2016 Distinguished Career Award: David F. Overstreet

David F. Overstreet
2016 Distinguished Career Award Recipient David Overstreet with MAC Board President Robert Jeske

Dave has made very important contributions in our understanding of Midwestern prehistory, particularly with respect to Paleoindian and Oneota archaeological cultures. More broadly, he has made his mark internationally with the dating and evidence for butchering of mammoth in the Upper Midwest. Perhaps even more importantly, he has been active in several substantive debates with a number of highly respected archaeologists over archaeological issues and each of these debates has inspired any number of other professional archaeologists and students to become engaged.

Dave has made incredibly important contributions to cultural resource management—in methods, techniques, and in how CRM archaeology is structured. The Great Lakes Archaeological Research Center was one of the first non-university CRM firms in the Midwest, and was a decades-long project that helped define the private sector of CRM archaeology from the 1970s on. In addition, GLARC was perhaps the only private sector archaeological firm in the Midwest that published monograph length, data-laden synthetic reports for large-scale distribution (e.g., Chesrow: A Paleoindian Complex in the Southern Lake Michigan Basin).

Dave is indefatigable when it comes to time and effort with avocational archaeologists and the general public. He has given talks and appeared at all manner of public fora, giving highly entertaining and informative programs his entire career. He may well be the best known and most respected professional archaeologist within the avocational community in Wisconsin.

Dave’s letters of support made it abundantly clear that he has made deep and lasting impressions on several generations of archaeologists, both in his capacity as an employer and as an academic advisor. Dave gives tirelessly to students—both his own and to others. He has volunteered to serve on numerous M.S. and Ph.D. committees, providing data and insights that enriched student careers.

Dave has worked tirelessly, and with great success, with Native American tribes in Wisconsin. In particular, Dave’s work with the Menominee tribal archaeologist’s office and with the College of the Menominee has 1) facilitated tribal, state government, and federal government cooperation on numerous projects important to the Menominee, 2) has brought archaeology—both in the classroom and in the field--to a new generation of Menominee students who otherwise would have great difficulties getting an archaeological education.