By Bill Austin, U.S. Naval Forces, Marianas Public AffairsSANTA RITA, Guam (NNS) -- For the third year in a row, Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) recognized U.S. Naval Base Guam's archeologist as "best" during the CNO fiscal year 2012 environmental awards.
Lon Bulgrin, who hails from Chicago, received word that he won in the Cultural Resource Management category with the release of a naval message.
He will compete with others around the country at the Secretary of the Navy level and possibly on to Department of Defense selections.
"This is quite an honor for me, and this line of work is something I have been proud to do for the past 30 (years)," Bulgrin said, adding that Guam has some of the most intact archeology sites he has ever seen.
The path to his archeology career started with his love of the outdoors and an inquisitive mind.
"The key to archeology is certainly to have a natural curiosity, but you need to be able to interpret what you are seeing," Bulgrin said.
Bulgrin has served as the base archeologist for the past four years and holds a master's degree in anthropology.
Although a majority of his duties are architectural surveys of various sites that spread between Guam and Tinian, he lights up when he talks about finding artifacts.
"I have boxes of them that range from the war to pre-contact, or I should say, before Magellan," Bulgrin said.
New technology in the field such as GPS technology and other gadgets are all great tools to have at your disposal according to Bulgrin, but he can still rely on what he utilized in the beginning of his career and he isn't ashamed to say it.
"Those things are great, but I consider myself old school and can still read a compass and tape," Bulgrin said.
"Having a full-time archeologist on our staff demonstrates the commitment we have to preserving cultural resources on the island," said Capt. John Heckmann, Naval Facilties Engineering Command Marianas commanding officer. "To have someone like Mr. Bulgrin's quality as being one of the very best in the Navy is an additional benefit that gives me the confidence that our program is being managed well."