Cogstone maintains an extensive collection of in-house field, laboratory, office and computer equipment in order to complete all cultural and paleontological resources tasks on time and in an efficient manner.
Our cross-trained field personnel keep a field kit of standard paleontology and archaeology tools with them at all times including required safety equipment, instrumentation for recording data, and tools used for basic excavation, stabilization agents, and materials needed to create plaster jackets around fossils to permit removal without damage. We also maintain the equipment and materials to retrieve protein residue samples in the field.
Our personnel are also equipped with high resolution Trimble® GeoXH™ handhelds which are accurate at the sub-meter level. The units are loaded with maps and data dictionaries to allow consistent data collection in the field. These units can be directly downloaded to GIS applications for highly accurate maps and other uses. Filesharing utilizing cloud applications allows staff to upload data and photos from the field to prevent data loss. Cogstone’s use of advanced database software increases both our accessibility and efficiency in project administration.
GIS, Geospatial Analysis, and Cartography
The use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is now an integral part of archaeological and paleontological studies and Cogstone is at the forefront of this technology. The GIS Department has experience in GIS, Geospatial Analysis, and Cartography which includes digitizing graphic data, thematic mapping, and vector and raster analysis. Software used for entering, analyzing, and displaying geospatial data includes ESRI ArcGIS. At the beginning of each project, Cogstone utilizes GIS to overlay the project boundaries on geological and topographic maps for record searches and survey.
Trimbles® are used in the field to record the precise location of archaeological and paleontological resources, fossil beds and localities and can be used in combination with a laser range finder to shoot in stratigraphic features. Trimbles are used to allow a precise mapping of areas surveyed.
All GPS data are then layered with the project-specific GIS data and final maps are created. We frequently receive compliments from our clients on the quality and thoroughness of our GIS work.
Our 2,400 square-foot designated laboratory space contains air scribes, a compressor, ventilation system, microscopes, scales, a large storage and preparation area, computers, a fire-safe cabinet for storage of flammable materials, and other analytical equipment, as well as equipment dedicated to cleaning and stabilizing recovered materials. A mechanical wet-screening unit permits efficient processing of large amounts of matrix. For identification of recovered faunal remains, we have a comprehensive, comparative skeletal collection. Our lab space also functions as secure, temporary storage for project-related collections until their transport to an approved repository.
Cogstone’s reference library contains more than 1,000 volumes on subjects such as paleontology, archaeology, historical archaeology, Native American ethnography, history, and artifact identification and analysis, among others. The library also houses a broad collection of published and unpublished cultural resources management project reports and an extensive compilation of topographic and historical maps.
Cogstone utilizes Deltek Vision 7.4 as its accounting software enabling our accounting methods to meet FAR and CAS requirements to ensuring DCAA compliance. For enhanced security purposes, Deltek is run on its own encrypted server separate from the company server.
Cogstone carries commercial general liability insurance of $4 million aggregate/$2 million each occurrence; professional liability insurance of $2 million aggregate/$2 million per claim; automobile liability insurance of $1 million combined single limit; umbrella liability insurance of $5 million aggregate & each occurrence; and, the required limits for workers compensation and employers’ liability. Certificates of insurance are issued upon award of a contract.
Cogstone provides extensive safety training for all employees. Field personnel have completed 40-Hour HAZWOPER certification, API WorkSafe Training, E-Railsafe Training and similar programs. Cogstone has always maintained an excellent OSHA safety record. Safety issues are strongly emphasized during all tailgate meetings and worker training sessions. Our Injury and Illness Prevention Program is very detailed and a code of safe practices is provided for each project. Class 2 Personal Protective Equipment is standard and Class 3 is provided when required.