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The Principals of Pacific Legacy work together as a cohesive unit. Pacific Legacy began in 1994 but our professional association extends far beyond. Pacific Legacy has grown into one of the largest and most successful cultural resource management firms in the western United States and Pacific.  Each of us brings unparalleled expertise and experience in various aspects of archaeology and cultural resource management.Together, we comprise an unsurpassed leadership team with comprehensive skills in regulatory compliance, and archaeological method and theory.

Hannah Ballard, MA, RPA
Senior Archaeologist and Bay Area Leader
President and CEO
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Hannah Ballard has worked in the CRM industry in the California and Hawaii for over 24 years. She is a co-owner of Pacific Legacy and serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer.  Over the course of her career she has managed and contributed to over 100 projects for private, local government, state, and federal clients.  Through her work, she has assisted clients in meeting their regulatory obligations under the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA), and the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). As a seasoned Principal Investigator and Senior Archaeologist, she has expertise in historical archaeology in diverse settings from small households to complicated industrial contexts. Ms. Ballard understands the unique challenges of working in complex and diverse environments on projects that may be located in rural or urban areas, on active and inactive industrial sites, along busy transportation corridors, wilderness, or private property. Ms. Ballard is passionate about creative problem solving and establishing a positive, productive work environment while meeting project and client goals. Outside of work, she coaches Odyssey of the Mind and her team has competed in World Finals the last three years. Ms. Ballard loves to explore the world locally and abroad through hiking and traveling with her family.

Paul Cleghorn, PhD
Founding Principal and Senior Archaeologist 

Paul Cleghorn has conducted archaeological investigations in Hawai`i, American Samoa, New Zealand, the Solomon Islands, Guam, and Saipan since 1973. He has held research and teaching positions at the Bishop Museum, the University of Auckland, and the University of Hawai`i at Manoa. Dr. Cleghorn is experienced in the National Historic Preservation Act Section 106 review process, and he enjoys a close and positive working relationship with the State Historic Preservation Division in Hawai`i and the Historic Preservation Offices of American Samoa, Guam, and Saipan. He is certified (40-hr HAZWOPER) to work at sites where hazardous waste/materials are an issue. He has conducted and directed all aspects of archaeological field investigations, including inventory, evaluation and treatment, site restoration, and interpretation.  Cleghorn has authored 100s of reports and has prepared a wide variety of plans to treat cultural resources.  He has extensive experience in Native Hawaiian consultation. Dr. Cleghorn has special technical expertise in lithic technology and experimental archaeology.

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Robert Jackson, MA, RPA
Founding Principal and Senior Archaeologist

Robert J. Jackson has taught courses on Federal Projects and Historic Preservation Law for agencies such as the Federal Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, the California Department of Transportation and USDA Forest Service. He served for six years in the California Department of Parks and Recreation, Office of Historic Preservation, conducting project review for all federally permitted projects in California and has more than 30 years of cultural resources management experience in California and the Great Basin. Rob Jackson is a nationally recognized expert in historic preservation regulatory compliance. From 1988-2001, he regularly taught the course Federal Projects and Historic Preservation Law for the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation and General Services Administration. He also authored the Framework for Archaeological Research and Management prepared for the National Forests of the north-central Sierra Nevada in California, a program recognized nationally by the USDA Forest Service as a model. He authored nationwide Programmatic Agreements (PA’s) for various federal agencies, and penned a nationwide PA for all agencies of the departments of Agriculture and Interior for the management of cultural resources during fire management undertakings. In recognition of his contributions, the Society for American Archaeology (SCA) presented him with the 2002 Award for Excellence in Cultural Resource Management; in 2002 was awarded with the prestigious Crystal Owl Award for Training and Development Excellence (Outstanding Individual Effort); and in 2016 the SCA again recognized him with the Thomas F. King Award for Excellence in Cultural Resources Management

