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University of Iowa News Release


April 19, 2007

Office Of The State Archaeologist Announces New Director

The Office of the State Archaeologist, a research unit at the University of Iowa, is pleased to announce the appointment of its new director, John Doershuk.

Doershuk has been with the office since 1995, initially serving as a program director, then becoming contracts division director in 2005. In those roles, he supervised activities of archaeological teams who provide consulting expertise to public and private sector clients, such as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources and engineering and environmental firms. The archeological teams help agencies and firms involved with ground-disturbing activities comply with laws that preserve and protect cultural resources, including archaeological sites. On occasion, they also conduct large-scale excavations to recover data before it is destroyed by construction.

"John's anthropology background, teaching and research experience and a dozen years of service with the Office of the State Archaeologist made him extremely qualified for the position," said UI Vice President for Research Meredith Hay. "We are confident in his ability to lead the Office of the State Archaeologist, which plays a key role in preserving our state's past."

Doershuk assumes the position July 1, earning a salary of $78,000. He expressed gratitude toward Stephen C. Lensink, associate director of the Office of the State Archaeologist, who ably served as the office's interim director for the past 18 months. Doershuk said he is pleased and excited about this appointment, and he looks forward to continuing his involvement with the office and the UI.

"The Office of the State Archaeologist is a focal point of archaeological activity in Iowa, so this appointment will enable me to participate in a number of interesting and challenging projects and situations," Doershuk said. "I'm also excited to have the opportunity to pursue some of the archaeological research that I've been interested in that current job duties constrain."

Doershuk is eager to be involved with a number of the office's endeavors, including outreach activities to disseminate information about the state's past to all Iowans, and engaging the development community, government leaders and businesses in meaningful consideration of the effects of their activities on archaeological sites. He looks forward to working with American Indian tribes and peoples to balance archaeological interests with traditional native concerns over how information about the past is handled and presented.

Among Doershuk's interest areas are historic and prehistoric archaeology of the Midwestern United States, archaeological consulting and teaching field schools, hunter-gatherer settlement patterns and GIS applications in archaeology.

Doershuk earned a doctorate in anthropology from Northwestern University in 1989, and a master's degree in anthropology, also from Northwestern, in 1982. He received a bachelor's degree in anthropology and sociology from Carleton College in 1980.

Since 1995, he has taught at the UI as an adjunct assistant professor of anthropology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Courses taught include "Introduction to Prehistory," "Human Origins," "Introduction to Midwestern Prehistory," "Indians of North America" and "Native Peoples of the Great Lakes." Doershuk also teaches at Cornell College in Mount Vernon and at Iowa Lakeside Laboratory through Iowa State University.

The Office of the State Archaeologist conducts archaeological research and public programs around the state, preserves ancient burial sites, and examines and re-inters ancient human remains. The office also maintains the state archaeological repository, manages data on all known archaeological sites in Iowa, and publishes technical and popular books on Iowa archaeology.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACTS: Media: Nicole Riehl, 319-384-0070,