THE STAFF

Tria Belcourt, M.A. RPA

President and Principal

Tria is a qualified environmental project manager and Registered Professional Archaeologist, with seventeen years of CEQA/NEPA planning experience in the consulting industry. Tria meets the Secretary of the Interior Professional Standards for Archaeology. She maintains solid professional relationships with major proponents in the utility and transportation sectors, and with state and federal regulators and environmental oversight consultants.

Sector experience includes: in-depth expertise with California publicly regulated utilities, renewable energy generators, transportation (rail, road and air), and private development. She's managed large-scale capital projects at all phases - from concept stage, planning, execution, habitat restoration, all the way to closeout. She's also managed several statewide operations and maintenance programs (and hundreds of task orders) for major utilities and Department of Defense programs. 

 

Tria started Material Culture Consulting to provide practical, cost effective, and legal solutions to cultural resource management, and to create a really fun and positive work environment for all employees. And on a personal level, she wanted to set an example for her children - that life is too short to not follow your dreams, and that hard work really does pay off!

 

Sonia Sifuente, M.Sc., RPA

RPA Senior Archaeologist / Paleontologist

Sonia has over twelve years of experience conducting archaeological and paleontological investigations and monitoring in Southern California and Nevada particularly within the Mojave Desert and the southwestern extent of the Great Basin. She has experience with monitoring, salvage, fieldwork, NAHC correspondence and Tribal outreach, record searches, and report writing. Sonia is currently listed on MCC’s Statewide (CA and NV) BLM CRUPs and is also identified as a Field Director on several ARPA permits for ongoing work on federal lands such as National Parks and National Forests. She has successfully managed several large-scale and multi-year archaeological and paleontological projects, including surveys, excavations, background research, and California Register of Historical Resources/National Register of Historic Places evaluation of historic and prehistoric resources.

Sonia enjoys spending her free time baking, exploring new places, playing board games and RPGs, and spending time with her husband and dog. 

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Judy Cardoza

Archaeologist / Cross-trained Paleontologist / GIS Specialist

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Judy is a seasoned Archaeologist and cross-trained Paleontologist with over nine years of professional experience in cultural resource management (CRM) throughout California. She has worked on projects subject to Federal, State, and local government regulations across southern and eastern California. Judy has served as a crew member, supervisor, and data manager for small and large scale archaeological and paleontological surveys and monitoring, as well as Phase-II testing and Phase-III data recovery investigations. She has facilitated Native American outreach efforts, CHRIS records searches, and contributed to writing technical reports and California State Department of Parks and Recreation 523 Series forms.

 

Judy looks forward to reconstructing the past as it forms new stories of the place she's always called home. She also loves taking her spunky pair of dogs on social outings, hitting the beaches she grew up around, and discovering new challenging hiking trips.

 

Julia Carvajal, M.A.

Archaeologist / GIS Specialist

Julia is an Archaeologist and GIS-trained Specialist with over nine years of professional experience in cultural resource management (CRM) throughout California. She has served in various capacities for projects involving both prehistoric and historic cultural resources, participated in small- and large-scale archaeological surveys, as well as Phase-II testing and Phase-III data recovery investigations and archaeological monitoring throughout California and the United States. Her pre-field research experience includes record searches at various information centers in California, as well as Native American correspondence and information gathering. In addition, Julia provides assistance to MCC as a GIS Specialist. Her archaeological experience has been a benefit to understanding GIS principles and its uses in the field of archaeology.


Julia enjoys hikes with her dog, Willy Nelson, and long distance running. She also enjoys expanding her knowledge about paleoethnobotany and tending to her native plant garden. She takes pleasure participating in and putting together public archaeology demonstrations and talks for students and the general public.

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Philip J. Jaramillo

Environmental Analyst

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Philip is a highly skilled and creative professional with extensive experience in account management, client service, and operational excellence. His ability to efficiently communicate and collaborate with cross-functional teams and manage crucial conversations with staff, management, customers, and vendors of all backgrounds is outstanding. Philip maintains expert skill in quality control and project management, with emphasis on the completion of complex projects within strict time and budgetary constraints. His experience and success in completing many large backlogged projects saving valuable man hours show how valuable his knowledge and expertise is. Not only is Philip extremely organized, his capacity to coordinate with other consultants on the distribution of work and responsiveness, tracking program efficiency, and previously managing consulting analysts shows his arsenal of professional talents. He is extremely resourceful and adept in taking on challenging tasks and situations. Philip is thoroughly knowledgeable and accomplished with his expert skillset ranging from specialized technical operations to interpersonal skills.

Aside from his personal career, Phil enjoys spending time with his three beautiful children and can often be found on the golf course most weekends.  He also enjoys cooking, baking and acrylic painting.

Cherish Daines

Environmental Analyst

Cherish is a program/project analyst with fifteen years of experience in the environmental consulting industry. She began her career as a planner, conducting program coordination for remediation work and assisting in the research and report preparation for various CEQA/NEPA projects. For the last thirteen years, Cherish has provided in-house and now off-site environmental compliance support for the Environmental Services Department at Southern California Edison (SCE). Administrative and operational support is provided for various Operations and Maintenance Projects/Programs (O&M) such as Deteriorated Poles, Pole Loading Program (PLP), Covered Conductor, GO131-D, and Commodities (non-pole structure) Maintenance and Upgrades. The work is critical to sustain environmental clearance target cycle times to meet design and construction schedules set forth by SCE or federal/state specifications.


Cherish is a SoCal gal at heart, but recently relocated to Tampa at the end of 2020. She can often be found chasing after her two rambunctious sons (soon to add a third!) and their two rescue pups. Other hobbies include cooking (NOT baking), watching Asian dramas, beach volleyball, anything outdoors (with animals a plus!), and coaching lacrosse.

