Key Personnel

  • Dee Ann Espinoza, MA, RPA, ECS CEO and Owner,  Principal Investigator

    Ms. Espinoza has over 19 years of hands-on experience as a contract administrator, principal investigator, project director, field director/supervisor, analyst, and laboratory director. During this time, she supervised and performed on various land jurisdictions for both public and private entities. She is permitted to perform cultural resource investigations by the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs, and/or State in: Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, and Nevada; she has also been permitted by the Navajo Nation and the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Her experience has included designing and implementing research designs; supervising fieldwork, analysis, and write-up; and overseeing artifact and data curation. She is one of four ECS Cultural Resource Principal Investigators and is the main contract administrator for all ECS environmental projects. In the past seven years, this has included more than 180 projects with federal, state, tribal, and commercial clients. Ms. Espinoza also regularly administers to multiple projects simultaneously with various federal agencies.


    Ms. Espinoza has broad experience is cultural resource management activities regulated by NEPA, the National Historic Preservation Act, and Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act. She has a proven track record with Native American repatriation and is a skilled analyst relating to human osteology, mortuary analysis, and dental anthropology, as well as the analysis of faunal remains. She also meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Archaeologist (Prehistoric and Historic) and Historian. She is also the main Principal Investigator for ECS’ USFS Region 2 IDIQ. Espinoza also regularly administers multiple projects simultaneously with various federal agencies and in diverse fields of study.

  • Stephen W. Yost., MA, RPA, Regulatory Services Director, Principal Investigator

    Mr. Yost is a professional archaeologist with 24 years of experience in cultural resource compliance across the United States. This includes more than a decade managing work in New Mexico and more than 17 years across the states. As ECS’ Regulatory Services Director, he oversees company efforts in cultural resource management, historic preservation, and environmental services. He meets Secretary of the Interior’s Qualifications for Prehistoric and Historic Archaeology and is currently (and/or previously) permitted as Principal Investigator by numerous eastern and western states federal agencies and tribes, including federal, state, and tribal land jurisdictions.


    Mr. Yost’s experience includes an extensive background assuring compliance with Sections 106, 110, and 111 of NHPA, NEPA, NAGPRA, AIRFA, ARPA, and Section 404/CWA, plus other military, federal, state, local, and tribal regulations. He has authored or contributed to more than 200 technical reports, including numerous EAs, EISs, and other NEPA documents; provided technical assistance in the preparation of MOAs, MOUs, PAs, and other compliance agreements; contributed to ICRMPs for numerous DoD installations. His project experience has ranged from surveys to large scale data recovery to historic building inventory to CWA and NEPA support in NM, TX, CO, NV, AZ, CA, WY, ID, and MT. DoD project experience spans Army/Army Reserve, Air Force, Marine Corps/Marine Corps Reserve, National Guard, and Navy/Naval Reserve facilities across the United States, plus data recovery at a NR-eligible Army/VA hospital dump on Yavapai-Prescott tribal lands outside Prescott, Arizona funded by the DoD NALEMP program. Other public sector experience includes: state DOTs, BLM, NPS, USFS, BIA, NRC, FHWA, and federally recognized tribes

  • Steven F. Mehls, Ph.D., Senior Historian

    Dr. Mehls has worked as a public historian since 1978 and has been the Principal Investigator, Project Historian, or Project Architectural Historian on cultural resource management and historic research projects from the Midwest to the Pacific Coast and Alaska. He is recognized as a leading regional historian by USFS, BLM, and other agencies across the west.  His’ experience includes compliance with major federal laws including Sections 106, 110, and 111 of NHPA; NEPA; Section 4(f) of the U.S. DOT Act; and Section 404/CWA, plus other federal, state, and local laws and regulations. Dr, Mehls is certified by the State Historic Preservation Offices in Nevada and New Mexico to record architectural and engineering resources. He is also a certified Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) mine safety instructor, able to teach all levels of surface mining safety classes.


    Dr. Mehls has authored or contributed to more than 400 technical reports, environmental documents, resource management plans, and has assisted in preparing various compliance agreements, and has is the author or co-author of 12 books, eight refereed articles, and 18 book reviews. He has prepared more than 30 successful NRHP nominations and numerous Historic American Engineering Record and Historic American Building Survey studies. In addition, he has lectured on the topic of contextual development at many universities as well as serving as an instructor for the BLM National Training Center in Phoenix and for the University of Nevada - Reno.

