George C. Frison - 1964
Wyoming's first state archaeologist
Wyoming's first state archaeologist, George C. Frison joined the U.S.
Navy in his youth and served from 1943 to 1946, including a stint in the
South Pacific. When he returned from the war, he worked on a family
ranch in Tensleep, Woming (1946-1962).
Frison came to UW in 1962 to complete his B.S. in anthropology. He went
on to earn an M.A. and a Ph.D. in the same field from the University of
Michigan in 1967. In 1967 Frison was appointed head of UW's Department
of Anthropology, the same year that he was named state archaeologist.
During his tenure as state archaeologist, he made major contributions to
Plains prehistory and is recognized worldwide for his research on
paleo-Indians. He served as state archaeologist until 1984.
Frison went on to work with the Smithsonian Institution for a year as a
Board of Regents professor. He also served as a board member and
president for the Plains Anthropologist Society and the Society for
During his career, Frison wrote 95 journal articles and 10 books with
major publishers. He has presented scientific papers before more than 60
regional, national, and international boards. In 1997 he was named to
the National Academy of Sciences, and he was honored with the Lifetime
Achievement Award by the Society for American Archaeology in 2005.
Frison currently resides in Laramie, Wyoming.
Photo couresty of UW Photo Service