Meet the Spindrift Team


Arleen Garcia-Herbst

Owner/Project Manager, Principal Archaeologist & QC Officer

Ms. Arleen Garcia-Herbst serves as the Owner/Project Manager & Principal Archaeologist for Spindrift Archaeological Consulting, responsible for cultural resources services required for compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)and California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). She is a Registered Professional Archaeologist (No. 15860) with more than 12 years of cultural and natural resources management experience. She exceeds the Secretary of the Interior’s Professional Qualifications Standards for prehistoric and historical archaeologist. She received her B.A. from the University of Arizona (1996), and completed her M.A. at the University of California, Santa Barbara (2000). She is advanced to candidacy (C.Phil., 2006) and working on completing her Ph.D. thesis at UCSB. Her technical areas of expertise include Section 106 compliance and consultation, cultural resources law, preparation of agency agreement documents (Programmatic Agreements and Memoranda of Agreement), prehistoric and historical archaeology, lithic debitage analysis, and raw material sourcing (list of publications). She is well versed in impact assessment and development of mitigation measures for CEQA and Section 106 projects.


Trisha Drennan

Senior Archaeologist, Cultural Resource Manager

Ms. Trisha Drennan joined Spindrift in 2017 as the Senior Archaeologist/Cultural Resource Manager. She has been working in the field of archaeology for 18 years and is a highly diverse cultural resources project manager. For the last thirteen years, her focus has been conducting and managing both terrestrial and maritime projects that involve federal, state and local protection of cultural resources in California and Hawai'i. These projects have included the Department of Defense, the U.S. Forest Service, the Department of Transportation, the Federal Communications Commission, the City of Carlsbad, as well as numerous commercial clients. Her experience in cultural resource management encompasses all phases of archaeological fieldwork, including archaeological surveys, site significance and evaluation testing, data recovery mitigation and burial treatment plans, and archaeological monitoring projects.


Kristi Miniello

Consulting Architectural Historian

Kristi Miniello, owner of Miniello Consulting since 2014, is from a small town in Indiana and has partnered with Spindrift as our Consulting Architectural Historian. She has always had an interest in historic buildings and sites. Following completion of her undergraduate degree in interior design, she earned her Master of Science degree in Historic Preservation from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. She has over 12 years of experience in the field of historic preservation working for state and local governments, as well as the private sector. Her responsibilities have included managing the Federal Historic Tax Incentives Program at the state level, writing National Register nominations, conducting Section 106 reviews, and engaging with the public and community members on various preservation-related matters. For over five years she also supervised National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews involving Federal Highway Administration-funded projects. Kristi worked for the City and County of Denver as an Associate City Planner where she oversaw all aspects of NEPA reviews for HUD-funded projects throughout the City and County of Denver. She meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Qualified Professionals in Architectural History.


N. Scott Rugh

Principal Paleontologist

Mr. N. Scott Rugh joined Spindrift in 2016 as Principal Paleontologist and has more than 30 years of study of modern and fossil North American Marine invertebrates. He has extensive field experience and comprehensive knowledge of southern California Cenozoic marine invertebrate fossils (especially Miocene, Pliocene and Pleistocene), as well as strong background in modern and fossil freshwater and land species. His years of fossil identification experience includes 13 ½ years at San Diego Natural History Museum as collection manager of invertebrate fossils, as well as work on contracts with southern California paleontology consulting companies, and ongoing fossil identification and analysis for the USGS hydrology study in San Diego in a major ongoing team research project. At the Stout Research Center at Anza Borrego State Park, he identified the Susan M. Kidwell collection collected by Dr Kidwell and her students in the Imperial Formation of southern California, and researched and published by her at the University of Chicago. The collection remains at the Stout Research Center. Mr. Rugh also identified all of the historical invertebrate fossil collections also housed in the research center’s collections.

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