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Nathan Goodale Promoted to Professor


Hamilton President David Wippman announced the promotion of Associate Professor of Anthropology and Associate Dean of Faculty Nathan Goodale to the rank of professor, effective July 1.

An interdisciplinary practitioner of scientific anthropological archaeology, he also teaches within the Geoarchaeology Program and currently directs the Digital Arts Program. He earned his doctorate in anthropology from Washington State University and joined the faculty in 2009.

Goodale is a scientifically oriented anthropological archaeologist with interests in the origin of villages and small-scale, semi-sedentary societies as well as technological adaptations. He specializes in the rise of complex hunter-gatherers in the interior Pacific Northwest, the forager/farmer transition in Southwest Asia, and rural coastal adaptations in western Ireland. 

For many years, Goodale has led a field exploration at the Slocan Narrows Archaeological Project in the Upper Columbia River, where he conducts a field school for Hamilton students and works with local indigenous groups with ancestral ties to the land. In addition to scholarly papers resulting from discoveries at this site, his collaborative digital project, a short film, has been distributed to five archaeological museums to augment interpretation of exhibits.

Goodale’s research emphases include paleodemography, technological adaptations, modeling human behavior with quantitative methods, lithic technological organization, and geochemical spatial analysis, all couched in an evolutionary theoretical framework to understand human behavior. 

He has a number of scholarly publications, including the co-edited book Lithic Technological Systems and Evolutionary Theory (Cambridge University Press, 2014) and a dozen peer-reviewed articles or chapters, several with student/alumni co-authors. Goodale’s publications have appeared in the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, American Antiquity, and Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.

Goodale co-founded the Hamilton Analytical Lab, which provides experiential learning opportunities and data science skill practice for student researchers. He has been a three-year member of the curriculum committee for the Society for American Archaeology, peer reviewing papers and grant proposals, and reviewing tenure and promotion cases for other institutions.

As associate dean of faculty since 2018, Goodale took the lead role in devising and tallying senior project assessment. He came up with the moniker ALEX (Advise, Learn, Experience) and advocated for that new Hamilton initiative to improve advising, and helped lead the Middle States re-accreditation review process.

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