We are anthropologists and archaeologists, environmental scientists, ecologists, project planners, managers, and geospatial specialists. Our technically diverse team works collaboratively to examine project needs from multiple perspectives and deliver thoughtful, integrative solutions. Our key staff and support personnel bring reputations for excellence, nationwide experience, and vast agency expertise unmatched by most small consulting firms.

  • Dee Ann Espinoza, MA, RPA

    Chief Executive Officer

    Contract Administrator, Principal Investigator

    Dee Espinoza has more than 21 years of hands-on experience as a Cultural Resource Principal Investigator and Project Director in the Plains, Southwest, and Gulf States. During her career, she has supervised and performed cultural research studies on various land jurisdictions for both public and private entities. She meets the SOI’s Qualifications for Archaeologist (Prehistoric and Historic) and Historian. Her particular archaeological specialty is in faunal analysis and human osteology. She is also the founder, owner, and CEO of ECS.

    She is currently the contract administrator for 20 on-going projects in various aspects of cultural, natural, and environmental services. In the past nine years, she has administered more than 245 projects with federal, state, tribal, and commercial clients.


    Photo: Minesh Bacrania

  • Stephen W. Yost., MA, RPA

    Regulatory Services Director

    Principal Investigator, Quality Control Manager

    Stephen Yost is a professional archaeologist with more than 27 years of experience in cultural resource compliance across the United States. As ECS’ Regulatory Services Director, he oversees company efforts in cultural resource management, historic preservation, and environmental services. He meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Qualifications for Prehistoric and Historic Archaeology and is currently permitted as Principal Investigator by numerous federal agencies and Tribes in both eastern and western states.

    Stephen's experience includes an extensive background assuring compliance with Sections 106, 110, and 111 of NHPA; NEPA; NAGPRA; AIRFA; ARPA; and Section 404 of CWA, plus other military, federal, state, local, and tribal regulations. He has authored or contributed to more than 200 technical reports, including numerous EAs, EISs, and other NEPA documents; provided technical assistance in the preparation of Memoranda of Agreement, Memoranda of Understanding, and other compliance agreements; contributed to Integrated Cultural Resource Management Plans (ICRMPs) for numerous Department of Defense (DoD) installations. Projects have also involved coordinating and/or facilitating efforts with numerous federally recognized Tribes in the southeastern and southwestern US and Great Plains. DoD project experience spans Army/Army Reserve, Air Force, Marine Corps/Marine Corps Reserve, National Guard, and Navy/Naval Reserve facilities across the United States.


  • Shakil Mahmud Tabassum, MBA

    Chief Financial Officer

    Shakil is an experienced finance expert who has worked for over 20 years in the international development field providing financial management services for various nonprofit organizations. He holds extensive experience with The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), USDA, The Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere (CARE), The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), and The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Additionally, Shakil has contributed his expertise to projects in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Zambia. He held the position as Chief of Party and managed a project valued at $36M for Capacity Building Change Management for Ministry of Agriculture in Afghanistan; he also served as Acting Executive Director for Volunteer for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA) program with 18 international awards from USAID and USDA, and, served as a CFO overseeing the VEGA budget with over $200M in the grants pipeline. With very similar technical direction leadership, oversight and management skills compared to those of a Program Manager and a Project Manager; He supervised an office staff of 400 people and integrated 34 Afghani Provinces into one solution (2004 to 2012). Shakil had served as the CFO for Leadership for Environment and Development (LEAD) in 13 international programs, and, established a new office of CARE-Zambia as a Controller, and managed a cross-border CARE-Afghanistan office from Pakistan (1993 to 1998).


  • Christine G. Ward, PhD, RPA

    Principal Investigator

    Chris is a professional archaeologist with 30 years of experience in the archaeology of the Southwest and Plains in Texas, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah. She meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Qualifications for Prehistoric Archaeology and has been permitted as Principal Investigator, Project Director, Direct Charge, and/or Direct Charge for Fieldwork by various states, federal agencies, and tribes. Since 1992, she has managed at the Principal Investigator and Project Director levels, the field, laboratory, research, and report writing and editing aspects of many projects. Resources identified on these projects span from the Paleoindian through Historical periods, including campsites, pueblos, villages, and historic mission, ranching, railroad, and domestic resources. Chris has completed over 150 field projects and has authored three magazine articles, dozens of papers, one published book section, and hundreds of gray literature reports.


