Throughout the School's history, many members of the faculty have gained international and national recognition for their work. Emil Haury, C. Vance Haynes, Frederick S. Hulse, Robert McC. Netting, and Edward H. Spicer were elected to the National Academy of Sciences on the basis of work done at the University of Arizona. W. David Kingery was a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and in 1998 he received the first W. David Kingery Prize (named in his honor) awarded by the American Ceramic Society. In 1999 he received the prestigious Kyoto Prize in Advanced Technology from the Inamori Foundation in Japan. Both Haury and Spicer were made members of the American Philosophical Society, the nation's oldest academy founded by Benjamin Franklin in 1743. Haury and Jane Hill received the Viking Fund Medal from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Haury received the Alfred Vincent Kidder Award from the American Anthropological Association. Haury and Raymond Thompson received the Service Award of the Secretary of the Interior, one of the highest awards the United States government can give to a private citizen. William Longacre received the first Society for American Archaeology Excellence in Ceramics Research Award in 1991 and he was elected an Honorary Member of the American Ceramic Society in 1997. In 1998, John Olsen was named an Academician of the Mongolian Academy of Humanitarian Sciences in Ulaanbaatar, an honor thus far accorded to fewer than a dozen foreign scholars. Olsen is also a recipient of the Burlington Northern Foundation's award for faculty commitment to undergraduate education. Thomas Weaver was awarded the Robert McC. Netting Prize in Political Ecology from the Society for Applied Anthropology in 1998 and the Bronislaw Malinowski Prize from the Society for Applied Anthropology in 2009.
J. S. Guggenheim Fellowships were awarded to Ned Spicer in 1941 and 1955, Emil Haury in 1949, Bert Kraus in 1951, Ed Dozier in 1967, Bob Netting in 1970, C. Vance Haynes in 1980, Arthur J. Jelinek in 1987, and Ellen B. Basso in 2002. William Rathje received the American Association for the Advancement of Science Westinghouse Award for Public Understanding of Science & Technology in 1991, and in 1992 he was given the Solon T. Kimball Award for Public and Applied Anthropology by the American Anthropological Association. Kingery (in 1984) and Jane Hill (in 1998) became Elected Fellows of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Haynes received the AMQUA Distinguished Career Award from the American Quaternary Association in 2002. Mark Nichter received the Margaret Mead Award from the American Anthropological Association in 1989 and Mimi Nichter received the same award in 2001. J. Stephen Lansing was elected a member of the external faculty of the Santa Fe Institute in New Mexico. T. J. Ferguson became the second member of the faculty to win the Solon T. Kimball Award in 2006. Jane Hill received the Franz Boas Award for Exemplary Service to Anthropology from the American Anthropological Association in 2009, the same year that she received the Koffler Prize from the University of Arizona.
Faculty in the School of Anthropology have served as Presidents of the discipline’s most recognized national organizations, including:
- The American Anthropological Association: Emil Haury, Edward H. Spicer, and Jane Hill
- The Society for American Archaeology: Emil Haury, Raymond Thompson, and Richard B. Woodbury
- The Society for Applied Anthropology: Theodore E. Downing and Thomas Weaver
- The Association of Latina and Latino Anthropologists: Thomas Weaver (first president and founder)
- The American Association of Physical Anthropologists: Frederick S. Hulse and William Stini
- The American Ethnological Society: Ellen B. Basso
- The Society for Medical Anthropology: Mark Nichter
- The Society for the Study of Indigenous Languages of the Americas: Jane Hill
- The Society for Linguistic Anthropology: Norma Mendoza-Denton
Our faculty have also served as editors or on editorial boards of major anthropological journals and publications.
Publications by numerous faculty have received national awards including the Society for American Archaeology Book Award to Mary Stiner and the Association of Borderlands Studies Past Presidents’ Book Award to Thomas E. Sheridan. J. Stephen Lansing has won both the Staley Prize and the Julian Steward Book Award. Two faculty have won the Gordon Willey Prize from the Archaeology Division of the American Anthropological Association: Barbara Mills (2006) and T. J. Ferguson (2009).
The Department of Anthropology was the first unit in the University to have an endowed professorship, the Fred A. Riecker Distinguished Professor of Anthropology, held first by Haury, then by Raymond Thompson, then by William Longacre, followed by Michael Brian Schiffer. Haynes and Netting were appointed Regents' Professors during the 75th anniversary year, and Jane Hill became a Regents’ Professor in 1995, John Olsen in 2005, and Mark Nichter in 2006. Two of the Mediterranean archaeologists who are now in the School of Anthropology are Regents’ Professors: David Soren and Richard Wilkinson.
The University of Arizona has honored many Anthropology faculty members for their teaching skills (Hermann K. Bleibtreu, Emil Haury, Arthur J. Jelinek, James E. Officer, John W. Olsen, Barnet Pavao-Zuckerman, Jennifer Roth-Gordon, Spicer, Raymond H. Thompson). J. Jefferson Reid was made a University Distinguished Professor in 2007 based on his teaching and mentorship. In 2009 the Department was awarded the Provost’s Award for Meritorious Departmental Achievement in Undergraduate Instruction.
The faculty have taught many thousands of students and as of July 2006 awarded 4,140 degrees: 2,700 B.A. degrees, 1,100 M.A. degrees, and 340 Ph.D. degrees. A number of the B.A. and M.A. graduates have earned doctorates in Anthropology and related disciplines at universities all over the country. According to a survey made in 1991, the Department's Ph.D. graduates had taken positions in academic departments (62 %), museums (10%), government agencies (11%), national and international organizations (1%), and the private sector (15%). Whatever their positions, they continue to extend the influence of the University of Arizona program in anthropology far and wide and they have sent many young people to Tucson to prepare themselves to carry on the Arizona tradition.