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Gordon Mark Schoepfle

G. Mark Schoepfle has devoted his entire career to applied anthropology in federal and tribal government, with an adjunct status in various academic institutions that have often helped support this research.

He received a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1968.  Following his military service, he received his Master’s in 1972 and Doctorate in social anthropology 1977 from Northwestern University, under the anthropological linguist Oswald Werner, his dissertation chair. 

His employment in anthropology began with the Navajo Tribal Division of Education.  Here, under the supervision of Oswald Werner, he helped train and supervise Navajo researchers, and compile ethnographic reports of the Navajo Nation’s different school systems.  What began originally as involvement with a one-year training and research project evolved into a 14-year research and teaching career on the Navajo Nation.  It involved both research and training Navajos as active research participants and analysts, co-publishers, and findings presenters.  Beginning in 1974, he was involved with Oswald Werner in developing a researcher’s training manual that finally became the two-volume Systematic Fieldwork published in 1987.  From 1980 to 1984 he also served as Deputy Director of the Northwestern University Summer Field School in Ethnography.

In 1988 he shifted his career interests to auditing and evaluation at the Government Accountability Office, and later the Department of the Interior in Washington, DC.  At the Department of the Interior, he has served as cultural anthropologist for the National Park Service’s program in applied ethnography, and at what is now the Office of Federal Acknowledgment.