Varied Experience Delivers Something New Each Day for This Cultural Resource Specialist

Lee Terzis in her back yard
Photo courtesy of Lee Terzis in her back yard

What is your name and job title? Lee Terzis, Cultural Resource Specialist, Denver Service Center (DSC) Transportation Division.

What experience and education do you have? I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, and a Master of Arts in Anthropology from Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL. I have extensive experience in environmental compliance and historic preservation planning that for example is useful in coordinating an interdisciplinary team going through the environmental planning phase of a transportation project. I also have certifications for facilitation and conflict resolution with the U.S. Institute for Environmental Conflict Resolution (USIECR), and the Department of the Interior Office (DOI) of Collaborative Action and Dispute Resolution (CADR) that provide me with opportunities to structure productive meetings for various bureaus within the DOI. Lastly, I am a professional archeologist and a member of the Register of Professional Archeologists.

What is a typical day like? While each day and project are unique, they commonly share intensive coordination and consensus building among interdisciplinary team members to work through the planning/pre-construction phase. As a CADR facilitator, I help groups in DOI to identify and work toward achieving their goals to support the agency's mission.

What career advice would you give to someone who wants to follow a similar path? Be mindful of linear thinking about your "career." Stepping off “the path” occasionally keeps things fresh and allows you to learn new things and to better adapt to different situations. I’ve also found that a sense of humor has helped me push through a stressful situation and better manage the tasks at hand.

What is one of the bigger projects you are working on and what about that project might surprise people? I am currently working on numerous projects in DSC’s Transportation and Planning Divisions. The common denominator is the degree of dedication, professionalism and collegiality exhibited by my DSC colleagues, which makes the work more interesting and successful.