About us


Jacque Kocer, PhD Candidate, UNM (Archaeology )


Jacque has mixed Spanish and Indigenous ancestry from Northern New Mexico, and an enrolled member of the Oglala Lakota, Pine Ridge Reservation, SD. She earned her BA at UC Davis. Kocer is a PhD Candidate at the University of New Mexico currently working on her dissertation examining Gallina (AD 1100-1300) ceramics. Her research involves the study of cultural identity through ceramic production practices. Upon graduation, she plans to teach at a tribal college while continuing to serve as GRIIT Program Director.

Jacque has worked on several projects in the Ancestral Puebloan Southwest including the Gallina area and Chaco Canyon. She has also worked extensively on the Great Plains.

Thaddeus Liebert, M.S. Public Archaeology UNM

GRIIT Field Director

Thaddeus has deep roots from Northern New Mexico that includes mixed Indigenous and Spanish ancestry. Thaddeus received his Master’s in Public Archaeology in 2016 with Dr. Bruce Huckell at the University of New Mexico, and a BA in Anthropology from Western State College with Dr. Bonnie Pitblado. He has worked on numerous projects throughout the West, with a specific interest in hunter-gatherer archaeology in the Southwest.

Thaddeus has extensive experience recording as well as excavating sites ranging from high elevation Ute and Apache hunting camps to Archaic and Paleoindian sites from southern Arizona and New Mexico to the Great Basin and Northern Plains. These undertakings have resulted in numerous CRM reports and academic pieces. His most recent endeavors in New Mexico have consisted of surveys within the Middle Rio Grande Valley, Estancia Basin and the Valles Caldera. This range of field experience ensures that cultural remains and features are documented with accuracy and with a passionate dedication and respect for the ancestors who lived and flourished on this unpredictable landscape in the past.

Joseph Birkmann, PhD Candidate UNM Anthropology (Archaeology)

GRIIT Director of Technology

Joseph Birkmann is a Ph.D student at UNM with interests in the Preceramic southwest. He received his Master's in 2014 and has participated in survey and excavation work throughout New Mexico, Arizona, and the Hawaiian Islands with projects ranging from the Paleoindian through post-contact periods. Joseph’s primary research interests include the Middle Archaic adoption of agriculture in the southern southwest, the analysis of flaked stone technologies, paleoenvironmental reconstruction and hunter-gatherer lifeways. Most recently he has been seen wandering through the deserts of Southeast Arizona, conducting survey and excavation work in the Chiricahua Mountains and Fishhooks Wilderness Area.