Applied EarthWorks has extensive experience assisting state and federal agencies in complying with their obligations under the California Environmental Quality Act and the National Historic Preservation Act. The company has completed numerous cultural resource investigations related to development on military installations, national and state parks, national forests, and other land managed by federal and state agencies. These studies include the documentation and evaluation of historic mining sites as well as the preservation of Native American rock art and other endangered archaeological sites. In addition, Applied EarthWorks prepared the 14-volume Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan for Vandenberg Air Force Base that guides protection of hundreds of known resources on the base and provides guidelines for continued identification efforts.


Vandenberg Air Force Base

Tetra Tech, Inc./ManTech SRS Technologies, Inc.            
Santa Barbara County, California

Æ has been the archaeological contractor for Vandenberg AFB since 1996, working under consecutive, multi-year IDIQ contracts. We have been responsible for cultural resource services to ensure compliance with NEPA, NHPA, and other federal laws and Air Force regulations. In that time, we have completed more than 175 task orders with a total contract value exceeding $10 million.

Our staff has introduced a variety of innovative approaches in the management of cultural resources on Vandenberg AFB, including cost effective means of recovering archaeological data; photogrammetric mapping techniques as a means of plotting sea-cliff retreat and erosion of archaeological sites over time; low-altitude aerial photography for site condition assessments; GPS/GIS applications for tracking site condition; and stabilization of eroding sites. We have also developed public interpretation programs for rock art sites on the base.

Æ has prepared scores of technical reports, including a 14-volume Integrated Cultural Resources Management Plan for the base. Our staff also developed a basewide program to assess the condition of known archaeological resources and monitor sensitive and threatened sites on the base, which we have been implementing since 1996. During our tenure, Vandenberg AFB has received national recognition and has twice been honored as the most outstanding cultural resource management program in the Department of Defense.

Key Services

  • Environmental Impact Consultation (NEPA)
  • Archaeological Field Surveys
  • Testing and Evaluation for National Register Eligibility
  • Data-Recovery Excavation
  • Construction Monitoring and Emergency Archaeology
  • Laboratory Processing and Data Analysis
  • Historic Properties Treatment Planning
  • Native American Consultation and Coordination
  • Cultural Resources Overviews
  • Archival and Historical Research
  • Historic Building Survey/Architectural History and HABS/HAER Documentation
  • Ethnography and Ethnohistory
  • Geomorphology and Geoarchaeology
  • Paleontology
  • Collections Management

bureau of land management Las Vegas Field Office Disposal Boundary Expansion

Clark County, Nevada

At the request the BLM Las Vegas Field Office (LVFO), Æ completed a paleontological resource assessment and survey for the Las Vegas Field Office Disposal Boundary Expansion Parcel, located on lands administered by the BLM within the Southern Nevada District, approximately 15 miles north of the city of Las Vegas in Clark County, Nevada, along U.S. Route 95. The study consisted of a museum records search at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City, Las Vegas Natural History Museum, University of California Museum of Paleontology, and on site at the LVFO; a comprehensive literature and geologic map review; and a pedestrian reconnaissance survey of the project area. The sensitivity of the geologic units underlying the project area was assessed for their sensitivity using the Potential Fossil Yield Classification (PFYC) system established by the BLM. As a result of the study, Æ identified sedimentary rock units within the project area as having a high paleontological sensitivity. Key paleontological resource concerns included potential adverse impacts to potential significant fossil localities occurring either at the surface or subsurface of the project area. Feasible management strategies were recommended for the project, including public outreach and education and ongoing survey and collection to combat the impacts of erosion and unlawful surface collection. 

Key Services

  • Paleontological Field Survey
  • Museum Locality Record Searches
  • Paleontological Resources Sensitivity Assessment
  • Agency Coordination
  • Paleontological Use Permit Acquisition
  • Geological Field and Desktop Geological Mapping   

Evaluation of Historic Mines at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area

redwood national park

Abandoned mining sites within the Whiskeytown-Shasta-Trinity National Recreation Area posed potential hazards to park visitors. Prior to closure of these properties to the public, Æ evaluated the significance of selected mining-related resources in the Whiskeytown Unit and assessed their eligibility for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places.

Our personnel conducted archival research and gathered oral histories to identify historical themes relevant to mining sites in Shasta County and the Mount Shasta (Whiskeytown) Mining District. Æ then examined the previously identified resource locations and prepared detailed archaeological documentation for 19 historical sites associated with the lode mining industry (ca. 1880–1950). Five of these sites were judged significant resources eligible for listing on the National Register. The locations and boundaries of all investigated resources were recorded using GPS equipment for inclusion in the park’s GIS.

Æ overcame numerous challenges encountered during archival research and used information gathered in the field to clarify the documentary record and establish an accurate picture of the histories and associations of these properties which represent an important period in California history.

Key Services

  • Archival and Historical Research
  • Development of Historical Contexts for Evaluation
  • Research Design
  • Archaeological Field Surveys
  • Detailed Site Documentation and Mapping
  • Evaluation of National Register Eligibility
  • Coordination with State and Federal Regulatory Agencies


Bureau of land management

united states forest service

national park service

united states air force

california department of parks and recreation