 

Erika McMullin

Archaeologist / GIS Technician

Erika McMullin is an archaeologist and GIS-trained specialist with over three years of archaeological experience. She has worked on projects subject to Federal, State, and local government regulations within California. Erika has experience in monitoring, survey, site recording, fieldwork, NAHC correspondence, Tribal outreach and excavation efforts as a crew member both internationally and in California. She also has experience being a field director on private land and a crew chief in National Forest land. She is trained in bioarchaeological techniques including identifying and exhuming human remains. In addition to field work, Erika has performed laboratory analysis of human remains on a Maya population in Belize and conducted biological profiles for previously undetermined individuals with varying ancestries. Erika has also conducted laboratory analysis on prehistoric artifacts from the Mojave Desert and southwestern extent of the Great Basin. Her duties

at MCC include California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS) record searches, Native American correspondence and outreach, background research, report writing, curation, lab work, and recordation of evaluation of prehistoric and historic resources.

 

In her free time, Erika enjoys tending to her garden and extensive house plant collection. She loves playing with her dogs and cuddling her cat. She also enjoys working on her photography, painting, and kombucha brewing skills.

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Brian Waldo

Archaeologist / GIS Technician

Brian Waldo is an archaeologist with over three years of academic research and field experience and two years of professional experience in cultural resource management (CRM) throughout California. He has participated in monitoring, survey, and excavation efforts as a crew member both internationally and in California. Brian has experience with gathering and maintaining field data with Android tablets using Collector and Juniper Geode submeter receivers. In addition to field work, Brian has conducted laboratory analysis of artifacts and faunal remains from California’s coastal region. His pre-field research experience includes California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS) record searches along with Native American correspondence and outreach.

In his spare time, Brian enjoys continuing specialized research in cave archaeology focusing on reconstructing ancient Maya ritual practices by examining artifacts from within the cave that are one thousand years old. Outside of research, he enjoys many outdoor activities including recreational off-roading, boating, and drifting.

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Escee Lopez

Senior Archaeologist

Escee Lopez is a seasoned archaeologist with over eight years of professional experience in cultural resource management (CRM) throughout California. She has served as a crew member, a field director, and data manager for small and large scale archaeological surveys and monitoring, as well as participating in Phase-II testing and Phase-III data recovery investigations. Escee has facilitated Native American outreach efforts, CHRIS records searches, and contributed to writing technical reports and California State Department of Parks and Recreation 523 Series forms.

 

Nature is Escee’s therapist; dogs are her confidantes. Escee has an adventurous spirit and palate. She loves to learn about other cultures and taste their food. She enjoys visiting, exploring, and working in different places and environments.

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Carmell Dennis

Archaeologist

Carmell Dennis Jr. is an extremely driven archaeologist with over three years of professional experience in cultural resource management (CRM) throughout California and the Midwest. He has participated as a crew member and a crew lead for projects involving both prehistoric and historic cultural resources.

Carmell has participated in small- and large-scale archaeological survey and monitoring projects as well as Phase-II testing and Phase-III data recovery investigations throughout California and the United States. Additionally, he has contributed to writing technical reports and dozens of California State Department of Parks and Recreations 523 series forms. Carmell's areas of expertise include hands on field experience with TerraSync and ArcPad, using Survey-level Trimble units, Garmins, ESRI Collector and ArcGIS, writing field reports, collection and documentation of artifacts, data collection and analysis, applied research, and photo documentation of fieldwork and cultural resources.

 

When Carmell is not out in the field, he spends his time working out and traveling across the country with his girlfriend and friends.

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Zachary White

Archaeologist

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Zachary White is an archaeologist with over two years of academic research and field experience and one year of professional experience in cultural resource management (CRM) throughout California. He has worked on projects subject to Federal, State, and local government regulations within California and has participated as a crew member in monitoring, survey, and excavation efforts throughout California. Zachary has served in various capacities for projects involving both prehistoric and historic cultural resources, has participated in small- and large-scale archaeological surveys, as well as assisted in Phase-II testing and Phase-III data recovery investigations and archaeological monitoring throughout California. His pre-field research experience includes California Historical Resources Information System (CHRIS) record searches and Native American correspondence and outreach.

 

Originally from the Midwest, Zac loves to explore mountain ranges, to work on his jeeps, and to take off-road drives. He is a big fan of football, especially the LA Rams. Zac has a particular interest in history and early California history, and he plans to obtain a master’s degree in applied archaeology.

 

Gisele Bitar

Director of Office Operations

As the Director of Office Operations, Gisele is an important part of MCC's management staff. She is responsible for all billing and bookkeeping as well as overseeing the administrative side of the company. She manages the work orders and invoicing schedule of our growing client base and with the help of the other members of MCC's management staff, supports our field crews by ensuring that the office is fully stocked and running smoothly. She has experience with writing, social media marketing/advertising, and knowledge of the Adobe Creative Suite programs. Gisele graduated cum laude from Loyola Marymount University in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in political science and has been a member of the MCC team since 2018.

 

Gisele is passionate about traveling, cooking, soccer, and social justice/human rights. When she's not at work you can find her reading a good book, cooking for her family at home, or playing soccer with friends. 

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Erin Reeves

Administrative Assistant

Erin is an innovative, resourceful program coordinator and administrative professional with over ten years of experience in training, education, project coordination, and general office administration. She joined the MCC team in November 2020 to oversee the MCC truck fleet and to coordinate travel arrangements for the field crews. In addition, she helps on the administrative side, managing employee expenses with attention to detail and organization.

 

Erin is passionate about nature, music, and fiber arts. She finds rest and relaxation while in more remote beach and mountain areas and while she listens to local musicians perform live. Her true passion and zen is spinning yarn and creating knitted items for herself and those she loves.

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