This is just one of many cool careers at PGE.Mini Sharma-Ogle is our first professional archaeologist and has been with PGE for less than a year, but she’s already been traveling the state. In particular, she’s visited our River Mill and T.W. Sullivan projects, where seismic retrofitting is taking place.
She has also visited the tribes PGE works with, starting with Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs.
Her job is to preserve the historic integrity and manage cultural resources of a site, while strengthening the relationships with various stakeholders surrounding those resources.
“If we disturb the ground, we need to consider the effects of our actions on our historic resources,” Mini explains. “Cultural resources include any material that tells us the story of the past as it relates to human activity. These can range from old buildings and barns to stone tools, baskets, consumed fish bones, cans, or even glass insulators!”
Why do we do this? It’s more than just that federal, state and local laws mandate the protection of cultural resources. We takes pride in our collective heritage and want to be good stewards of Oregon and our shared history.
“We see what people created and left behind,” she says. “PGE field crews know if we find a cultural resource in the ground, we pause working.”
But there is more to being a good steward of the land. Sharma-Ogle says PGE is working to be proactive.
As part of her duties, Mini is developing a Cultural Resources Protection Plan. While PGE has an online training program for explaining the protocol to follow if an employee sees cultural resources in the field, Sharma-Ogle hopes to do more in-person training with employees whose daily tasks could impact cultural resources, be it a lineman or a design engineer.
“We want to be using the best practices in the utilities sector,” she says. “It shows that the company is not just interested in natural resources, but also cultural resources.”
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