About the Archaeologist

Mark Sechrist has been a working archaeologist since 1987.  After graduating from New Mexico State University with a degree in anthropology, he worked for NMSU’s Cultural Resources Management Division, the University of Texas at El Paso’s Anthropology Research Center, and several private archaeological firms in the Las Cruces and El Paso areas (Human Systems Research, Inc.; Archaeo-Associates, Ltd; Lone Mountain Archaeological Services; TRC Environmental; Geo-Marine, Inc.).  Initially working as a field hand, his duties evolved to include supervising and directing archaeological surveys and excavations, and report writing. 

Major projects include:

  • Archaeological excavation at the Fillmore Pass site, Fort Bliss Military Reservation, New Mexico
  • Archaeological sample surveys in the San Andres and Oscura Mountains of White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
  • Archaeological survey of the New Mexico-Chihuahua international border
  • Archaeological surveys and test excavations for the Aerial Cable range on White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico
  • Archaeological survey on Magdalena South Baldy and in Water Canyon, New Mexico
  • Archaeological survey at the Copper Flat Mine in the Black Range, New Mexico
  • Archaeological surveys at the proposed Southwest Regional Spaceport, New Mexico
  • Archaeological monitoring and excavation of human skeletal remains in the village of Doña Ana, New Mexico
  • Archaeological surveys and site evaluations on Fort Bliss Military Reservation, Texas and New Mexico
  • Locating and evaluating protohistoric and Apache sites on Fort Bliss Military Reservation, Texas and New Mexico
  • Archaeological excavations at nine sites on Otero Mesa, Fort Bliss Military Reservation, New Mexico

In 2003, he returned to New Mexico State University as a graduate student, working part time for the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and obtaining a master’s degree in Anthropology. Under the direction of archaeologist William Walker and anthropologist/linguist Scott Rushforth at NMSU, and Forest Service archaeologist William Gillespie, he recorded and authored a report on historic-era Apache and other sites in the Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona.  Other projects he worked on while attending NMSU included:

  • Excavations at the Joyce Well site in southwestern-most New Mexico and the Kipp Ruin, near Deming, for NMSU’s archaeological field schools
  • Archaeological surveys at the Chihuahuan Desert Rangeland Research Center, north of Las Cruces
  • Archival research for and archaeological survey at the Corralitos Ranch, New Mexico, as part of a USDA ecological study
  • A review and summary of previously documented archaeological sites and a summary of treaties and legal obligations for Fort Bowie National Historic Site and Chiricahua National Monument, Arizona as part of a Chiricahua Apache ethnohistory overview for the National Park Service

After finishing at NMSU and joining Full Circle Heritage Services full time, he has contracted and subcontracted on archaeological projects in New Mexico, Texas, and Arizona.  Recent projects include:

  • Test excavation at the Bob Johns Site, a prehistoric pueblo site in Santa Teresa, New Mexico
  • Archaeological monitoring at Fort Bayard, a National Register of Historic Places district near Silver City, New Mexico
  • Archaeological survey and tribal consultation visits with Mescalero and White Mountain Apache Tribe members in the Coronado National Forest, Arizona
  • Archaeological surveys of private ranch lands in Chaves, Lincoln, and Torrance counties, New Mexico, for the New Mexico Association of Conservation Districts
  • Archaeological surveys, evaluations, and monitoring in the Guadalupe Mountains and Big Bend national parks, Texas, and Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico, for Aspen CRM Solutions

Volunteering is also an important part of his work:

  • As a board member for the Asombro Institute for Science Education, a nonprofit organization working to increase scientific literacy for K-12 students and teachers through hands-on inquiry in the Chihuahuan Desert
  • By conducting an archaeological survey of the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park, north of Las Cruces

Professional organizations:

  • Society for American Archaeology
  • World Archaeological Congress
  • New Mexico Archaeological Council
  • Arizona Archaeological Council
  • Texas Archaeological Society