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State Archaeologist

State of North Carolina
Mccullers, North Carolina
Closing date
Mar 6, 2024

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Position Type
Cultural Resource Management
Full Time
Organization Type
Salary Grade: NC17

Recruitment Range: $56,906 - $96,243

This position will be located at:

Office of State Archaeology

109 E. Jones Street

Raleigh, NC 27601

Learn about the Division: Office of State Archaeology | NC Archaeology (

Learn about employee perks/benefits:

Primary Purpose of the Position:

The State Archaeologist directs the statewide archaeology program within the Division of Historical Resources, Office of Archives and History, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The position supervises and manages professional archaeologists and technical and clerical support staff, who are engaged with designing, implementing, and coordinating projects relating to the identification, inventory, evaluation, and management of prehistoric and historic archaeological sites located on both land and in underwater settings throughout the state, as well as the curation of data and artifacts associated with these sites. The State Archaeologist and his/her staff perform environmental assessments and cultural resource planning and initiate extensive public educational and technical assistance contacts with the public and other government agencies, both state and federal. The State Archaeologist is responsible for drafting legislation and administrative procedures to protect the state's archaeological resources and represents the OSA and historic preservation office as the subject matter expert for the North Carolina Historical Commission. Duties are performed under the supervision of the Division Director and Deputy Secretary (SHPO).

