CCHAG Founders


Laurie W. Rush, Ph.D., RPA, FAAR is an anthropologist and archaeologist who for the past 16 years has managed the Cultural Resources program at Fort Drum, NY, and since 2006 has directed the ‘In Theater Heritage Training for Deploying Personnel’ project for the DoD Legacy Resource Management Program, which falls within the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment.

Dr. Rush received a B.A. summa cum laude from Indiana University at Bloomington and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Northwestern University, where she also served as a fellow of the University and of the National Science Foundation.

In 1983, Dr. Rush moved to northern New York State, where she set up the archaeology curation facility at Fort Drum from 1992 to 1994, which evolved into the Fort Drum Cultural Resources program.

Teams working with Dr. Rush have discovered more than 150 Native American archeological sites on Fort Drum including one dating back more than 10,000 years and another documenting earliest French contact in the region.

Her research on the possibility for paleo-maritime culture in the Great Lakes has been recognized by eminent archaeologists as having potential for better understanding of the peopling of the Americas. As part of her Fort Drum responsibilities Dr. Rush also established consultation partnerships between the installation and three Haudenosaunee Nations, the Oneida Indian Nation, the Onondaga Nation, and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

Dr. Rush is the Booth Family Rome Prize winner for 2010-2011 in Historic Preservation at the American Academy in Rome. She has received numerous military and collegial awards including the 2007 Chairman’s Award for Federal Achievement in Historic Preservation and the 2009 Register of Professional Archaeologists Distinguished Service to the Field. Along with Dr. James Zeidler and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) at Colorado State University, Dr. Rush and her team at Fort Drum received the 2008 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Best Cultural Resources Management, Team, presented at the Pentagon on June 3, 2009. Dr. Rush also recently served on the American Anthropology Association Ad Hoc Commission on the Ethics of Engaging with the Security and Intelligence Communities.

At the request of Major General Oates and the U.S. State Department, Dr. Rush served as the military liaison for the return of the Mesopotamian City of Ur to the Iraqi People in the spring of 2009. She also represented U.S. Central Command and shared the podium with the Director General of Afghan Heritage, Mr Abdul Wasey Ferauzi, at an Environmental Shura in Kabul, Afghanistan, in February 2010.

Dr. Rush has been recognized by her peers with the Register of Professional Archaeologists Special Achievement Award and with the Chairman’s Award for Federal Achievement in Historic Preservation.

Along with Dr. James A. Zeidler, Dr. Rush also received the 2008 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Best Cultural Resources Management Team/Individual.

As Director of the In Theater Heritage Training Program for Deploying Personnel, Dr. Rush has helped to establish a partnership between the Archaeology Institute of America and the Department of Defense. This project, funded by the DoD Legacy Resource Management Program and implemented in cooperation with Colorado State University, is responsible for the production of archaeology awareness playing cards for Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and biennial Exercise Bright Star in Egypt. Additional projects inclue soldier pocket cards in multiple languages; replica archaeological sites for military training purposes; educational presentations for military personnel; and archaeology construction checklists.

Dr. Rush is now working toward improved archaeology mapping for military planning and military guidelines for stability operations in archaeologically sensitive areas.

In addition to her many published works, Dr. Rush has also served as editor of volume three in the “Heritage Matters” series, titled Archaeology, Cultural Property, and the Military (Boydell and Brewer, 2010).

Click to sample the book Archaeology, Cultural Property, and the Military, edited by CCHAG co-founder Laurie Rush (Boydell & Brewer, 2010).


Dr. Rush has presented and participated at many international conferences and professional gatherings: most recently (top photo) at “Saving Cultural Heritage in Crisis Areas” conference at the American Academy in Rome (November 4-5, 2011) and (above) the Pilot Course on Cultural Property Protection, conducted by NATO Allied Command Transformation (ACT), the International Military Cultural Resources Working Group (IMCURWG) and the Austrian National Defense Academy (NDA) in Vienna (November 29-December 2, 2011).


james_zeidler_151_103James A. Zeidler, Ph.D., RPA is Associate Director for Cultural Resources and a Senior Research Scientist at the Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands (CEMML) in the Warner College of Natural Resources, Colorado State University, at Fort Collins, Colorado. A Registered Professional Archaeologist, Dr. Zeidler also holds adjunct faculty appointments in the CSU Departments of Anthropology and Forestry/Range/Watershed Sciences and also participates in the Environmental Management of Military Lands Program at CEMML. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Illinois at Champaign, worked for seven years with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, ERDC-CERL (1992-1997) at Champaign, IL and has more than 35 years of experience as a practicing archaeologist in North and South America, with particular emphasis on the archaeology of Ecuador.

Dr. Zeidler has also been involved in Federal cultural resource management since 1992, with recent emphasis on global Cultural Property Protection issues. As Associate Director for Cultural Resources at CEMML, Dr. Zeidler works with more than 200 full-time biologists, Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) specialists, and resource managers on campus and at military installations across the United States, including Hawaii and Alaska, as well as Germany.

At CEMML, he leads a team of environmental professionals experienced in the conservation and sustainable management of natural and cultural resources on Department of Defense lands and provides various technical services to support the military’s defense mission.

Dr. Zeidler speaks at many national and international conferences devoted to archaeology and CPP (see the October 2013 symposium in Ecuador pictured here) and has authored or co-authored many journal articles on these and related subjects.

In collaboration with Laurie Rush, Dr. Zeidler has conceived and managed the delivery of innovative CPP products and service offerings funded by DoD Legacy Resource Management Program, including: Heritage Resource Preservation Playing Cards for Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt; soldier pocket cards in multiple languages; CPP Reach Back Support for USCENTCOM personnel serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and Egypt; CPP Country Profiles for USPACOM, and outreach and support materials designed for military audiences.

Along with Dr. Laurie Rush and her team at Fort Drum, Dr. Zeidler and his colleagues at CEMML received the 2008 Secretary of Defense Environmental Award for Best Cultural Resources Management, Team, presented at the Pentagon on June 3, 2009.

Most recently, Dr. Zeidler has been chosen as editor (with Dr. Joris D. Kila) of the new book series Heritage and Identity: Issues in Cultural Heritage Protection (Brill, 2012).


The Advisory Council on Historic Preservation Award Ceremony, held on November 7, 2007, Washington, DC. Left to right: ACHP Chairman John L. Nau, III; Dr. Laurie Rush, Cultural Resources Program Manager, Fort Drum, NY; Mr. Philip Grone, DoD Under Secretary of Defense for Installations and Environment; Mr. James W. Corriveau, Public Works Director, Fort Drum, NY; Mr. Addison Davis, Assistant Secretary of the Army; and Dr. James A. Zeidler, Associate Director for Cultural Resources, CEMML, Colorado State University.

Click to sample the book Cultural Heritage in the Crosshairs: Protecting Cultural Property During Conflict, edited by Joris D. Kila and James A. Zeidler (Brill, 2013).


Serena G. Bellew is a Deputy Federal Preservation Officer in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Installations & Environment).