  • Christine Ward, Ph.D. RPA, Principal Investigator

    Dr. Ward is a professional archaeologist with 30 years of experience in the archaeology of the Southwest and Plains in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. She meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Qualifications for Prehistoric Archaeology and has been permitted as Principal Investigator, Project Director, Direct Charge, and/or Direct Charge for Fieldwork by various states, federal agencies, and tribes. Since 1992, she has managed at the Principal Investigator and Project Director levels, the field, laboratory, research, and report writing and editing aspects of many projects. Resources identified on these projects span from the Paleoindian through Historical periods, including campsites, pueblos, and historic mission, ranching, railroad, and domestic resources.


    She has expertise and interest in the investigation of landscape, architecture, and settlement, and an abiding interest in public archaeology and cultural resource management. She also has expertise in material culture studies, particularly flaked stone. Introduced to archaeology as at a young age, she has participated in avocational projects by the El Paso and Texas Archaeological Societies, and worked for a period of time as a Research Archaeologist at the Crow Canyon Archaeological Center in Cortez, Colorado. Other research in the Four-Corners region include her dissertation research at the Bluff Great House in Utah, and the documentation of decades of stabilization work as a technician at Aztec Ruins National Monument. Dr. Ward has completed over 150 field projects and has authored three magazine articles, dozens of papers, one published book section, and hundreds of grey literature reports.

  • Ben Noller, Professional Geologist (PG)

    Mr. Noller has more 23 years of experience in the environmental industry and has worked on projects ranging from small-scale efforts to multi-million-dollar long-term programs. He has worked on the USACE, Omaha District’s project at the former F.E. Warren Air Force Base, Atlas D Missile Site 4, conducting water infiltration studies for a preliminary design associated with a Focus Feasibility Study. He has experience in the private, municipal, and federal sectors and considerable field experience in data collection, site assessment activities, and remediation. In addition, Mr. Noller has developed work plans, proposals, and budgets; managed environmental programs; authored characterization reports, corrective action plans, and voluntary cleanup plans; and interacted with regulatory agencies. He is affiliate faculty at Colorado State University, where he lectures on water quality, environmental law, and environmental degradation, as well as presenting case studies based on projects performed during his career.

  • Joshua M. Parker, Ph,D., Biologist

    Dr. Parker has been working in the field of wildlife management and conservation for 16 years. He worked for the Wyoming Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit at the University of Wyoming where he received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and special training in working with state and federal agencies in their management and conservation goals including threatened and endangered species. Recent contracts include large-scale field data collection to generate predictive GIS models for sensitive species in Wyoming and Colorado. This validated tool can be used by state and federal management agencies to assist in evaluating energy development applications. His experience in the public sector includes contracts and grants with the BLM, Wyoming Game and Fish Department, BOR, the National Wildlife Federation, USFWS, and the USGS Biological Research Division.

  • Timothy Goddard, MA CADD/GIS/Remote Sensing Specialist

    Timothy Goddard has over twenty years of experience in geospatial technologies as it relates to archaeology, environmental, and heritage work. His research interests include implementing comprehensive programs incorporating spatial data-related technology (GPS, total station, remote sensing, database design, 3D and virtual reality, GIS, field data collection technology, and network design) into the work processes of multi-disciplinary projects with public components. His geospatial experience includes Total Station, GPS, LIDAR Aerial Photos, Satellite Imagery, Ground Penetrating Radar, Magnetometer, Side Scan Sonar, Multi Beam, Resistivity, Conductivity, and Digital Photogrammetry, Geographical Information Systems, and 3D Visualization.  Mr. Goddard has experience throughout the US and abroad on a range of projects from small home sites to large multicomponent projects. Mr. Goddard has served in many levels of environmental and cultural preservation and assessment. This includes from field tech to upper level management. He has worked in private and agency roles and understands the different goals and pressures of these various roles His specialty in spatial science has allowed him to work with various specialists across this country and overseas which has allowed him to gain a great deal of general knowledge of the various types of environmental and cultural work. His expertise in technology has allowed him to find solutions and implement programs in many different areas of various resource management.  He has a track record of on time delivery and innovative solutions utilizing the latest technologies

ECS employs technically diverse professionals and support personnel in disciplines that include cultural resources studies and Tribal consultation, environmental investigation and remediation, community relations and public involvement support, and biological sciences. These staff bring reputations for excellence; nationwide experience; and vast agency expertise unmatched in small consulting firms.  Key staff experience is summarized below.

ECS Staff Experience Nationwide

Key Staff Expertise

Federal Agency Experience

USACE Experience

Espinoza Consulting Services is a Colorado registered trade name for Espinoza Cultural Services, LLC.

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