Don E Dumond

Remembering Dr. Don E. Dumond, upon his passing

Dr. Don E. Dumond of Eugene, Oregon, passed away June 8, 2023, at the age of 94. Born in 1929 in Childress, Texas, Dr. Dumond (or Dr. D, as he was known to friends, students, and colleagues) was a leading figure of American archaeology, working in Alaska and Latin America after retiring from the Air Force as a captain. He was an anthropology professor at the University of Oregon from 1962-1994 and the director of the Museum of Natural History (now the Museum of Natural and Cultural History) from 1982-1996.

Dumond’s lifelong pursuit of knowledge led to a career as a leading American archaeologist. His work in Alaska began in 1960, while earning his Ph.D. Cressman offered Dumond a project determining the size of salmon runs on the Alaska Peninsula prior to 1880, for which there was no written record. He went on to receive a National Science Foundation grant between 1963-65 for the work, after which he became a professor of anthropology at the University of Oregon while also teaching in the Honors College. Among other accolades, Dumond was an elected Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America, an elected member and chair of the nominations committee for the American Anthropological Association, an appointed delegate to the Permanent Council of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, an appointed member of the Ad Hoc Committee on the Status of Archaeologists within the American Anthropological Association, and an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. In 1998, the Alaska Anthropological Association presented Dumond with a Career Achievement Award, and in 2008, they again honored him with a Lifetime Achievement Award. After retirement, Dumond received the highest honors possible from both museums on his campus: the Director’s Lifetime Achievement Award from MNCH and the Gertrude Bass Warner Award from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art.

Dr. Dumond met his beloved wife Carol while both were visiting Mexico in 1950. They were married for 65 years until her death in 2015. His work lives on in the museum he built, the work he accomplished, and the lives he touched.

Dr. Dumond’s extensive bibliography and a dialogue can be found in a special edition of Arctic Anthropology honoring his work in the field:

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