ISAS Director Receives SAA Award for Cultural Resource Management Excellence

Dr. Thomas E. Emerson receives awardThe Society for American Archaeology (SAA) has named Dr. Thomas E. Emerson the recipient of the Excellence in Cultural Resource Management award. The award is given to persons who have made a significant contribution to the field of archaeology. Dr. Emerson is the Illinois State Archaeologist and  the Director of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois.

The SAA award recognizes Dr. Emerson’s long career in cultural resource management and his work in archaeological preservation set the standard for archaeology methodology and research. “Thomas Emerson has dedicated his life to archaeology and the preservation of Illinois’ valued cultural resources. Tom has contributed extensively to American archaeology during his 40-year career,” said John R. Melchi, PRI Deputy Executive Director for research administration. “The Prairie Research Institute, the University of Illinois and the State of Illinois recognize that Tom is an exemplar worthy of emulation by the next generation of American archaeologists. His influence in establishing a rich heritage of preserving cultural resources in Illinois is striking.”

Brad Koldehoff, Chief Archaeologist/Cultural Resources Unit Chief (Acting)/Illinois State Archaeological Survey Affiliate, reflected on Dr. Emerson’s career and legacy, 

“As director of the Illinois State Archaeological Survey (ISAS), Tom has established and maintained an award-winning CRM transportation archaeology program in coordination with the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). This program recently received high marks during a Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) National Historic Preservation Act, Section 106 Process Review. Moreover, ISAS and IDOT received from FHWA a 2011Environmental Excellence Award for the multiyear data-recovery excavations for the New Mississippi River Bridge project in East St. Louis. This project was one of the largest and most complex excavations ever completed in the region.”

Dr. Thomas E. Emerson career timeline

The SAA award ceremony was held in conjunction with their 81st annual business meeting Friday April 8th at the Walt Disney Resort in Orlando Florida. Visit the link to see a timeline of Dr. Emerson’s cultural resource management milestones.