ESA is pleased to announce the promotions of Matt Russell and Sara Dietler, and to welcome Daniel Woodward, James Clark, and Evan Tudor-Elliott to our Cultural Resources team across California.

Matt, who previously served as a program manager on ESA’s archaeology team and is based out of the Oakland office, and Daniel, based out of the Irvine office, will steer the group’s California operations as business group directors overseeing the Northern California and Southern California regions, respectively. In the Southern California region, Sara moves into a new role as a principal archaeologist, and James and Evan join as senior archaeologists.

Their additions are integral to ESA’s growing Cultural Resources practice as demand to develop utility-scale renewable energy projects, and new funding opportunities for transportation and infrastructure development, continue to push forward across the United States. As principal investigators with Secretary of the Interior (SOI) qualifications, Matt, Dan, James, and Evan bring extensive experience in federal permitting. Their combined skillsets can particularly assist public agencies and private entities in navigating evolving federal compliance requirements to assess project feasibility and conduct timely environmental review.

“Together, these experts join a stellar team of cultural resources practitioners and this growth in our capabilities underscore ESA’s commitment to provide unmatched Section 106, National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) cultural resources expertise to all ESA clients,” said Tony Overly, Vice President and Cultural Resource Practice Leader.

Matt Russell

Over the course of his 30-plus year career as a program and project manager, Matt has worked on numerous projects for state, federal, and international agencies overseeing prehistoric, historical, and maritime archaeological studies. With his Section 106 qualifications and experience with NHPA, National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), and CEQA, Matt has assisted many city agencies and public utilities by leading archaeological technical studies and monitoring programs to help ensure compliance. As business lead, Matt will guide the operations and performance of a team of over 30 cultural resources practitioners throughout Northern California.

Daniel Woodward

Dan has over 25 years of experience as a registered and SOI-qualified archaeologist and historian. He has served as a senior project manager for all phases of cultural resources investigations, and specializes in NHPA, NEPA, CEQA, and paleontological compliance. With his experience managing large contracts for utility companies and municipal entities, Dan is especially keyed into the region’s energy sector needs. Dan will oversee the Southern California’s team of over 30 archaeologists, architectural historians, paleontologists, and preservation planners.

Sara Dietler

A senior archaeology and paleontology lead with more than 20 years of experience in cultural resources management, Sara’s leadership and mentorship will be key in helping to expand ESA’s archaeological and compliance services throughout Southern California. Her expertise involves overseeing long-term compliance monitoring projects throughout the Los Angeles Basin for archaeological, Native American, and paleontological monitoring projects, and Native American consultation. As principal archaeologist, Sara will provide technical expertise for ESA’s long-standing clients such as the City of LA Department of Water & Power, to help them deliver successful projects. Her work will also center around her mentorship, by assisting early career staff hone field and project delivery skills.

James Clark

James has worked throughout California, the Northeast, and the Southeast as a principal investigator and project manager. In his role as a senior archaeologist at ESA, James will manage and carry out archaeological investigations and document preparation—harnessing his 20-year background in regulatory compliance, quality assurance, and tribal consultation working with agencies and private utility companies.

Evan Tudor-Elliott

Evan has worked as a principal investigator for projects across California, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. He is experienced in Native American consultation and environmental compliance and served as a consultant on the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan. Much of his prior work has involved large-scale renewable energy construction projects, notably a California Public Utilities Commission large transmission line project involving more than a thousand resources and coordination with 18 state and federally recognized Native American tribes.

“Cultural Resources is the second largest practice in our firm; this combination of promoting from within and adding outside perspective for these key leadership positions puts ESA in excellent position to execute on the exciting and large-scale projects in our growing portfolio,” said Leslie Moulton-Post, President and CEO of ESA. “This tenured group of new team members has the expertise and relationships to hit the ground running to best serve our clients.”