Spencer Pelton became the Wyoming State Archaeologist in November 2019. Spencer has maintained a varied career in government, private, and academic sectors, working in Tennessee, North Carolina, California, Nevada, Colorado, Wyoming, and the Khovsgol Province of northern Mongolia. As a faculty member of the University of Wyoming Department of Anthropology, Spencer places an emphasis on training well-rounded students with a diverse set of knowledge and skills, offering educational opportunities in Plains and Rocky Mountain prehistory, global human dispersal, cultural resource management, archaeological excavation, and evolutionary perspectives in anthropology.
Spencer primarily researches the early prehistory of hunter-gatherers in the High Plains and Rocky Mountains of the American West, but also maintains research interests in geoarchaeology, site formation, chronological modeling, experimental archaeology, and global human dispersal. Spencer conducts excavations at several Paleoindian archaeological sites in Wyoming including the Powars II red ocher quarry, the Sisters Hill site, and the La Prele mammoth site. As the Wyoming State Archaeologist, Spencer focuses on the publication notable Wyoming archaeological sites and the dissemination of this knowledge to Wyoming’s residents through public presentations, research monographs, and interactive outreach efforts.