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John O’Connor

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BA (Highest Honors), Anthropology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2012); MA, Anthropology, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa (2013); PhD, Anthropology, University of Oregon (2019)


Register of Professional Archaeologists; Qualified Archaeologist, Oregon State Historic Preservation Office; Permitted Archaeologist, Hawaiʻi Department of Land and Natural Resources

Focus Area

Archaeology (Advisor: Jon Erlandson)


John O'Connor, Ph.D., RPA, is an archaeologist working in Polynesia and California. His primary interests are Pacific migrations, settlement patterns, cultural transmission, and human impacts on island and coastal ecosystems. Dr. O'Connor's academic research explores the historical ecology of human colonization at Tumaraʻa, Raʻiātea, and how community patterning among early Māʻohi populations reflects issues of social structure and habitat suitability in nearshore ecosystems. Professional responsibilities include supervisory level management of cultural resources projects throughout California, in addition to teaching and project participation in Oregon, Hawaiʻi, French Polynesia, and the Kingdom of Tonga. Dr. O'Connor passionately supports the ethical management of natural and cultural resources, with supplementary interests in indigenous philosophy, traditional ecological knowledge, natural resource law, and environmental conservation and protection.