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Jerry B. Howard, as Curator of Anthropology at the Mesa Southwest Museum and in his many other roles involving the public, is an influential interpreter of the Hohokam cultural landscape and a widely recognized expert in their remarkable prehistoric canals in the Phoenix area. Concurrent with his Ph.D. studies at Arizona State University, Howard has authored numerous archaeological publications and led a master compilation of the locations of settlements and canals in the Salt River Valley (published in 1990). The resulting map represents a key resource in public planning and professional research in the Phoenix area.

As a longstanding mainstay of the Southwest Archaeology Team (SWAT), Howard has been instrumental in guiding its enthusiastic avocationalists and matching their efforts to the pressing needs of Arizona archaeology. He has also brought archaeology to the interested public by teaching field and laboratory classes in museum, junior college, and Arizona Archaeological Society venues. Notable successes in public presentation and development include his tireless initiatives in support of the Park of the Canals and the acquisition and study of Mesa Grande, a massive platform mound now secure in its urban setting.

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