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Alta Cunningham

I have been lucky to be in the right place at the right time with the right people in the environmental consulting field. Everything about my career has felt like, “oh, I guess I’m doing that now. Great!” Why did I major in history? Because my Greek and Roman (and later, Chinese) history professor told great stories, so I took all his classes and ended up with enough history credits. How did I start in the environmental consulting field? Because I needed a job, a friend told her boss that I was an expert in Word (ha!), so I started as a temporary employee doing word processing while going to college. I quickly became bored, so that boss moved me into editing and slyly began giving me CEQA generalist sections to write. Why did I become involved in cultural resources management? Because a coworker took me out on a survey. We had over 6,000 buildings to inventory and there weren’t enough architectural historians to go around. I had so much fun organizing the research and writing building descriptions, I finally knew how I wanted to focus my career. It meant going back to school for my master’s degree and the fact that it incorporated my history major was a lucky coincidence. Or maybe not? Now I’m the one telling the great stories.

Director of Cultural Resources
Senior Associate
Notable Projects

UC Davis 2018 Long Range Development Plan and subsequent projects

Midpen Bear Creek Redwoods Preserve Plan and EIR

CDCR San Quentin State Prison Historic District Report


MA, Historic Preservation, Savannah College of Art and Design

BS, History, UC Davis

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