The University of Arizona

Two UA Professors Appointed Regents' Professors

By Daniel Stolte, University Relations - Communications | April 3, 2014

Mary C. Stiner and Jonathan T. Overpeck now carry the title, which is held by no more than 3 percent of the University's tenured and tenure-track faculty.

Mary C. Stiner, Jonathan T. Overpeck
Mary C. Stiner, Jonathan T. Overpeck
Mary C. Stiner, Jonathan T. Overpeck
Mary C. Stiner, Jonathan T. Overpeck

The Arizona Board of Regents has appointed two University of Arizona professors – Mary C. Stiner of the School of Anthropology and Jonathan T. Overpeck of the Department of Geosciences – as Regents' Professors.

The Regents' Professor title serves as recognition of the highest academic merit and is an honor reserved for faculty members whose exceptional achievements merit national and international distinction. Regents’ Professors have made a unique contribution to the quality of the University through distinguished accomplishments in teaching, scholarship, research or creative work. No more than 3 percent of the University’s tenured and tenure-track faculty can carry the title.

Stiner, professor in the School of Anthropology and curator of zooarchaeology at the Arizona State Museum, is an internationally recognized expert in the Mediterranean cultures of the Middle Paleolithic through the Stone Age. Her seminal book on the Neanderthal man, "Honor Among Thieves," provides insights into the origins of human behavior and was awarded the Society for American Archeology Book Award, which recognizes works that have a major impact on the discipline. Her most recent book, "The Faunas of Hayonim Cave (Israel): A 200,000-Year Record of Paleolithic Diet, Demography & Society," was published in 2005 by Harvard University’s Peabody Museum Press.

Stiner, who received her doctorate in anthropology from the University of New Mexico in 1990, has done archaeological fieldwork at Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic sites in Italy, Israel, Turkey, Portugal, Greece, and France, and at sites of diverse ages in the U.S. Her current research, which analyzes human adaptations during ancient ice ages, sheds light not only on our human origins but also on the effects of climate change. Stiner is admired by scholars in her field and is a popular teacher who engages students of all levels, from undergraduates enrolled in introductory courses to graduate students conducting doctoral research. Stiner also is a dedicated gardener, artist and supporter of wildlife conservation.

Overpeck, professor of geosciences and co-director of the UA Institute for the Environment, is an internationally recognized authority on the science and policy of climate and environmental change.

He served as coordinating lead author for a chapter on paleoclimate for the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in 2007, and has served as principal investigator on numerous grants from the National Science Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Geological Survey. Overpeck – or "Peck" as he prefers to be called – received his bachelor’s degree from Hamilton College and his Master of Science and doctorate from Brown University.

Overpeck is committed to integrating science with societal issues to help promote the understanding of science and to help scientists understand broader views, particularly those of decision makers in society who must deal with real-world climate variability and change.

Before coming to the UA, Overpeck was the founding director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Paleoclimatology Program and the World Data Center for Paleoclimatology, both in Boulder, Colo. While in Boulder, he was also a fellow at the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado. Overpeck is well-known on campus for his generosity and commitment as a teacher, colleague and collaborator.

A list of current and previous Regents' Professors at the UA is available online.