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Geoffrey A. Clark
Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1971
Regents Professor

SHESC Themes: Societies and Their Natural Environments

Field specializations: archaeology, hunter-gatherers, paleoanthropology, paleontology

Regional focus: Europe, Mediterranean, Near East


Professor Geoffrey Clark joined the faculty of Arizona State University in 1971. He is known nationally for his contributions to quantified archaeological research designs and internationally for his work on hunter-gatherer adaptations, epistemology, and human origins research. He has an exceptionally strong, balanced record in research, graduate education, and public service.

Professor Clark's internationally recognized work in paleoanthropology has produced four major contributions to knowledge. (1) His research on paleolithic hunter-gatherers in Spain and Jordan (funded so far by 14 NSF and NGS grants to Clark and his students) has shown that human dietary intensification provoked by population/resource imbalances predated the shift to domestication economies by as much as 10 kyr. (2) Clark's widely cited papers on the history and role of quantification in archaeological research designs have made significant contributions to the anglophone research tradition, the most heavily quantified in the world. (3) Since 1987 Clark has been a major writer and lecturer on the epistemological foundations for knowledge claims in paleolithic archaeology and human paleontology. (4) His recent involvement in modern human origins research (numerous articles, two books) has shown that data do not exist independent of the conceptual frameworks that define and contextualize them, and that paleoanthropologists can only ignore the logic of inference at their peril.

Geoffrey Clark has a stellar record in graduate education, having chaired 19 completed Ph.D. committees and 32 MA committees (and two BA honors theses). He is, in fact, the department record holder for graduate degree production. He enjoys working with graduate students and has been unusually successful at involving them in his research. An NSF Fellow (1967-71), he has also served on eight NSF graduate fellowship panels. In 1988 Professor Clark received the Graduate College Distinguished Research Professorship. This award ultimately led to ASU's acquisition of the Institute of Human Origins (1997). In 1992, he won the Graduate Colleges Outstanding Mentor Award. His mentoring philosophy makes clear his approach to graduate education, his construal of the nature of archaeology as a scientific endeavor, and his perception of the relationship between science, science policy, education, and the public. Clarks doctoral students have received dissertation funding from a variety of foundations and carried out their research around the world. These students have gone on to successful careers at Berkeley, South Carolina, New Mexico State, Iowa State, Cal State Northridge, San Diego State, Montana State, Marquette, St. Marys, Seoul National, King Saud, Jordan, Arizona, and ASU. Six others work in museums, the government, or the private sector.

Professor Clark has served on various NEH, NRC, NSF, and AAAS panels. He was elected to the American Anthropological Associations (AAA) executive board (1986/89, 2001/04), chaired the AAAs Archeology Division (1997/99), and is currently chair of the AAAS Anthropology Section (2001/02). Clark has also been involved in anthropological publishing, having created ASU’s Anthropological Research Papers (ARP), a peer-reviewed and widely distributed monograph series published under ABOR copyright (53 titles published to date). He was also the founding editor of the AAAs Archeological Papers (AP3A, 1989/93), the largest anthropological monograph series in the US (and probably the world). He currently serves as an associate editor for the American Anthropologist, the AAA flagship journal (1997/02). On the local level, he has been president of both the ASU and the Arizona chapters of the AAUP (1979/81), Phi Kappa Phi (1986/87), and the Society of Sigma Xi (1992/93, 1997/98). A frequent reviewer for NSF, NGS, SSHRC (Canada), NERC (UK) and other funding agencies, Professor Clark has also served as a reader/referee for more than a dozen national and international anthropological journals and general science periodicals (e.g., Science).

An active researcher, Geoffrey Clark has presented dozens of invited papers in organized symposia at the annual meetings of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) and the AAA. He has also been invited to lecture on his research at a number of American universities and in 16 foreign countries. In addition to service on national committees, he won the AAAs prestigious Morton Fried Prize for the best paper published in the American Anthropologist (1989). A number of his circa 230 publications have been reprinted in anthologies and other collected works. Clark is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the AAA, the Royal Anthropological Institute (UK), and the Sociedad de Ciencias Naturales (Spain).

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Curriculum Vitae (Download pdf)

Contact: Geoffrey A. Clark