Marl Mealey Associate State Archaeologist

Marla Mealey
Associate State Archaeologist

Southern Service Center
2797 Truxtun Road
San Diego, CA 92106

Phone: (619) 221-7051

I graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1990 with a degree in anthropology with an archaeological emphasis. My senior honors thesis was an analysis of settlement patterns in the Nazca Region of Peru. During college I had an internship at the San Diego Museum of Man and assisted with artifact cataloging and records searches. After college I went to work as a professional archaeologist in my hometown of San Diego. I worked for three years with a private environmental firm before being hired by California State Parks in 1993.

Marla Mealey using GIS location equipment.

I have been involved in a variety of cultural resources projects within the State Parks system, including work on both historic and prehistoric sites in many different environments. Examples of some of these projects include:

  • Archaeological survey and GPS-recordation of new sites at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, Lake Perris State Recreation Area, Leo Carrillo State Park, Mount San Jacinto State Park and Wilderness, Red Rock Canyon State Park, Santa Susana Pass State Historic Park, Topanga State Park, and Torrey Pines State Reserve

  • Post-fire site assessment and archaeological site survey work at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park (99% burned in 2003 Cedar Fire), Anza-Borrego Desert State Park (western edge of park burned in 2002 Pines Fire), and Leo Carrillo State Park (portions burned in 1993 Malibu fires);

  • Salvage excavations of eroding cultural deposits along the coastal bluffs of Torrey Pines State Reserve;

  • Historical structure recordation at the Mission La Purísima Concepción;

  • Testing and monitoring of work on and around historic structures in Chino Hills State Park, Gaviota State Park, Los Encinos State Historic Park, Old Town San Diego State Historic Park, and Palomar Mountain State Park;

  • Archaeological testing and monitoring of sites in Kern, Los Angles, Orange, San Diego, Santa Barbara, and Ventura Counties;

  • Historical research for resources at La Purísima Mission State Historic Park, Palomar Mountain State Park, and Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.

Marla learning ancient ways of weaving.

I have been deeply involved with the establishment of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and Geographic Imaging Systems (GIS) programs within the State Parks system, especially as they pertain to cultural resources and data management. Aside from my work with State Parks, I am also the newsletter editor for the San Diego County Archaeological Society and a member of the Society for California Archaeology.

My personal interests in archaeology include groundstone technology and "ethno-archaeology" including ethnobotany and replicative studies. Ethno-archaeological research has recently taken me to Mexico to study ceramic technology, agave fiber processing and use, basket making, and herbal medicine with the Paipai and Kumiai peoples of Northern Baja California.