2003 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD: Mary Jane and Fred E. Schneider

By Vehik, Rain | Plains Anthropologist, February 2004 | Go to article overview

2003 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD: Mary Jane and Fred E. Schneider


Vehik, Rain, Plains Anthropologist


Drs. Fred E. and Mary Jane Schneider, recently retired from the University of North Dakota, are recipients of the 2003 Plains Anthropological Society Distinguished Service Award at the 61st Plains Anthropological Conference in Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Distinguished Service Award, established in 1991, recognizes outstanding achievement in Plains anthropological research, teaching, scholarship, and service to the profession.

Fred's career began at Beloit College where he graduated with a B. A. in Anthropology in 1964. He received his Masters Degree from the University of Oklahoma (1967) and a Ph.D. degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia (1974). Fred joined the faculty at the University of North Dakota in 1972 and attained full professorship in 1983. He taught in the Department of Anthropology until his retirement in 2003. Fred served as Departmental chair three times. He is one of the cofounders of the Anthropology Department at the University of North Dakota.

Teaching has always been one of Fred's emphases and during his tenure he introduced 24 separate anthropology courses and several interdisciplinary classes and seminars. The University of North Dakota honored Fred in 1999 when he was presented the Distinguished Service award for excellence in teaching, research, and community service.

Fred was influential in setting up a University based contract archaeology program that has lasted for more than 25 years. He was principal investigator on at least 16 archaeological research projects in North Dakota. Fred has published and presented papers regarding his research beginning as early as 1965 and as recently as 2003. He has over 30 published articles, 31 research reports, book reviews, and numerous professional papers. Twice, in 1980 and 1992, Fred was the co-recipient of the University Award for Department Excellence in Research.

Fred was one of the principal organizers of the North Dakota Archaeological Association. He served on the North Dakota State Historic Preservation Review Board for seven years and on the Grand Forks Historic Preservation Committee for 11 years. In addition, Fred has served on the Plains Anthropological Society Board of Directors and was President of the Board in 1977. He has been on numerous committees and has chaired or cochaired many sessions and symposia at the Plains and other conferences.

One of Fred's major interests has been working with the public, and all of his archaeological fieldwork involved at least a day or more of public education. He traveled all over North Dakota talking to anyone with a collection, a site, or just an interest in archaeology. Sometimes sponsored, but more often at his own expense, he spoke to school classes, senior citizen's groups, local service clubs, and historical organizations, promoting North Dakota archaeology. In April 2003, he was presented with the North Dakota Archaeological Association award for outstanding archaeological achievement.

Most recently, Fred has become interested in native horticulture. This research has involved work with Native American gardeners, growing and preserving native seed strains, and papers in gardening and seed journals as well as professional journals and meetings. …

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2003 DISTINGUISHED SERVICE AWARD: Mary Jane and Fred E. Schneider
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