Dr. Joan S. Schneider manages the archaeological aspects of Earthwatch's Archaeology of the Mongolian Steppe project. Recently retired from her position as associate state archaeologist, Colorado Desert District, with the California State Parks, she continues to teach and pursue her research interests. Her archaeological research focuses on the reasons why prehistoric people (particularly women) chose certain stones for tools and vessels, and how the stone chosen relates to the tasks performed or uses of the artifacts.
Dr. Schneider has worked for over 20 years in the deserts of the world, including the Colorado, Mojave, Sonoran, and Negev deserts. She has conducted field research projects in Israel and in Joshua Tree and Death Valley National Parks in the U.S., as well working as an archaeological field school director for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.