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Wyoming State Parks and Cultural Resources
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Dudley Gardner, Ph.D. - Rock Springs

SPCR Commission District 2


Term Ends: Friday, March 01, 2019


A. Dudley Gardner Ph.D. has served on the State Parks and Cultural Resources Commission since March 2004. He also serves on the Wyoming Review Board for the National Registry of Historic Places, a position he has held since 1985. Currently he is a Professor at Western Wyoming Community College, a place that he has worked for since 1981. In addition to the current board positions he holds, Gardner has served on the Wyoming Council for the Humanities, chaired the Sweetwater County Centennial Committee, the Rock Springs Certified Local Government Board, and the Fort Bridger Historical Association. While in the position of Chairmen of the Fort Bridger Historical Association, the Historical Association received the International award of merit from the Society of Historical Archaeology for their commitment to the archaeology and preservation of Fort Bridger.

Dr. Gardner began his archaeological career in 1975 working on prehistoric sites. In 1981 he worked on his first historical archeological site and has worked and published in both areas of archaeology ever since. Among the books growing out of this dual interest that he has published are Forgotten Frontier: A History of Wyoming Coal Mining (1989), Rock Springs Then and Now (1990), A Pictorial History of Sweetwater County (1993), Architecture of the Ancient Ones (1995), and six chapters in The Red Desert: A History of a Place (2010 Ed by Annie Proulx). In addition he has had several book chapters and articles published since 1981; the most recent is a submittal to the University of Utah on prehistoric agriculture in northwest Colorado. He also has finished a manuscript on the "history of the Chinese in Wyoming." His research interests have led him to conducting research and excavations in the summer. The focus, like his focus in Wyoming and Colorado, is on the Formative Period and Chinese settlements around the Pacific; he has conducted or worked on excavations in New Zealand, Fiji, and Easter Island. For the last three summers he has worked for a Yale University research team in Mongolia. Here the team is researching the Formative Period on the Russian Mongolian border.

Gardner was born in Colorado, and after graduating from Ranum High School he served two tours of duty in Vietnam then went back east to study at Lee University where he earned his BA. Returning to Colorado he worked for the Archaeology Program at Colorado State University beginning in 1978 and earned his MA in 1980. In 1981 he was hired by Western Wyoming Community College as their staff Historical Archaeologist and transitioned to full time teaching and research in 1990. He became the Division Chair for the Social Science Fine Arts Department in 1994. In 2000 he earned his Ph.D. at the University of New Mexico.

Dudley, as most call him, loves two things: his children and the American West. His son, William Gardner, is a doctoral candidate at Yale University and his daughter, Emma Gardner, teaches third grade in Kona, Hawaii, where she has taught for three years. Her husband, Jason Perrot, served in the U.S. Infantry in Iraq and now is a nurse in Hawaii. His daughter-in-law, Stephanie Gries, is a speech pathologist who graduated with her MS from the University of Wyoming. Will and Stephanie have two children, Micah and Chloe. Micah (4) wants to move back to Wyoming, while Chloe (2) wants to stay in Connecticut where the family currently lives.

About the SPCR Commission