Associate State Archaeologist
North Coast Redwoods District
P. O. Box 2006
Eureka, CA 95502
Phone: 707-445-6547, Ext. 35
I was born and raised in Southern California, and excelled in the social sciences throughout school. I always knew I’d somehow be involved in history when I grew up. Being a towheaded beach-romping SoCal boy suited me well growing up. Camping trips to San Clemente and San Onofre State Beaches to surf with my buddies were some of my best memories during high school, but I quickly made my way up to Humboldt County after a short stint in Laguna Beach after graduation. My career has found me moving throughout Northern California, but I have been enjoying the sedentary lifestyle and have settled in Humboldt County with my wife Erika and my son Max.
Humboldt State University was the farthest north I could go to college with in-state tuition, and I quickly found myself double-majoring in anthropology and geography. My early studies focused on cultural anthropology and it was actually my studies in geography that got me interested in archaeology. Archaeology was also a career I could get into to combine my cultural anthropology background with my cartographic skills. During my last semester as an undergraduate, I attended a field school in the Ishi Wilderness on the Lassen National Forest taught by Greg White at California State University, Chico.
Field school led to my first archaeology job the following summer as a seasonal archaeologist for the Almanor Ranger District on the Lassen National Forest. This started a five year run as a seasonal archaeologist for the Lassen, Shasta-Trinity, and Mendocino National Forests and as an archaeological technician with various archaeological consulting firms. As a technician I found myself doing field work along the central coast in Pismo Beach, Paso Robles and Big Sur; Yosemite National Park; Owens Valley; China Lake Naval Air Weapons Station; Camp Pendleton; and various projects throughout California.
One summer as a seasonal archaeologist on the Mendocino National Forest, I applied for graduate school at California State University, Chico and got accepted into the anthropology graduate program. In graduate school I focused on zooarchaeology and human behavioral ecology, and completed my master’s thesis analyzing the fragmented faunal assemblage of prehistoric Tehama County mid-elevation site on the Mendocino National Forest. But of course, the best part of graduate school was meeting my future wife Erika. My California State University, Chico thesis is available online at this website: http://csuchico-dspace.calstate.edu/xmlui/handle/10211.4/261.
Upon completion of my graduate coursework in 2005, I took a position as an Associate Environmental Planner in Archaeology at Caltrans, District 4 in the San Francisco Bay Area. While at Caltrans I gained extensive training and experience doing environmental compliance under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and engaging in consultation with Native California Indians. I also had the opportunity to work on the cultural resources component of several large projects as part of an interdisciplinary team.
In 2007, I transferred to State Parks as an Associate State Archaeologist and became the Cultural Resources Program Manager for the North Coast Redwoods District. As the manager of the Cultural Resources Program at the District my responsibilities encompass the preservation and protection of all of the District’s archaeological sites, historic sites, historic structures, and collections. Additionally I’m involved in promoting archaeology, history, and historic preservation with the public and am the District’s Native American liaison with our tribal allies here on the North Coast.
Greg Collins enjoying a moment with his son Max
at Trinidad State Beach
My personal interests in archaeology are human adaptations to climate change, human behavioral ecology, zooarchaeology, and the application of Geographic Information Systems in cultural resources management. Since coming to State Parks, my research interests have broadened to the preservation of significant Native California Indian sites, archaeological law enforcement and the prevention and prosecution of resource crimes, the promotion of archaeological ethics, and the history of the North Coast of California. I am actively involved in the Society for California Archaeology and the Society for American Archaeology and am a Registered Professional Archaeologist.