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Campus News
Your faculty and staff news since 1965
Current Issue: September 22, 2003
Volume 39, Number 5

Scientist who discovered ‘Lucy’ to give XVII distinguished JAR lecture

JohansonIn 1973, Donald C. Johanson, Ph.D., and a small team of scientists shook the world when they discovered a nearly complete hominid skeleton in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia.

Nicknamed “Lucy,” the three-million-year-old fossil was the first to offer evidence that early humans with very small brains and apelike jaws walked erect at the end of the Pliocene era.

As the UNM’s XVII Journal of Anthropological Research (JAR) Distinguished Lecturer, Johanson will discuss the current understanding of early human origins in light of recent discoveries much older than Lucy.

Johanson’s lecture, “Lucy: 30 Years Later,” will be presented Thursday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m. in UNM’s Keller Hall, located next to Popejoy Hall.

A reception will follow.

The lecture is a fundraiser for the UNM Anthropology Department graduate student support fund, established this year in honor of the department’s 75th anniversary.

Tickets are $15 or $5 with a UNM student ID and are available at the UNM Bookstore and PIT ticket offices, Raley’s, Western Warehouse and www.tickets.com, or call 925-5858. If available, tickets will be sold at the Popejoy Box Office one hour prior to the event.

In addition to the lecture, Johanson will lead a free seminar “New Hominid Finds from Hadar, Ethiopia” on Friday, Oct. 10 at noon at the UNM Hibben Center, rm. 105.

Johanson is the Virginia M. Ullman Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Arizona State University where he is also director of the Institute of Human Origins.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1974 and is one of the world’s leading human paleontologists. His 1982 book with M. Edey, “Lucy: The Beginnings of Humanity,” was much acclaimed. Articles in National Geographic magazine and World Book were influential in generating public interest in human origins research.

Since the early 1970s, besides continuing to conduct research in Ethiopia, Johanson has directed projects in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, and in Eritrea, Jordan and Iran.

For information on UNM’s Journal of Anthropological Research or the JAR lecture, call 277-4544 or visit http://www.unm.edu/~jar. Annual U.S. journal subscriptions are $30.