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UW Professor’s Book Nominated for ForeWord Reviews' Science Book of the Year

March 25, 2014
Man smiling
Marcel Kornfeld, a UW anthropology professor, with his book, titled “The First Rocky Mountaineers: Coloradans Before Colorado.” ForeWord Reviews has named the book a finalist for 2013 Book of the Year in its science category under nonfiction.

A University of Wyoming professor’s book has been named a finalist in the science category for ForeWord Reviews’ 2013 Book of the Year Award.

Marcel Kornfeld’s book, titled “The First Rocky Mountaineers: Coloradans Before Colorado,” and published by the University of Utah Press, is one of six books the organization nominated in the science category (nonfiction).

“I am pleased ‘The Rocky Mountaineers’ is making an impression beyond the narrow professional audience. With this award, the book will reach a wider public and make a larger impact on our educational endeavors,” says Kornfeld, a professor in UW’s Department of Anthropology.

The book, released last fall, is based on archaeological research in Colorado’s Middle Park, a high mountain basin initially encountered by Europeans in the early 1800s and occupied for centuries before the Utes. The book is a pre-history of the region’s earliest people -- Paleo-Indians -- at the end of the Ice Age.

The earliest Coloradans coped with some of the most extreme conditions -- high elevations and low temperatures -- of any prehistoric population in North America, according to Kornfeld. To survive, they had to intensify their food production, construct shelters and make warm clothing.

“The archaeological record of these early Coloradans, while still meager, provides a wealth of information about life ways in the Rocky Mountain high country,” Kornfeld said in a November interview about his book. “This record provides a robust database for interpreting their life ways and unique adaptations.”

ForeWord Reviews is a review magazine solely dedicated to discovering new independent books. Each year, ForeWord Reviews recognizes a small group of independent authors and publishers whose groundbreaking work stands out from the crowd, according to a Foreword news release.

In the next two months, a panel of more than 100 librarians and booksellers will determine the winners of these awards, now in its 16th year. A celebration of the winners will take place during the American Library Association Annual Conference in Las Vegas Friday, June 27, at 6 p.m. Awards will be handed out in more than 60 categories, including cash prizes for the best in fiction and nonfiction.

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