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Conference Speaker Bios

Joseph Montoya is the Tonto National Forest Tribal Monitory Crew Chief. This Program works on both cultural and biological pedestrian surveys with partners WestLand Resources Inc and Resolution Copper.  The tribal monitors use Traditional Ecological Knowledge to provide information to the Tribes about the land and its inhabitants.  This information helps federal agencies make informed decisions about the effects of proposed projects on cultural resources. It also allows involved tribes to understand more clearly what resources of tribal concern are being impacted from the voices of tribal members.  The Tribal Monitor Program also provides employment opportunities and work training for tribal members to seek careers throughout the country.

Workshop: Eyes and Ears of the Tribes


Ron Parker is an outdoorsman, xeric plant enthusiast and amateur botanist who spends half of his time gardening and the other have exploring natural habitats across Arizona and neighboring states, primarily chasing agaves and archaeological sites.  He has been studying agave populations in Arizona for many years. 

Workshop: Chasing Centuries: The Search for Ancient Agave Cultivars Across the Desert Southwest

Meghan Smith is the acting supervisor for the Grand Canyon’s Search and Rescue (PSAR) program. 

Workshop: Wilderness Survival


James T. Watson is an Associate Curator of Bioarchaeology, an Associate Director of the Arizona State Museum (ASM) and an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arizona. He is active in managing repatriations for ASM and managing state statues dealing with human burials. In addition, his research interests focus on health and disease in prehistoric populations through their skeletal remains and in understanding prehistoric human adaptions in desert ecosystems and the role of local resources in the adoption of agriculture and their impact on health.   

Workshop: Handling of Discovered Human Remains



Brooke Wheeler is the State volunteer, Youth, Environmental Education Lead within the Arizona Bureau of Land Management (BLM-AZ).  She provides strategic policy and planning guidance to BLM-AZ staff and partners.  Her passions are encouraging youth from diverse backgrounds to become the next generation of public land stewards and creating ways for the public to fulfill their civic passions through volunteerism. Prior to the BLM, Brooke worked in various education, volunteer and cultural heritage fields including the Smithsonian Natural Museum of the American Indian, Salt River Pima Maricopa Indian Community Elementary School, Sitka Alaska Historical Museum, Bureau of Indian Affairs and the National Archives and Records Administration.

Brooke is from Tuba City, Arizona located on the Navajo Nation Reservation.  She has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and native American Studies and Master’s in Public Administration and Nonprofit Management from Arizona State University.

Workshop: Project Archaeology



Dusty Whiting is a retired federal law enforcement agent.  He is a commissioned Game Ranger for the White Mountain Apache Tribe and an active volunteer in the Arizona Site Steward Program. He works with Archaeology Southwest, monitoring archaeological sites with a history of having been looted in Indian Country, assessing damage to sites that have been looted and assists with the damage assessment process.  He has extensive experience in teaching man-tracking courses and conducting various aspects of criminal investigations for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLECT) at Artesia, NM.  He is a certified structure and wildland fire investigator.

Workshop: Site Steward Logging of Tracks


Doug Wolfe is CEO/Director of Zuni Dinosaur Institute for Geosciences (ZDIG) and Principal Investigator for the Zuni Basin Paleontologic Project focusing on mid-Cretaceous CO2-driven climate extreme, sea-level rise, and mass extinction. Wolfe and co-investigators have discovered and published 4 new dinosaur species, trackways, and plant species from little-known, mid-Cretaceous strata near the AZ-ZM border; most recently Suskityrannus in May (Nature, 2019). The Zuni Dinosaurs fill a 30ma gap in dinosaur history and demonstrate unexpected connections with Asian dinosaur groups. His work on Public Lands includes assistance with the recently completed Paleontologic Inventory and final report for the NPS at Chaco Canyon NHP. 

Workshops: Paleontology: Dinosaurs from the Lost Continent of Mogollon, Paleontology Minding from the Neighborhood Insights from 20 Years of Fossil Exploration on Public Lands.

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