  • David Satterwhite

    Cultural Projects Manager

    Dave has 18-plus years of experience as a project director, field director, crew chief, lithic analyst, laboratory manager, and field school director; as well extensive experience in site assessment and stabilization. He has managed and worked on projects for the DOD, USFS, BLM, NPS, BOR, USACE, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe, Navajo Nation, Zia Pueblo, and private entities. After beginning his career in the nonprofit-research field, Dave has primarily worked in cultural resource management and has extensive experience in implementing research designs, supervising fieldwork, laboratory analysis, reporting, and delivering projects within budget and on time. He has worked and led projects in CA, CO, MT, ND, NM, OR, TN, UT, and WY.


  • Ryan Walker, MEM

    GIS Manager

    Environmental Management Specialist

    Ryan has over 8 years of experience applying geospatial technologies in the fields of natural and cultural resource management, ecology, and environmental science. He specializes in incorporating spatial data, tools, and related technologies into streamlined workflows for interdisciplinary land and resource management projects.

    Ryan’s areas of expertise include geospatial analysis and modeling, LiDAR processing and 3D visualization, production mapping and custom cartography, and web map development. He has performed on countless projects throughout the West for both public, private, and nonprofit entities. His research in GIS-driven resource management and forest ecology has been published in the peer-reviewed journals of Landscape Ecology, Forests, Ecosphere, Forest Ecology and Management, and the Journal of Vegetation Science.

    Ryan's additional experience includes designing and managing multi-state field research projects, overseeing NEPA documentation for large-scale developments, training and supervising technical staff, and coauthoring educational materials for federal wilderness stewardship programs. His diverse technical background enables him to find integrative solutions to a wide array of complex resource management needs.


  • Garry Baker, MA, AICP

    GIS and Land Planning Analyst

    Garry has over 20 years of experience in land use planning, GIS, stakeholder engagement, and project management. He was the project lead for the McInnis Canyons National Conservation Area Visual Resource Inventory, completed in February 2021. Garry has authored plans for trail systems on BLM public lands, including the Electric Hills Trail System, Uncompahgre Singletrack Plan and Buzzard Gulch Trails.

    Garry has extensive experience in municipal planning, with a focus on maximizing active recreation and design of outdoor spaces. Examples of his work include the Uncompahgre River Buffer Zone, City of Montrose Comprehensive Plan, Riverbottom Park Improvement Plan, and revitalization of downtown plazas. Garry is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP).


  • Taylor L. Applewhite

    Ecologist, NEPA Specialist

    Taylor has more than 5 years of experience in ecological restoration, environmental monitoring, and geospatial analysis in the public and private sector with an emphasis on collaborative, ecosystem-based management. Taylor’s areas of expertise include abandoned mine land characterization and reclamation, ground and surface water quality monitoring, stream restoration, terrestrial and aquatic habitat improvements, plant and wildlife field surveys, geospatial modeling and analysis, and NEPA documentation. His portfolio includes monitoring and reclamation at the California Gulch Superfund Site and Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project, Endangered fritillary butterfly and nuisance algae research, and wildlife management for the Bureau of Land Management across half a million acres.

    Taylor holds a B.S. in Environmental Biology and Ecology with a minor in Geography and Geospatial Analysis from Western Colorado University and an A.A.S. in Natural Resource Management from Colorado Mountain College.


  • Sonny Franks

    Project Manager, Senior UXO Supervisor,

    Quality Assurance Manager

    Sonny has more than 10 years of experience managing environmental compliance and quality contracts/projects for Department of Defense clients, including environmental remediation and restoration projects involving Hazardous, Toxic Radioactive Waste (HTRW) and Military Munitions Response Program (MMRP). He has managed or collaborated on HTRW and MMRP projects in AZ, CA, NM, NV, and SD. Sonny has extensive knowledge and experience for HTRW and MMRP clients during nine years of working for the US Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as a Project Manager and as an Ordnance & Explosives Safety Specialist. Also, he has extensive experience working with DoD managers and State Regulatory agencies; improving communications, developing Uniform Federal Policy Quality Assurance Project Plans (UFP-QAPP) and provided lasting problem resolutions. Additionally, Sonny is a retired, service-disabled military veteran; serving more than 23 years as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) operator; retiring as an EOD Branch Chief

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