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ECU Ranked #1 in Country for Producing Professional Archaeologists, Maritime History Researchers

GREENVILLE, N.C. (Oct. 23, 2013) — East Carolina University continues to prove our graduates excel in their professions, as is evidenced in a recent analysis titled “The Register of Professional Archaeologists,” which appears in the September 2013 issue of the journal, Society for American Archaeology, and is statistically valid for the years 2010-12. In the article, ECU is ranked number one on the list of the top 10 graduate institutions in the USA, ranked by number of applicants to the Register of Professional Archaeologists.

A key reason ECU had the highest number of applicants to the RPA is that currently ECU is one of only a few graduate institutions in the US offering an interdisciplinary master’s degree in maritime history and nautical archaeology. In fact, according to the article, “67 percent of applications received from ECU graduates during 2010-12 claimed graduate degrees from this program, with the remainder coming from Anthropology, which clearly distinguishes ECU from other graduate institutions in the USA and abroad.”

The recent ranking came as a nice surprise to Dr. Bradley Rodgers, director of the program in maritime studies, housed in the Thomas Harriot College of Arts and Sciences Department of History.

“This is a bit like picking up a newspaper and seeing that our football team has been ranked number one for two years without us knowing about it,” said Rodgers. “Since the register is the equivalent of a guild card, it is logical to assume that we are producing more professional archaeologists than any university in the country.”

Dr. Randy Daniel, interim chair of the Department of Anthropology, said, “The fact that many of our MA archaeology grads are applying to RPA confirms that the training they receive at ECU meets the professional standards required to be listed on the register. Prospective employers of archaeologists, including state and federal agencies as well as private companies, look to the register to identify those archaeologists that meet established professional standards.”

Researchers in the field of archaeology must apply to become members of the RPA, though not all applicants are accepted. The RPA expects its members to have high standards of research performance and adhere to a specific code of conduct.

“Archaeology is a profession, and the privilege of professional practice requires professional morality and professional responsibility, as well as professional competence, on the part of each practitioner,” reads the RPA code of conduct.

Within the standards of research performance, the RPA requires members to design and conduct projects that will add to the understanding of past cultures, while causing “minimal attrition of the archaeological resource base.”

ECU graduates of the maritime history and nautical archaeology program go on to secure jobs as contract archaeologists, government cultural resource managers, museum archaeologists, curators, museum directors, national and state park staff, conservators and educators at all levels.

Graduates of ECU’s master of arts in anthropology, housed within Harriot College’s Department of Anthropology, are offered a global view of human evolution, adaptation and culture, which allows them a better understanding of the archaeological, biological and cultural aspects of human diversity. ECU anthropology graduates secure careers in the areas of local and federal law enforcement, national park service, death scene investigation, cultural resource management, social services research, health-care program management and as educators.

For additional information about the ECU program in maritime studies, contact Rodgers at 252-328-6097 or rodgersb@ecu.edu. Information on ECU’s programs in anthropology may be found by contacting Daniel at 252-328-9430 or danieli@ecu.edu. More material on the RPA is available online at http://www.rpanet.org.