By Adrian Melendez
NRCS-WA Public Affairs
SPOKANE VALLEY, Wash. – NRCS-WA has selected its first State Archaeologist, and he’s no stranger to the Evergreen State team.
Grant Smith, current Cultural Resource Specialist for NRCS-WA, has been offered, and accepted, the position of State Archaeologist and will assume his duties and official title Feb. 12, 2023.
“Becoming the state archaeologist was a logical step in my career path,” said Grant who has been doing the work as an archeologist and cultural resource specialist for over a decade.
“I worked as an area archaeologist in Utah and in Washington State for the past 13 years," he said. "The challenge of taking on more of a leading role in the agency’s mission is something that I am looking forward to.”
Grant said as the State Archaeologist he will generally be responsible for guidance and assistance to field personnel and resource technical teams for the protection and enhancement of cultural resources issues encountered in all NRCS programs and activities, training field personnel, technical and administrative support for all aspects of the cultural resources program and contributing to national cultural resource policy and procedure documents, as needed.
“The new position differs from my current position in that it is more oversight of process, quality control, and will involve more direct coordination with the Washington State Department of Archaeology & Historic Preservation and Native American tribes regarding programmatic agreements and process,” Grant added.
Grant isn’t the only one exited and eager about the new position and responsibilities he is taking on. Bobby Evans, NRCS-WA State Resource Conservationist, said that the organization has never had a State Archaeologist before, and Grant’s experience and knowledge in the state and profession will be a huge benefit to the NRCS mission.
“Grant’s leadership and guidance will help build additional capacity and help us prepare for the challenges ahead. He brings a wealth of experience and valuable insights to the table. He clearly has a passion for his craft,” Bobby said.
While Grant has the knowledge and passion to be a successful State Archaeologist, he said the opportunity to share that very same knowledge and passion across the state is one aspect of his new duties he is really looking forward to.
“I am looking forward to the training aspect of the state archaeologist position, since I enjoy interaction with the field and with our partners,” Grant said.