 602.738.8744