UO graduate to lead Museum of Natural and Cultural History

Todd Braje earned a doctorate in archaeology at the University of Oregon in 2007, and now he’s been selected to return to the UO  to lead the Museum of Natural and Cultural History.

Interim Provost and Executive Vice President Janet Woodruff-Borden announced the appointment of Braje, a professor and chair of anthropology at San Diego State University, as the museum’s next executive director following a national search.

Braje has maintained his relationship with the UO for more than 20 years. He’s been a research associate at the UO museum and has collaborated frequently on research projects with Jon Erlandson, the former executive director of the museum and professor emeritus of anthropology.

“Todd brings a depth and breadth of experience to the UO that will serve the museum well,” Woodruff-Borden said. “His broad skill set and passion for museums, research and education make him an excellent choice to lead the museum.”

Braje has authored or co-authored four books with a fifth in press at Smithsonian Books, one edited volume, and more than 100 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. He has generated more than $2.5 million in research grants and contracts.

His research focuses on long-term human-environmental interactions, the archaeology of maritime societies, historical ecological approaches to understanding coastal hunter-gatherer-fishers, and the peopling of the New World.

Braje has been honored as an American Institute of Archaeology lecturer; California Academy of Sciences research associate; and Smithsonian research associate. He has been an editorial board member and editor of several academic journals and has received teaching and advising awards.

Braje previously served as Irvine Chair of Anthropology and associate curator at the California Academy of Sciences, the largest natural history museum west of the Mississippi. He earned his master’s degree at the University of Florida and his bachelor’s at Beloit College.

Woodruff-Borden thanked the members of the search committee and Ann Craig, who will continue to serve as the museum’s interim executive director until Braje takes over Aug. 28.