2002 Distinguished Service Award: Don G. Wyckoff

Article excerpt

Don G. Wyckoff, University of Oklahoma, is the recipient of the 2002 Plains Anthropological Society Distinguished Service Award presented at the 60th Plains Anthropological Conference in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Distinguished Service Award, established in 1991, recognizes outstanding achievement in Plains anthropological research, teaching, scholarship, and service to the profession.

With exception of a stint at Washington State University to earn his Ph.D. (1980), Don spent most of his career in Oklahoma. Don is a native Kansan, born in Topeka and graduated from the Rural High School in Osborne, Kansas. His college career began at the University of New Mexico, but he received his B.A. (1961) and M.A. (1968) degrees in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma.

Don has been involved with archaeological research since 1961 when he served as survey archaeologist at the University of Oklahoma. By 1962, he was appointed Chief Archaeologist with the Oklahoma River Basin Survey (ORBS) and retained this position until 1968. Because of the vagaries of dam construction most of the archaeological work being conducted by ORBS was in eastern Oklahoma and Don was the author of at least seven of the first 11 ORBS Archaeological Site Reports. It was also during this time that Don began his lifelong interest in Caddoan prehistory and ethnology and hunting/gathering adaptations. Since then, some of Don's interests have expanded to research on the development of agricultural societies, interpretive analyses of archaeological sites and materials, lithic technology, and paleoecology with special attention to palynology, faunal analysis, and pedology.

Between 1968 and 1981, Don served as Oklahoma's first State Archaeologist. Don and his mentor, Dr. Robert E. Bell, were influential in getting the Oklahoma Legislature to create the Oklahoma Archeological Survey in 1970. Don served as the Survey's Director from 1981 until 1996. During his tenure as Director he was involved in the preservation and management of Oklahoma's cultural resources. A publication series was developed through the Survey to disseminate the results of fieldwork in Oklahoma. Don was instrumental in the planning and development of Oklahoma's only archaeological park, the Spiro Mounds State Park. …