EUGENE, Ore. — (April 24, 2013) — University of Oregon archaeologist Jon M. Erlandson, whose research has found some of the earliest evidence of seafaring societies being part of the peopling of the Americas, is among newly elected members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Members of the 2013 class -- 186 new fellows and 12 new foreign honorary members -- include winners of the Nobel Prize; National Medal of Science; the Lasker Award; the Pulitzer and the Shaw prizes; the Fields Medal; MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships; the Kennedy Center Honors; and Grammy, Emmy, Academy and Tony awards.
One of the nation's most prestigious honorary societies, the academy is also a leading center for independent policy research. Members contribute to academy publications and studies of science and technology policy, education, energy and global security, social policy and American institutions and the humanities.
Erlandson has served as executive director of the UO Museum of Natural and Cultural History since 2005. He is a professor in the Department of Anthropology and the Knight Professor of Arts and Sciences. He joined the UO faculty in 1990.
"Whether working in the field, in the classroom, in the museum or elsewhere, Dr. Erlandson has shown himself to be a true leader, and this honor is well-deserved recognition of his outstanding accomplishments," said Kimberly Andrews Espy, the UO's vice president for research and innovation and dean of the graduate school. "His research examining the development of maritime societies, the peopling of the Americas, and human evolution and migrations has furthered our understanding of founding societies and inspired us to learn more about those who came before us."
Erlandson has conducted field research on the Channel Islands off the coast of California for more than 30 years. His work also has involved sites in Oregon, Alaska, and Iceland. He has written or edited 16 books and published over 200 scholarly articles. He earned a doctorate in archaeology in 1988 from the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he also had obtained bachelor's and master's degrees in 1980 and 1983, respectively.
He was selected with such notable people as Bruce A. Beutler, recipient of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine; Lasker Award winner Jeffrey M. Friedman; psychologist Robert A. Bjork, who has made fundamental contributions to the science of learning and memory; anthropologist Kathryn Ann Woolard, who works on obsolescent languages and linguistic ideology; director and actor Robert De Niro; actress Sally Field; Pulitzer Prize-winning poets Annie Dillard and U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; musicians Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen; Presidential Medal of Freedom winner John Glenn; and former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar.
The new class will be inducted at a ceremony on Oct. 12 at the academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.
Since its founding in 1780, the Academy has elected leading “thinkers and doers” from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
About the University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.
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