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UW Anthropologist to Appear in New PBS Series

May 26, 2015
artwork of two prehistoric Americans on a cliff overlooking a valley
An image from the “First Peoples” series scheduled to air on PBS beginning June 24. UW anthropologist Nicole Waguespack was interviewed for a segment on the series. (PBS)

A University of Wyoming anthropology professor was interviewed for a segment of the five-part documentary, the “First Peoples,” scheduled to have its premiere Wednesday, June 24, on PBS television.

Nicole Waguespack, an associate professor in the UW Department of Anthropology, was interviewed at Okotoks in Alberta, Canada, an enormous glacial field that defines the glacial margins of Pleistocene ice. She discussed the initial colonization of North America.

“I talked about possible entry routes, specifically passing through the Alberta region near the ice margins and the archaeological record associated with this time period,” she says. “It was a fun trip, and I think it (‘First Peoples’) will be a well-produced show.”

The PBS series tells the story of how early Homo sapiens moved around the globe and became the dominant human species. Each episode focuses on a different continent and meets the earliest Homo sapiens on that continent -- the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia and Europe. Where did they come from? How did they get there? What role did art, culture and technology play in their lives? Whom did they meet along the way?

The program will air Wednesdays, June 24 and July 1, at 7 and 8 p.m. MDT, and Wednesday, July 8, at 7 p.m. Check local listing for specific times and channels. To view the trailer and for more information about the program, visit

Waguespack, a specialist in the archaeology of hunting and gathering populations of North America’s earliest occupants, appeared on the History Channel’s ambitious 2013 “Big History” series that looked at the past in different ways by asking questions and weaving science into the core of history.

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