Employee Spotlight: Steven Shelley
Dr. Shelley, Ph.D, RPA joined QRI as our Senior Archeologist in January of 2014 to support the USACE, Tulsa District IDIQ ECS contract at Fort Bliss. He also supports QRI’s GSA Environmental BPA for Region 7 by reviewing archeological and historical reports. Dr. Shelley is an Archaeologist with 35+ years of experience. He has 14 years’ experience in Southwestern United States, 12 years’ experience in southern California, 5 years’ experience in Texas and Oklahoma, and experience in the Great Basin, Alaska and Southern United States. Mr. Shelley is a trained and published geoarchaeologist, a trained and published lithic analyst, and trained and published faunal analyst. His is proficient in dating techniques, pollen and phytolith collection and interpretation, and GIS (ArcGIS and IDRISI) and database development. In addition to archaeological training, Dr. Shelley also has training and experience in HABS documentation, having conducted and written several HABS projects, including a documentation and evaluation of 120 WWII Mobilization buildings at Fort Polk, LA that the National Park Service used as the template to develop the HABS documentation standards that are in use today.
How did you get into your profession?
In High School I read a book on Howard Carter’s excavation of King Tutankhamun’s tomb and decided that’s what I wanted to do. In practice I spent 4 years at University of Arizona getting a BA, 3 years at LSU getting an MA and 10 years at Washington State getting a Ph.D.
Describe a favorite project you’ve worked on?
That would be the Lower Verde Archaeological Project, on the lower Verde River northeast of Phoenix. The research was a continuation of the work we did on the Salado culture in the adjacent Tonto Valley. It centered on the cultural changes from the pre-Classic Hohokam to the Classic period. Much of the work was centered on agricultural production and social change. A close second was the soil mapping project QRI did for Fort Bliss the last two years. This project was Big Data and it was intellectually challenging.
What is your favorite thing about working at QRI?
In all honesty I think it is the people I work with.
What is something people might not know about you?
I am also the only person I know that has removed the over-the-wing-door on a jet plane and evacuated the passengers. I was also on a DC-10 that caught fire in flight going into Chicago (and I was the only passenger that knew that it happened).
What do you enjoy outside of work?
This may sound trite but I enjoy life. I like to read history, follow politics, spend time with my family, play wargames and simulations, conduct scientific experiments, flintknap, fix things around the house, watch nature documentaries, read and watch science fiction and historical fiction, read and watch things on bigfoot (Most of the time I think it’s a real creature, I have seen many of the casts of footprints and some are hard to dismiss as fakes. Still sometimes my scientific skepticism still makes me doubt since we don’t have a body. I have to put my fingers in the holes in its hands before I will fully believe – if you get the biblical reference). Oh, and I like to observe both living creatures and natural phenomena. The marvel of the universe from the smallest thing to the cosmos still leaves me in awe when I have the time to ponder it.