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John Cook

John Cook

John Paul Cook was born in 1938 in Paris, France. His mother, Audrey Gilman Ames, worked for the Paris Herald Tribune newspaper, and his father, John Joseph Cook, was an airplane mechanic in the U.S. Army Air Corps attached to the American Embassy. John relocated to the United States when he was one or two years old, and was raised by his aunt and uncle in Florida, and by his grandparents in Washington. By the time John was eight years old, the family lived in Maryland, and he spent a lot of time in the local cornfields picking up pottery, arrowheads, and other artifacts, which influenced his interest in archeology. In 1959, he earned a degree in anthropology from Dartmouth College, and his interest in arctic archeology was influenced by his professors Robert McKennan and Elmer Harp, early archeologists studying interior Alaska. After graduation, John was inducted into in the U.S. Air Force, and assigned to Fairbanks and Unalakleet, Alaska. After two years of service, John enrolled in graduate school, earning a master's degree from Brown University, and in 1969 earning a Ph.D in Anthropology from the University of Wisconsin with his dissertation, "The Early Prehistory of Healy Lake." John was one of the pioneers in arctic archeology and throughout his long career, he worked on all aspects of arctic and sub-arctic anthropology in Alaska, but he particularly enjoyed historic, enthohistoric and prehistoric archeology. In 1968, John began work at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, where, in addition to a full teaching load, he eventually was in charge of all archaeological surveys and excavations north of Glennallen along the route of the Trans-Alaska oil pipeline. The pipeline project was the first large wage-paying project for archaeologists in the U.S., employing more than 70 professional archaeologists and students who discovered and mitigated construction impacts to more than 300 prehistoric and historic sites. His report, "Archeological Investigation along the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, Volumes 1 & 2" (University of Alaska, Institute of Arctic Biology, 1977) was the first comprehensive review of prehistory and archeology in this area. In the early 1970's, John co-founded the Alaska Anthropological Association as an organization to publish research and share information among professionals and the public about Alaska's history and cultures. In 1980, John was hired by the Bureau of Land Management's northern region based in Fairbanks, Alaska, where he dealt with investigation and management of cultural resources, and was able to utilize his extensive knowledge of and experience with the history and archeology of northern Alaska and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline and Dalton Highway corridor, protect key sites, and educate the public about the prehistory and history of the region. John was well-known by his students and colleagues for his generosity and humility; he was always willing to share any information or data he had from previous research and always encouraged others in their work. John retired after nearly 20 years with BLM, but remained active in anthropological and historical organizations and continued to write, mentor students and young professionals, and attend professional conferences. John Cook passed away in 2017. For more about John Cook, see his obituary in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner newspaper.

Date of Birth:
Jan 17, 1938
Date of Death:
Dec 22, 2017
John Cook appears in the following new Jukebox projects: