As ESA’s Northern California Cultural Resources Director, Michael has more than 25 years of professional archaeological experience working throughout California and the Great Basin. He has focused his research on large-scale historic-era mining sites, Bay Area and Mojave Desert prehistory, and the effects of modern climate change on cultural resources.
Tribal consultation and collaborative projects has been a career focus for Michael. He was the lead author on a collaborative Traditional Ecological Knowledge study with the National Park Service, Tolowa Dee-ni’ Nation, and Elk Valley Rancheria in Redwoods National Park. He has worked alongside tribal groups throughout Northern California and has surveyed reservation lands under contract for several of them. He was the lead author of a recently published chapter on tribal issues and climate change in Public Archaeology and Climate Change; he co-authored the chapter with several tribal scholars.
He is a past president of the Society of California Archaeology and continues to serve the society as Co-Chairman of the Climate Change and California Archaeology Committee, which he founded in 2012. He is also a principal lead on an emergency response team that recovers human cremations from residences destroyed by forest fire; the work of him and his team has been in National Geographic Online, National Public Radio, and the Los Angeles Times.
Michael holds a Bachelor’s of Art in Anthropology from the University of California, Davis, and a Master’s of Art in Cultural Resources Management from Sonoma State University.