Award-Winning Archeological Geologist to Speak at Baylor University

Oct. 8, 2012
Michael R. Waters, Ph.D.Michael R. Waters, Ph.D.

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WACO, Texas (Oct. 8, 2012) - The College of Arts & Sciences at Baylor University welcomes Michael R. Waters, Ph.D., Holder of the Endowed Chair in First Americans Studies and professor of anthropology and geography at Texas A&M University, for his lecture - "In Search of the First Americans" - at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 11, in the Baylor Sciences Building, Room B.110.

Waters is director of the Center for the Study of the First Americans and the executive director of the North Star Archaeological Research Program. His research in the fields of American studies and geoarchaeology is published in numerous articles, including five articles in Science and one in Nature. Among other awards and honors, Waters received the Rip Rapp Archeological Geography Award for his outstanding contribution to the field.

"With new archaeological discoveries, including one recognized as the earliest evidence for human occupation in the Americas, Dr. Michael Waters is radically revising our understanding of initial migration patterns that led to the peopling of the Americas," said Lee C. Nordt, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts & Sciences and professor of geology at Baylor University.

Regarding his upcoming lecture, Waters says he will examine beliefs that are common - but not necessarily true - about the first inhabitants of the Americas. "The Clovis First Model, states that a small band of hunters entered the Americas 13,500 years ago and populated the entire New World in 800 years. According to the model, these people were the first and only early migrants to the New World. Further, all later New World cultures are decedents of Clovis. Many new archaeological discoveries and advances in human genetics are calling the Clovis First Model into question and shaping a new understanding of the first Americans," Waters said. "We must rethink what we know about Clovis and develop a new model to explain the peopling of the Americas."

by Brent Salter, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805

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Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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