John Holson, MA, RPA
Founding Principal and Senior Archaeologist

John J. Holson specializes in California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) compliance for historical preservation. With more than 30 years of cultural resources management experience in California, Oregon, Nevada, Hawai’i, and Europe, he is widely recognized for his innovative approaches in working with project stakeholders to achieve historical preservation goals and objectives within the regulatory process. John’s professional expertise includes: linear facilities project management (pipelines; highways; electrical transmission lines); management of multiple task indefinite delivery/quantity (on-call) type contracts; preparation of archaeological research designs and Historic Properties Treatment Plans; design and execution of archaeological reconnaissance, survey, test excavation, construction monitoring and data recovery projects; and California and Hawaii archaeology, ethnography and cultural resources management. He has extensive experience with public parks planning and resource studies. He is currently Principal Investigator for three projects in Yosemite Valley for NPS and two projects, Coe Park and Angel Island, in the California State Parks System.

Mara Mulrooney, PhD
Senior Archaeologist and Pacific Basin Leader
Chief Operations Officer, Pacific Region
Samantha Schell, BA
Faunal and Human Remains Analyst
Director of Business Development
Chief Operations Officer, California
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Ms. Schell received her BA in Anthropology in 1994 at the University of California, Berkeley and has worked with Pacific Legacy since 1997. Her roles have included lab director, osteologist, and archaeologist. Her laboratory experience includes coordinating archaeological technicians in the cleaning, cataloging, identification and description of artifacts; organization and upkeep of the faunal comparative collection; and administrative aspects of the lab. She has co-instructed osteology workshops at the Society of California Archaeology Annual Meetings in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.


Ms. Schell's passion for archaeology, her knowledge about the project requirements, interpersonal skills, and competitive nature make her a natural at team building and project pursuit all of which led to her role as Director of Business Development. She serves on the Caltrans District 4 Calmentor Steering Committee, has served as the Chairperson of the Legislative Committee for Society for California Archaeology since 2011, is the past President of the Board for the non-profit Oakland Elizabeth House and remains on the Advisory Committee, and she currently serves as Vice President for the non-profit Alta Heritage Foundation.  Ms. Schell received the 2019 Pat Lindstadt Award for outstanding commitment to volunteerism to Oakland Elizabeth House.

In her personal life, she is devoted to her family. She has a life long interest in politics, enjoys the wilderness surrounding the family cabin in Trinity County, and loves to cook and entertain. 

Dr. Mara Mulrooney began working in the field of Pacific Archaeology in 2001. In 2003-2004, she co-directed field projects on Hawai‘i Island while working towards her Master’s degree at the University of Auckland. In 2005, Mara began her career in cultural resources management, working at International Archaeological Research Institute, Inc. (IARII) as a GIS Specialist/Archaeologist. She returned to Auckland to work towards a Ph.D., focusing on landscape archaeology on Rapa Nui (Easter Island) and also collaborating on archaeological research projects in Hawaii and New Zealand. While living in Auckland, New Zealand, Mara taught nine undergraduate courses at the University of Auckland and also worked in CRM at Geometria Heritage Management and Archaeological Services as an archaeologist. Following completion of her Ph.D. in 2012, Mara relocated to the island of O‘ahu, where she was the Bishop Museum’s anthropologist and director of Cultural Resources. She joined Pacific Legacy’s Kailua office as a Senior Project Supervisor in 2019 and is now a Principal Investigator and the Chief Operations Officer for the Pacific Region. Mara has served as the editor of the Rapa Nui Journal since 2010. Since 2013, Mara has been an adjunct faculty staff member at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa, where she has taught Hawaiian Archaeology and facilitated internships for students. She has served as the President of the Society for Hawaiian Archaeology since 2020.

Mara has worked throughout the Hawaiian Islands and across Oceania, including Guam, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Aotearoa New Zealand, and Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Her experience has included writing, research, excavation, project management, laboratory analysis, digital geospatial analysis using GIS, remote sensing using LiDAR, and lithic sourcing using portable X-ray fluorescence.

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