John W. Foster, Senior State Archaeologist

The 2007 Olmsted Award for Leadership and Vision was awarded to John W. Foster, Supervisor, Cultural Resource Programs.  This award, presented once a year by the Director of California State Parks, is bestowed upon the deserving winner selected from among nominations submitted from across the state by the department's 5,000 employees.  John retired in 2009.

Like Olmsted, John had a lifetime commitment to State Parks and the protection and preservation of California's resources.  He was a clear leader of his peers in the development of cultural resource policy, cultural resource management, and long-range planning
and goals for the Department's historic resource base. 

John also had an impressive history of working toward the preservation of resources outside of State Parks and developed many different media presentations or venues for bringing the excitement of discovery to the public.

John Foster in mini-sub

As the Department's only underwater archaeologist, John brought a dimension to our cultural resources that was unique and unusual in the archaeological profession.  His quality work in California, Mexico and the Dominican Republic, often with the help of a team from Indiana University, added to our understanding of the richness of maritime history in North America and opened a window into history that is rarely appreciated by the average citizen.

Often ahead of the game, John implemented cutting edge technology and creativity in addressing the many complex and challenging issues that threaten the preservation of historic resources.  He assisted and guided other State Archaeologists and Historians in performing high quality team efforts to successfully accomplish effective management of the Department’s archaeological sites, historic buildings, cultural landscapes and collections

John, you were always steadfast, inspiring, supportive, and valuable in your dedication to both the resources and your fellow employees.
Read John Foster's Award Ceremony Remarks

John Foster on locationJohn W. Foster

The Olmsted Award for Leadership and Vision is named for Frederick Law Olmsted, Sr. (1822-1903) and is awarded to a California State Parks' professional who has demonstrated an understanding of the physical and psychological importance of the park experience to urban dwellers. The Olmsted is the highest award in the Director's Recognition Awards Program.