Joshua Watts’s first exposure to (real) archaeology was volunteering on field projects through the Center for Desert Archaeology (renamed Archaeology Southwest in 2011). Intrigued that it might be possible to build a career out of hiking around the desert with friends documenting cool stuff… he kept coming back.
Dr. Watts received his Ph.D. (2013) and M.A. (2005) from Arizona State University, and his B.A. in creative writing and anthropology from the University of Arizona (2000). From the late 1990s through the 2000s Dr. Watts worked on archaeological field projects across the Southwest, with an emphasis on the Hohokam of the Phoenix Basin. In the 2010s he focused on computational modeling and simulation methods for researching both prehistoric and modern social systems (using models to study hurricane evacuation decisions in Florida, for example), and adapting those tools for use on high-performance computing clusters.
At Archaeology Southwest, Dr. Watts is responsible for the cyberSW database and working with the Preservation Archaeologists and other professionals (and students) to develop research using that resource.