September 9, 2017 10:04:48 PM
A Mississippi State alumnus and veteran environmental archaeologist now is serving as interim director of the university's Cobb Institute of Archaeology.
Evan Peacock joined MSU in 1999 as an anthropology faculty member. Born in Clarksdale and reared in Choctaw County, Peacock also worked as an archaeologist with the U.S. Forest Service.
In addition to a summa cum laude degree in anthropology from MSU, he holds master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Sheffield, England.
The Cobb Institute is part of MSU's College of Arts and Sciences. In making the announcement, Dean Rick Travis said Peacock is an experienced specialist with nearly two decades as a senior research associate at Cobb.
Noting his "deep familiarity with the mission of the Cobb Institute," Travis added, "The only thing that surpasses Dr. Peacock's experience is the passion he will bring to the position."
Travis additionally praised Peacock's academic and research achievements in the Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures. "With more than a dozen publications in the last three years alone, Dr. Peacock is recognized as a leader in archeological studies in the United States," Travis said.
Peacock is the author of numerous published articles resulting from research contracts with the National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and, most recently, National Science Foundation.
In response to Travis' announcement, Peacock emphasized that he is "deeply invested in seeing that the Cobb Institute dovetails its research and outreach mission" with that of the academic department. "We are training the next generation of students to tackle the many complex challenges and meet the extraordinary promise of being good stewards of humankind's common heritage," Peacock said.
Established in 1971, the institute is the namesake of benefactors Cully A. and Lois Cobb, and home to the Lois Dowdle Cobb Museum of Archaeology. An alumnus of Mississippi A&M College -- MSU's original name -- Cully Cobb (1884-1975) was an agricultural pioneer and educator.
According to Peacock, the Cobb Institute is among only a few endowed archaeological research institutes in the U.S., "a situation that presents excellent opportunities for MSU."
MSU's College of Arts and Sciences includes more than 5,000 students, 300 full-time faculty members, nine doctoral programs and 25 academic majors offered in 14 departments. Details about the College of Arts and Sciences may be found at cas.msstate.edu.