The University Record, May 6, 1997

Marcus first U-M woman elected to NAS

By Diane Swanbrow
News and Information Services

Anthropologist Joyce P. Marcus has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the first U-M woman to be so named.

Marcus, professor of anthropology and curator of Latin American archeology at the Museum of Anthropology, is the author of Mesoamerican Writing Systems: Propaganda, Myth, and History in Four Ancient Civilizations, among many other publications.

"Joyce is one of the world's foremost anthropological archaeologists focusing on Mesoamerica (Mexico, Guatemala and Belize)," says Conrad P. Kottak, chair of the Department of Anthropology. "She is especially well known for her work on Maya writing systems. She has worked and taught on the prehistory of diverse areas including Mesoamerica, Peru and Egypt. She is one of the most distinguished members of our top-ranked faculty."

The Department of Anthropology has been ranked first in the nation in the two most recent surveys conducted by the National Research Council.

Marcus, who joined the U-M in 1985, received a Ph.D. in anthropology from Harvard University in 1974. She received a Henry Russel Award for Scholarly Research in 1979 and an LS&A Excellence in Research Award in 1995. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Chapter, Berkeley, where she received an A.B., magna cum laude, from the University of California, Berkeley in 1969.

Among the books Marcus has authored, co-authored, edited or co-edited are Emblem and State in the Classic Maya Lowlands: An Epigraphic Approach to Territorial Organization, The Cloud People: Divergent Evolution of the Zapotec and Mixtec Civilizations; The Flocks of the Wamani: A Study of Llama Herders on the Punas of Ayachucho, Peru; and Zapotec Civilization: How Urban Society Evolved in Mexico's Oaxaca Valley.

She is one of 12 active U-M faculty members who have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and one of 60 new members and 15 foreign associates to be elected this year, bringing the number of total of current active members to 1,773.

Election to membership in the Academy, in recognition of distinguished and continuing achievements in original research, is considered one of the highest honors that can be accorded a U.S. scientist or engineer.