BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Human Biology Association (HBA) has
announced that A. Theodore Steegmann Jr., PhD, professor emeritus
of anthropology at the University at Buffalo, is the recipient of
its 2012 Franz Boas Distinguished Achievement Award.
He will receive the award at the HBA annual meeting at the
Hilton Portland in Portland, Ore., April 11-12.
Steegmann was on the faculty of the University at Buffalo
Department of Anthropology from 1966 to 2004, and chaired the
department from 1979 to 1988 and now is an emeritus member of the
physical anthropology faculty.
Steegmann is widely regarded as one of the world's leading
researchers on the biology of cold adaptation among both
contemporary and prehistoric human populations. His influential
work over the last 40 years has transformed our understanding of
how humans adapt to extreme environmental stressors, including
cold, under-nutrition, hard physical work and toxic substances.
Most of his research has involved the field investigation of
predictive biological-behavioral models in Alaska, Hawaii, northern
Canada, China, the Philippines and Western New York, in particular
at Love Canal. He is the author of the History of Love Canal and
UB's Response: History, the University Role and Health Research in
the Buffalo Environmental Law Journal, Volume 173 (2000-01),
published on the 20th anniversary of Love Canal.
Among his many contributions to the field of human biology,
Steegmann served as president of the HBA from 2004-06. In 2006, he
delivered the association's Raymond Pearl Memorial Lecture, in
which he presented an overview of his pioneering research on human
adaptation to cold stress.
In 1986 he served as president of the Biological Anthropology
Section of the American Anthropological Association; and from
2007-08, as chair of the Anthropology Section of the American
Association for the Advancement of Science. From 1992-97, Steegmann
served as editor of the "Yearbook of Physical Anthropology."
His most recent publications include Climate, Racial Category
and Body Proportions in the U.S. in the American Journal of Human
Biology (2005), the official journal of the HBA, and Human Cold
Adaptation: An Unfinished Agenda, in the American Journal of Human
The HBA award is named for Franz Boas (1858-1942), the founder
of modern anthropology and the father of American anthropology. He
also gave modern anthropology its rigorous scientific methodology,
patterned after the natural sciences, and originated the notion of
"culture" as learned behaviors.
The Human Biology Association, founded in 1974, is a
professional organization that represents broadly the interests of
human biologists in the U.S. and throughout the world.