Key Responsibilities:
  • Administration and Personnel Management: The State Archaeologist has considerable responsibilities for program administration and personnel management. Daily activities involve review and implementation of departmental, divisional, and sectional procedures and policies on budgets and other operations. Meetings and communications with division and department supervisors and external agencies are frequent. Formal agreements with other agencies must be followed. Those are legal documents that define the respective responsibilities of the OSA and HPO, agencies, landowners, developers, and other interested parties, under state and/or federal laws, including the Coastal Area Management Act, National Historic Preservation Act, Federal Highways Act, and many others. Programmatic agreements exist with the Federal Highway Administration, NC Department of Transportation, Department of the Army, United States Marine Corps, US Army Corps of Engineers, US Forest Service, US Natural Resource Conservation Service, and other agencies. Frequently written or verbal reports on OSA operations and accomplishments are made to supervisors. Personnel management activities for OSA staff members involve implementation of the state's NCVIP system. Work plans are prepared in consultation with staff members, and their individual performance is frequently monitored and evaluated according to the requirements of NCVIP. Assigned work duties vary, based on program needs and individual skills and abilities, and range from clerical and technical staff tasking to professional archaeology work in prehistoric, historic, and underwater archaeology. Work assignments involve regional (mountains, piedmont, tidewater, coastal, etc.) and subdiscipline specialties (prehistoric or historic archaeology, maritime archaeology, laboratory processing, conservation, and records management) and are made by the State Archaeologist to reflect changing program needs and available resources.
  • Program Planning and Implementation: The State Archaeologist is responsible for defining and implementing both long and short-term program goals for OSA. Long-term goals include assisting the American Indian Heritage Commission, African American Heritage Commission, and non-profit organizations for archaeological and cultural resource planning and protection, strengthening OSA ties to land conservation and development planning groups. Short-term goals include building and enhancing OSA program areas of archaeological resource protection, meeting technical assistance needs for the public and for other government agencies, management of records and artifact collections, public education and outreach, diversity and inclusion, and other areas noted in this position description. The State Archaeologist consults with staff members on the definition of program goals, and determines priorities for accomplishing them, based on available resources. They are personally responsible for directing and evaluating personal and staff performance.
  • Legal and Regulatory Activities: The State Archaeologist receives and processes applications, and issues legal permits-using the signature authority of the Secretary of Natural and Cultural Resources-for archaeological investigations on state-owned or state-controlled public lands, and for explorations and recovery of historic shipwrecks and other underwater sites in all public navigable waters. These duties are primarily performed in accordance with GS 70, Art. 3 and GS 121, Art. 3. In addition, the State Archaeologist is directly responsible for the investigation and protection of human skeletal remains and burial sites, discovered accidentally or during archaeological investigations on private or non-federal public lands in North Carolina. Under GS 70, Art. 3, the State Archaeologist coordinates with and advises medical examiners, law enforcement agencies, and other interested parties as to the proper avoidance, recovery, treatment, and disposition of human skeletal remains. They are involved with the NC Commission of Indian Affairs, through its executive director, in cases involving American Indian skeletal remains. He or she prepares and reviews contracts and other formal agreements among landowners, archaeologists, physical anthropologists and American Indian tribes or groups for the proper treatment and disposition of such remains. The State Archaeologist also enjoys a similar advisory role with federal agencies and federally recognized Indian Tribes (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Catawba, etc.), under provisions of Public Law 101-601 - the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act.
  • Environmental Review: The State Archaeologist supervises and participates directly in SHPO environmental review operations. As a program manager, they are responsible for directing the actions of staff members in a) reviewing project plans, b) preparing formal comment letters, c) providing consultative and technical assistance to government agencies and the public, and d) maintaining comprehensive records of review activities. The State Archaeologist ensures that OSA review actions are consistent with a wide variety of state and federal laws and regulations and meet both internal and external schedules. Environmental review involves both terrestrial and maritime archaeological resources and requires a thorough working knowledge of both terrestrial survey and archaeological methodology and marine survey, remote-sensing, and underwater operations. The State Archaeologist acts as liaison to the SHPO and their deputy, and specifically represents the statewide interests of archaeology and archaeologists in review matters. They provide comments directly on complex or controversial projects, review program and policy documents for the SHPO and other agencies and assist agencies with preparation of formal agreement documents. The State Archaeologist conducts on-site consultations and frequently attends meetings to resolve issues of archaeological site impacts and development of mitigation alternatives. Participation on regional or national preservation organization committees and panels is frequently required.
  • Public Education and Publications: The State Archaeologist makes frequent public appearances, in the form of lectures, demonstrations, media interviews and panel discussions. Public requests for information on North Carolina and regional archaeology topics must be met or assigned to knowledgeable staff members. He or she also prepares and/or edits news releases, popular and professional newsletter and journal articles, reviews books, and serves on student thesis or dissertation review committees. Telephone, radio, television, and online media interviews are frequent and employed by OSA to share knowledge of archaeological sites, events, and educational resources in North Carolina.
  • Field and Laboratory Archaeology: Occasional fieldwork is involved, particularly in situations involving evaluations of threatened archaeological sites. The State Archaeologist may direct or participate in archaeological surveys or excavations, perform detailed site mapping, or monitor field operations by staff, contractors, or other agency personnel. Emergency operations for the identification, protection or recovery of human burial sites are common, and require rapid responses and close coordination with landowners, law enforcement, medical examiners, and other interested parties. Most fieldwork is of short duration, but typically includes extensive, overnight travel. Work includes both land and maritime sites and may necessitate engaging in on-water and boating operations and scientific SCUBA diving operations. The State Archaeologist directs and manages staff and public volunteers engaged in processing, analysis, conservation, and storage of archaeological remains from sites throughout North Carolina. Associated tasks are managed by OSA staff, but the State Archaeologist bears ultimate responsibility for the proper care and handling of the state's artifact collections and associated records. Acquisitions and loans of state-controlled collections and records are approved by the State Archaeologist, acting on behalf of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
  • Computer Operations: The State Archaeologist oversees OSA computer operations, including database management, web page maintenance, email correspondence and general word processing and file maintenance. Archaeological site data inventories, environmental review project tracking, report bibliographies, and artifact collections are all maintained in digital database formats. OSA staff members are made responsible for different computer applications, depending on their assigned program areas. The State Archaeologist supervises their performance and directs development of office-wide system needs for networking, developing Geographic Information Systems, and approves purchases of new hardware and software.
  • Office, Laboratory and Field Equipment Management: The State Archaeologist reviews and approves purchase requests and other demonstrated needs for equipment, furniture and supplies for different OSA program operations. Staff members submit requests for new materials or repairs (using the computerized state "E-procurement" purchasing system), which may be approved, depending on available funds and OSA priorities. Loans of OSA equipment to other agencies are subject to approval by the State Archaeologist. Annual inventories of equipment and furniture are prepared under their supervision.
  • Working experience with computer applications (word processing, spreadsheets, data base management, electronic mail systems and Web pages). Proficiency with microcomputer operating systems, software and hardware is essential. Advanced word-processing and spreadsheet skills are needed.

Division Description:

The Division of Historical Resources within the Office of Archives and History is home to four programs, including the Office of State Archaeology; the Highway Historical Marker Program; The Historic Preservation Office; and Historical Publications. The work of these programs is diverse from marking historic places with highway historical markers to helping drive economic growth by aiding the rehabilitation of historic buildings to aiding constituents with preserving archaeological sites.

Section/Branch/Site Description:

The Office of State Archaeology coordinates and implements a statewide program of prehistoric, historic, and underwater archaeology. The OSA is part of the North Carolina Office of Archives and History, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. The OSA serves as the professional archaeology staff for the State Historic Preservation Office and the NC Historical Commission. Legal and professional responsibilities include archaeological resource protection, data inventory, collections and records management, public education, environmental review, grants administration, and technical assistance to the public and other government agencies.

Department Information:

The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) takes care of the things that people love about North Carolina, literally from A to Z. The Arts to the Zoo, and so much else - parks, aquariums, historic sites, archaeology, African American Heritage Commission, science and history museums, the state Symphony, Library and Archives, historic preservation, land and water stewardship, and more. These places, and the ideas they represent, create a shared identity among us as North Carolinians. They provide common ground. Everyone is welcome. Our goal is to promote equity and inclusion among our employees and our programming to reflect and celebrate our state's diverse population, culture, and history. We encourage you to apply to become a part of our team.

