About ICF

Benjamin Vargas

Benjamin Vargas – Principal Investigator and Senior Manager, Cultural Resources
Benjamin is a principal investigator and senior manager of cultural resources with over 30 years of experience working on various types of cultural resources projects in both environmental consulting and academic settings.

Benjamin is a principal investigator and senior manager of cultural resources. He has over 30 years of experience conducting cultural resources studies throughout California, the southwestern U.S., and Northern Ireland. In that time, he worked on a variety of projects with federal and state agencies and clients in the private sector. Benjamin’s professional experience includes all phases of cultural resources investigations, Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, California Environmental Quality Act regulatory compliance, Native American consultation, and project management. He specializes in the management of large-scale data recovery projects. 


Benjamin meets the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Professional Archaeologists. He is a Registered Professional Archaeologist (RPA) and holds a California statewide Bureau of Land Management Cultural Resources Permit as a Principal Investigator.

Benjamin uses his decades of experience and knowledge of construction methods and regulatory issues, as well as experience working with various stakeholders, to guide the successful management of projects. His research interests include Contact-era archaeology and the interactions between Native American groups and Missionaries and colonists.

Areas of expertise
  • M.A., Anthropology (emphasis Archaeology), California State University, Long Beach
  • B.A., Anthropology, California State University, Fullerton
  • Registered Professional Archaeologist, No. 15733
  • Certified Archaeologist, Orange County
  • Certified Cultural Resources Consultant, Riverside County, No. 330
  • ICF California BLM Cultural Resources Use Permit, Principal Investigator
  • Nevada Antiquities Permit, Person in Charge
  • “‘A Mourning Dirge was Sung’: Community and Remembrance at Mission San Gabriel,” Society for American Archaeology, 2018.
  • “Forging Communities in Colonial Alta California,” University of Arizona Press, 2018.
  • “Two Unusual Fish Vertebra Artifacts from CA-LAN-62, Locus A: Possible Ring-and-Pin Targets,” Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterly, 2009.
  • “Mortuary/Mourning Associated, Transversely Grooved Stone Artifacts from CA-LAN-62: Another Case of Sexualization-Sacralization?” Pacific Coast Archaeological Society Quarterly, 2008.
  • “Life at the Nexus of Wetlands and Coastal Prairie, West Los Angeles,” Proceedings of the Society for California Archaeology, 2007.