Terry Hunt

University of Oregon, Dean Clark Honors College, Professor of Anthropology [tlhunt@uoregon.edu]


Prior to his current appointment at the University of Oregon as Dean of the Clark Honors College and professor of anthropoloy, Dr. Hunt taught for 24 years at University of Hawai`i, where he served as the Director of the University of Hawai`i Honors Program. In this position, Dr. Hunt had responsibility for oversight of honors offerings across the entire campus. He earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawaiʻi, Hilo; a Master’s degree from the University of Auckland (New Zealand), and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Washington.

Dr. Hunt is an archaeologist whose research and teaching focus on historical environmental change and life on the islands of the Pacific Ocean. He has conducted archaeological research in the Pacific Islands for more than thirty years, with extensive work in the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Papua New Guinea, and Easter Island (Rapa Nui). Over the past twelve years, Dr. Hunt has directed archaeological field research on Easter Island, where he and his students work on many aspects of the island’s prehistoric past. His continuing research on the island addresses questions concerning the trajectory of cultural and ecological changes, including the role of the colossal statues and monuments in ancient society.


Dr. Hunt has published numerous scholarly articles on Pacific archaeology, prehistory, and linguistics. His work has been published in Science, Nature, American Scientist, Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Journal of Archaeological Science, Pacific Science, Journal of the Polynesian Society, Rapa Nui Journal, and Current Anthropology, among others. He has co-edited four books, including a collection on historical ecology. In 2008 Dr. Hunt was awarded the prestigious University of Hawai`i Board of Regents Medal for Excellence in Research in recognition of his innovative work on Rapa Nui. In 2005, Dr. Hunt won the University of Hawaii Regents’ Medal for Excellence in Teaching. Dr. Hunt’s recent book (The Statues that Walked: Unraveling the mystery of Easter Island, Free Press, New York, 2011) co-authored with Carl Lipo, revisits the dramatic story of Rapa Nui’s prehistory. The book won the Society for American Archaeology’s book of the year award, 2011, in the public audience category. Dr. Hunt’s research was the focus of a National Geographic Magazine cover story (July, 2012) and a full-length Nova-National Geographic TV documentary that aired on PBS in November 2012.