Polly Dix Schaafsma

Polly Dix Schaafsma

Title: Archaeologist, Researcher
Company: Museum of New Mexico
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States

Polly Dix Schaafsma, Archaeologist and Researcher at the Museum of New Mexico, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Scientists for dedication, achievements, and leadership in archaeology.

Originally desiring to pursue a career as an astronomer, Ms. Schaafsma changed her mind when she was introduced to the study of art history. While in college, she worked one summer waiting tables at the national park, which exposed her to archaeology and landscape art. It motivated her to find out more, which led to the launch of her career. Ms. Schaafsma earned a Bachelor of Arts in art history from Mount Holyoke College in 1957 and went on to receive a Master of Arts in anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1962. Since 1985, Ms. Schaafsma has held the position of research associate at the Museum of New Mexico. She started with the Museum of New Mexico in 1962 as an archaeologist, moving on to project director. She recalls the highlight of her career was coming to the understanding that rock art can be understood in any archaeological framework.

Prior to her current role, Ms. Schaafsma worked as project director with the Utah State Park Commission and Governor’s Commission on Historic Sites in 1970. From there, she held the same position with the New Mexico State Planning Office in 1971 and returned to the Museum of New Mexico as an archaeologist in 1994 for two years. In 2007, Ms. Schaafsma was a consultant for the Kuaua Mural Project at the Museum of Indian Arts & Culture at the Laboratory of Anthropology and in 2009, was a consultant on the Native American Graves Protection & Repatriation Act Project for the Bureau of Reclamation at the Glen Canyon & Navajo Reservoir. As a testament to her success, Ms. Schaafsma has received an Achievement Award from the Alumnae Association in 2017 and the Klaus Wellmann Memorial Award from the American Rock Art Research Association in 2008. Additionally, she was granted the 2007 Byron S. Cummings Award from the Arizona Archaeological & Historical Society and the Emily W. Haury Award from Western National Parks Association. To attest to her legacy, Ms. Schaafsma is also listed in the 25th edition of Who’s Who in American Women, the 26th edition of Who’s Who in the West and numerous editions of Who’s Who in America.  

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Lifetime Achievement

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