Two Highlands Archaeology Students Accepted into Competitive Forest Service Career Path Program
Two archaeology graduate students from New Mexico Highlands University were hired for the U.S. Forest Service Student Career Experience Program.
The program is a highly competitive Forest Service career path program. Adam Fuselier and Adam Clark were the only two students appointed to two archaeology positions in Oregon this summer.
Fuselier and Clark competed with a pool of applicants from the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University, Eastern New Mexico University, University of Texas at El Paso, and Arizona State University.
Fuselier and Clark are both experienced in archaeological fieldwork, including surveying sites. This summer Fuselier will work in the Fremont-Winema National Forest near Klamath Falls, Ore., and Clark will work in the Deschutes-Ochoco National Forest near Bend, Ore.
“Adam Fuselier has completed his graduate coursework and is making good progress on his master’s thesis,” said Warren Lail, anthropology professor. “Adam Clark just completed his first year in our program and will begin his thesis work in the fall. I would rank Fuselier as one of the best students I have ever had in the field, and Clark excels at every course he takes. I’m very proud of these two students.”
Fuselier, 26, is a native of Louisiana who was an anthropology student at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge when Hurricane Katrina struck. He volunteered to help a state of Louisiana archaeologist restore a damaged Chitimacha burial ground near New Orleans.
Clark, 32, a Georgia native, also helped after Hurricane Katrina. He managed a disaster relief camp for the Compass Group in New Orleans after the hurricane. At Highlands, he is a graduate assistant for Lail’s introduction to anthropology and archaeology course.
“I’ve always wanted to do what I love, and as soon as I discovered what archaeology was, I wanted do it as a career,” Fuselier said. “In archaeology, it’s not static. You always learn something new every day, and new discoveries are constantly made.”
Fuselier said that this summer he will survey the project area in the Fremont-Winema National Forest, monitoring known archaeological sites and also looking for new ones.
“We are trying to be sure that people collecting fire wood will not inadvertently destroy or damage existing archaeological sites,” Fuselier said.
Clark expects to be working with the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs in cultural resource management this summer as part of his forest service appointment.
“Archaeology is about having respect and understanding of other cultures, and their unique place in history,” Clark said. “It’s important for an archaeologist to recognize that ancient cultures are just as relevant as your own. I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Once Fuselier and Clark complete their Student Career Experience Program hours and earn their graduate degrees from Highlands, they will become full-time archaeologists with the Forest Service in Oregon.
Fuselier said it’s a huge relief to know that he can immediately transition into an archaeology position, and Clark calls it an amazing opportunity to work in his chosen field.
“We’re extremely fortunate because we’ll both have professional archaeology positions after we graduate,” Clark said. “We can also use ourselves as a conduit for other Highlands’ archaeology students to have opportunities with the forest service,” Clark said.