Maya Exploration Center: Education Through Exploration
Staff and Associates
Dr. David R. Hixson [e-mail]
»Ph.D. from Tulane University in New Orleans, 2011
»Field Director of the Chunchucmil Archaeological Project, 2002-2005
»NASA Research Fellow, GSRP, 2002-2004

» Dr. Edwin Barnhart
» Dr. Christopher Powell
» Alonso Mendez
» Carol Karasik
» Chip Morris
» Dr. Kirk French
» James Eckhardt
» Dr. Michael Grofe
» Lilia Lizama
» Dr. David Hixson
» Dr. Gerardo Aldana
David Hixson began working among the Maya in 1991 when he was only a teenager, volunteering in rural Maya villages with the NGO Intercambio Cultural Maya. He went on to receive his undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Latin American History from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he exhausted every possible class on ancient and modern Mesoamerica.

With an interest in graphic design and multimedia communications in archaeology, he authored one of the first online photographic archives of Mesoamerican archaeological sites in 1996 (Mesoamerican Photo Archives - now hosted by Mesoweb). This began his longstanding association with online public education outlets, including the popular academic listserv Aztlan, which he helped revive in 2005 and now co-moderates with the help of his colleagues at FAMSI.

Hixson's graduate studies at Tulane University combined his interest in digital imagery with regional surveying techniques. With the aide of knowledgeable Maya farmers and hunters, he explored the uncharted back country of Yucatan. To cover as much ground as possible in the seasonal wetlands of western Yucatan, he pioneered the use of mountain bikes mounted with GPS units to expand his area of investigation and incorporate the use of remote sensing data. He applied for and received NASA funding for this data recovery project. His continued association with NASA led to experience with other technologies and ultimately his dissertation emerged as a study utilizing NASA remote sensing imagery (multispectral and synthetic aperture radar data) to locate previously undocumented Maya archaeological sites around the ancient city of Chunchucmil, Yucatan.

With over 20 years of experience traveling, working, and living among the Maya of Yucatan, David Hixson now uses his long track record of creating public education opportunities and his Ph.D. in Maya archaeology from Tulane to inspire students to explore the beauty of Yucatan. He believes that not just anthropologists and archaeologists can contribute to our knowledge of the Maya, but also students and scholars from many different fields. Dr. Hixson is Maya Exploration Center's resident expert on the Yucatan and he stands ready to work with students and travelers from a wide variety of disciplines, helping them to get involved and find ways to engage their skills in the quest to better understand the ancient and modern Maya.
Suggested reading books can be bought at JungleCasts with Dr. Barnhart