Check out this amazing video about DNCR: The Best of North Carolina

To receive credit for your work history and credentials, you must provide the information on the application form. Any information omitted from the application form, listed as general statements, listed under the text resume section, or on an attachment will not be considered for qualifying credit. In order to qualify for this position, you must meet ALL the following KSA's listed below:

Qualified candidates must have or be able to:
  • Demonstrated supervisory experience with professional and technical staff, field work, office, and laboratory operations (including planning and directing subordinate personnel engaged in archaeological research, inventory, assessment, management of archaeological sites located both on land and in underwater settings, and curation of archaeological data and artifacts).
  • Demonstrated experience with budget preparation and operations, purchasing and contracts.
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with, establish, and maintain an effective working relationship with management, other professional archaeologists, constituents, stakeholders, other governmental agency representatives, Native American tribal representatives, and agency personnel diplomatically and effectively with strong written and oral presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated experience with archaeological method and theory, regional and state archaeology, history, and pre-history, archaeological project design and implementation, and designing, implementing and supervising field and laboratory projects.
  • Demonstrated experience in reviewing and comprehending policy and planning documents on OSA goals and operations, applying extensive knowledge of North Carolina archaeology and history to specific decision-making situations.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of OSA and HPO regulatory compliance review procedures, state and federal laws and regulations, formal and informal agreements between agencies, and regional archaeology, history and prehistory.
  • Demonstrated experience with management of records and artifact collections, and personal involvement with public archaeology programs at both local and statewide levels, state and national archaeological resource protection laws, regulations, and procedures.
  • Demonstrated experience with public archaeology education and outreach, including excellent verbal and written communication skills for public presentations, manuscripts, and on-line media.
  • Demonstrated experience with remote-sensing and positioning systems (GPS) and mapping programs (GIS) for capture and analysis of archaeological site data.

Management Preferences:
  • Demonstrated experience in writing, editing, budgeting, and managing grants and grant projects.
  • Meets the Secretary of Interior's professional qualifications as a professional in both prehistoric and historic archaeology.
  • Demonstrated experience interacting across all levels with federal/state agencies, federal/state recognized tribes, academic institutions, public/private organizations.
  • Working knowledge of NAGPRA laws and regulations.

Physical Requirements:
  • Must be able to lift 50 pounds with or without reasonable accommodation.
  • Must be able to participate in archaeological field investigations, which includes kneeling, climbing, and walking on uneven surfaces and terrain.
  • Must be able to work in unfavorable weather conditions including exposure to heat/cold, direct sun, noise, dust, animals, insects, freshwater, and saltwater environment.

Master's degree or higher in North American archaeology, anthropology, or closely related field from an appropriately accredited institution and eight years of progressively related experience of which six must include supervisory experience.The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (DNCR) selects applicants for employment based on required education and experience and job-related knowledge, skills, and abilities without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, sex, pregnancy, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age (40 or older), disability, National Guard or veteran status, genetic information, political affiliation, or political influence.

Please be sure to complete the application in full. Resumes may be uploaded with your application but will not be accepted in lieu of a fully completed application and will not be considered for qualifying credit. "See Resume" or "See Attachment" will NOT be accepted.

Information should be provided in the appropriate areas, to include the following: Education, including high school and all degrees obtained, Work Experience, and Certificates & Licenses. It is critical to our screening and salary determination process that applications contain comprehensive candidate information.

Answers to Supplemental Questions are not a substitute for providing all relevant information within the body of your application. To receive credit for the supplemental questions, you must provide supporting information within the "Work Experience" section of the application, to support your answers.

Degrees must be received from appropriately accredited institutions. Transcripts and degree evaluations may be uploaded with your application.

To obtain veterans preference, you must scan and upload a copy of your DD-214 or discharge orders.

Applicants requesting and receiving an accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are eligible to submit paper applications via mail or by fax. Please call the human resources office for assistance.

If multiple applications are submitted to an individual posting, only the most recent application received prior to the closing date will be accepted. Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM on the closing date.

Due to the volume of applications received, we are unable to provide information regarding the status of your application over the phone. To check the status of your application, please log in to your account. Upon the closing date, applications are "Under Review" and will be screened by Human Resources for the qualified applicants. The hiring process may take an average of 6 -8 weeks.

It is the policy of the State of North Carolina and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources that all employees provide proof of employment eligibility (immigration and naturalization) on the first day of employment. We participate in E-Verify (Employment Eligibility Verification System).


N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

Division of Human Resources

Phone: 919-814-6670

Technical issues submitting your application, please call the NeoGov Help Line at 855-524-5627.

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