Skip to main content

Michael Waters

Dr. Michael Waters
CSFA Endowed Chair, Director the Center for the Study of the First Americans, Executive Director North Star Archaeological Research Program
University Distinguished Professor
  • (979) 845-5246
  • Anthropology 204
Professional Links
PhD, University of Arizona, 1983


First Americans Studies, Geoarchaeology, Late Quaternary Geology

Current Research Projects:

I am an archaeologist and geoarchaeologist and my work focuses on the first inhabitants of the Americas. Specifically, I focus on understanding when the first people arrived to the New World during the last Ice Age, where they came from, how they adapted to the environments they encountered, and how they got here. I focus my research on the investigation of Clovis and the evidence for occupation of the Americas before Clovis. I am also interested in the application of geological concepts and methods in the investigation of archaeological sites. I am a field-oriented scientist and conduct field work every summer.

Courses Taught:

ANTH 202 – Introduction to Archaeology
ANTH 401 – Ice Age Humans in North America
ANTH 489 – Paleoindian Archaeology
ANTH 624 – Geoarchaeology
ANTH 689 – First Americans Archaeology

Current Graduate Students:

Nicholas Bentley, Adam Burke, Tyler Laughlin

Selected and Recent Publications:

2016            Halligan, J., Waters, M. R.*, Perrotti, A., Owens, I. J., Feinberg, J. M., Bourne, M. D., Fenerty, B., Winsborough, B., Carlson, D., Fisher, D. C., Stafford, T. W., and Dunbar, J. S., Pre-Clovis occupation 14,550 years ago at the Page-Ladson site, Florida, and the peopling of the Americas. Science Advances, v. 2, no. 5, DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600375.

2016            Forman, S. L., and Waters, M. R., Optically stimulated luminescence dating and the peopling of the Americas. PaleoAmerica, v. 2, p. 6-10.

2015            Waters, M. R., Stafford, T. W., Kooyman, B., and Hills, L. V., Late Pleistocene horse and camel hunting at the southern margin of the Ice-Free corridor: Reassessing the age of Wally’s Beach, Canada. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, v. 112, p. 4263-4267. Waters, M. R., Amorosi, T., and Stafford, T. W., 2015, Redating Fell’s Cave, Chile and the chronological placement of the Fishtail projectile point complex. American Antiquity, v. 80, p. 376-386.

2015           Waters, M. R., and Jennings, T. A., The Hogeye Clovis Cache, Texas.  College, Station, Texas A&M University Press, 151 p.

2014           Rasmussen, M., Anzick, S. L., Waters, M. R.*, Skoglund, P., DeGiorgio, M., Stafford, T. W., Rasmussen, S., Moltke, I., Albrechtsen, A., Doyle, S. M., Poznik, G. D., Gudmundsdottir, V., Yadav, R., Malaspinas, A., White, S. S., Allentoft, M. E., Cornejo, O. E., Tambets, K., Eriksson, A., Heintzman, P. D., Karmin, M., Korneliussen, T. S., Meltzer, D. J., Pierre, T. L., Stenderup, J., Saag, L., Warmuth, V., Lopes, M. C., Malhi, R. S., Brunak, S., Sicheritz-Ponten, S., Barnes, I., Collins, M., Orlando, L., Balloux, F., Manica, A., Gupta, R., Metspalu, M., Bustamante, C. D., Jakobsson, M., Nielsen, R., and Willerslev, E., The geonome of a late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana.  Nature, v. 506, p. 225-229.

2014           Waters, M. R., and Stafford, T. W., Redating the Mill Iron site, Montana: a reexamination of the Goshen complex chronology.  American Antiquity, v. 79, p. 541-548.

2011           Waters, M. R., Forman, S. L., Jennings, T. A., Nordt, L. C., Driese, S. G., Feinberg, J. M., Keene, J. L., Halligan, J., Lindquist, A., Pierson, J., Hallmark, C. T., Collins, M. B., and Wiederhold, J. B., The Buttermilk Creek Complex and the Origins of Clovis at the Debra L. Friedkin Site, Texas.  Science, v. 331, p. 1599-1603.

2011           Waters, M. R., Pevny, C. D., and Carlson, D. L., Clovis Lithic Technology: Investigation of a Stratified Workshop at the Gault Site, Texas. College Station, Texas A&M University Press, 226 p.