Glenn J. Farris, Ph.D.
Senior State Archaeologist (Retired)
Cultural Resources Division
Information Phone: 916-653-2030
Dr. Farris first began working for the Department of Parks and Recreation in 1978 as an archeological aid. His graduate education culminated in a Ph.D. in anthropology with a specialty in archaeology from UC Davis. Although his studies had focused on prehistoric archaeology, his experiences include time working on digs in Israel and Norway that were definitely in the realm of historical archaeology. After joining California State Parks he broadly expanded his interest in historical archaeology while maintaining an interest in prehistoric studies. In recent years he worked on sites related to the Russian presence in California as well as the Spanish and Mexican mission era occupation. In connection with these interests he worked on excavations at Fort Ross, Sonoma Barracks, Santa Cruz, San Juan Bautista, San Diego, La Purisima, and the Presidio of Santa Barbara. Other sites included the John Marsh House, China Camp, Bodie, and San Pasqual. He also spent several years on a general plan team surveying and researching a number of parks in the area of Big Sur and the Mendocino Coast. His work focused on the magnificent collection of artifacts from the many archeological excavation projects undertaken by DPR over the years.
California State Parks encompass such a broad brush of state, national and even world history and prehistory that he found himself constantly intrigued and challenged by his work in helping manage the cultural resources that exist there. One major focus of his management of the collections was his rewarding work with university students on research and theses, that often made use of the artifacts.