Easter Island Statue Project Official Website

Jo Anne Van Tilburg, Ph.D. Curriculum Vitae



Easter Island Statue Project Field Office
Galería Mana
Petero Atamu s/n
Hanga Roa, Rapa Nui

Easter Island Statue Project Managing Office
225 Arizona Avenue Studio 500
Santa Monica, CA 90401 USA

Current Involvements

Director, Easter Island Statue Project (EISP)
Fellow, The Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA
A 210 Fowler
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1510

Director, UCLA Rock Art Archive (1997-present)
A 450 Fowler
Los Angeles, CA 90024-1510
1 310 825 1720

Member, the US National Landmarks Commission National Park System Advisory Board (second appointment beginning 2008)


1986  Ph.D.  University of California, Los Angeles  (Archaeology)
1976  M.Ed.  University of California, Los Angeles  (Educational Psychology)
1965 B.S. University of Minnesota (Humanities and Social Sciences)

Doctoral Dissertation Power and symbol: The stylistic analysis of Easter Island monolithic sculpture

Research Focus Style and iconographic analysis; typological analysis; ideological dimension of material objects (symbolism); integration of symbolic and structural principles.

Study Areas Oceania, Polynesia, Micronesia, California

Current Field Projects

Easter Island Statue Project (EISP)

Little Lake Ranch, Inyo County, CA

Biographical Data

Who’s Who of American Women, 2000-2001

Outstanding Minnesota Women, 2000 (Chelstrom 2000: 154)

Who’s Who in Rock Art Studies, 2000 (Valcamonica:  Center for the Study of Prehistoric Art)

“Accidental Archaeologist”  Interview, Charles Osgood, CBS Sunday Morning, 1995.

Anthropologists in American Universities, Mankato State University On-line Museum


Easter Island Statue Project Website  www.eisp.org

Professional Activities or Affiliations Related Directly to Archaeology

Appointed Member, US National Landmarks Commission National Park System Advisory Board, Department of the Interior, 2004-2008; 2008-2012

Collaborator, Universidad de Chile, Instituto de Estudios de Isla de Pascua, 1982-1986; 1989; 1990-1998; 2002

National Geographic Society (NGS) grantee, 1989; Lecturer, NGS, 2000, 2003

Fellow, Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) 1989-present.

Fellow, The Explorer’s Club, 2009

National Lecturer, Archaeological Institute of America, 1994-present

Member, Campaign Committee, Archaeological Institute of America, 1998; 2001-2004

Lecturer, Campus on the Mall, Smithsonian Institution, 1993, 1999, 2003

Lecturer, British Museum 1990-2002-2008

Lecturer and Accompanying Expert, Archaeological Tours, 1996, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2004-2008

Instructor, Rock Art Analysis, Archaeological Certificate Program, UCLA Extension Division, 1994, 1994, 1997, 1999, 2001-2005

Director, UCLA Rock Art Archive, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA 1997-present

Member, Editorial Advisory Board, UCLA Institute of Archaeology Publications, 1995-2000

Organizer and Grant Writer, California Council for the Humanities conference and publication grant for Prehistoric Indian Rock Art:  Issues and Concerns. Co-principle investigator with Clement W. Meighan, Chair, Department of Anthropology, UCLA, 1981.

Pre-Doctoral Teaching and Administration

Member of the Faculty, Psychology Clinic School, UCLA Department of Psychology, 1971-1977.  Director of Transition Program, 1976-77; Graduate Student Supervision Team, 1973-77; Undergraduate Supervisor, Psychology 132b, 1971-77.

Pre-Doctoral Field Survey, Excavation and Laboratory Experience (Major Projects Only), 1978-1981

California Rock Art Research and Recording.  Rock Art Archive, UCLA Institute of Archaeology.  Survey and recording of numerous rock art sites in Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Riverside and San Diego counties, 1982, with  Dr. Clement W. Meighan, Department Chair, Department of Anthropology, UCLA

Easter Island Rock Art Recording Project.  Survey and recording of rock art sites, Rapa Nui, Chile, University Research Expeditions Program, University of California, Berkeley1981.

Bullrush Canyon Project, Santa Catalina Island, California.  California State Universtiy, Long Beach. Excavation and crew leader, 1981-1982.  Dr. Jane Rosenthal, California State University.

El Balsamo Project, Antigua, Guatemala. UCLA Institute of Archaeology.  Excavation and pottery laboratory assistant, 1980. Dr. C.W. Clewlow, Jr., Director, UCLA Archaeological Survey.

Inland Chumash Research Project, Los Angeles County. UCLA Institute of Archaeology survey and excavation; lithics analysis laboratory, 1978-1980.  Dr. C.W. Clewlow, Jr., Director, UCLA Archaeological Survey

Inyo County Rock Art Project, 1978-1981.  Dr. C.W. Clewlow, Jr., Director, UCLA Archaeological Survey

Pre-Doctoral Field Projects Under my Personal Direction, 1982-1986

Easter Island Statue Project (EISP).  Three seasons of fieldwork conducted to document monolithic statuary as a component of the island-wide survey and artifact inventory being conducted by the Instituto de Estudios, Isla de Pascua, Universidad de Chile.  Season two was conducted as Director of a University of California, Berkeley, UREP field project, 1982, 1983, 1984.

Church Rock Petroglyph Project, Redding, CA.  Survey and recording of the largest known petroglyph site in Shasta County, CA., American Rock Art Research Association and the City of Redding, CA, Planning Department, 1982.

Post-Doctoral Field Projects, 1986-present

Easter Island Statue Project (EISP).  Field survey and data analysis evolved and continued as an independent project, 1986-present www.eisp.org

Balau Monolithic Sculpture Inventory, Republic of Belau, Micronesia.  Field survey and recording of rock art and monolithic sculpture, Belau National Musuem and the Belau Division of Cultural Affairs, 1987.

Riverside County Rock Art Project.  Survey, documentation and analysis of rock art data on 12 rock art sites in Riverside County, CA. UCLA Rock Art Archive and the Department of Extension, 1996-1998

Little Lake Rock Art Project.  “Captured Visions.” Survey, documentation and analysis of rock art data, Little. Lake Ranch, Inyo County, CA. Digital field survey and excavations, archival data storage and presentation in CD ROM format,1997, 1999. 2000-2008

Foxtrot and Lavic Lake Rock Art Project.  Survey, documentation and analysis of rock art for NREA Directorate, United States Marine Corps, Twentynine Palms, CA. and the UCLA Rock Art Archive. Digital field survey, archival data storage and presentation in CD ROM format, 1997-1999

Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) Transport Project.  Experimental archaeology project examining pre-industrial mechanics and techniques in Polynesian chiefdom level society, 1997-1998.  NOVA/WGBH Boston, The Boeing Company and 18 other donors from the private industrial sector.

Awards, Grants, Contracts, Honors

Archaeological Institute of America, Site Conservation Committee award, Easter Island Statue Project (EISP) Rano Raraku Excavation and Statue Preservation Initiative, 2008

California Governor’s Award for Historic Preservation, 2001

Archaeological Institute of America, “Golden Trowel” award, 1999

Archaeological Institute of America, Campaign Medallion, 1999

Alpha Delta Kappa National Honor Society Education, 1976

Department of Education, State of California Lifetime Teaching Credential, 1970

NREA Directorate, Contract for rock art recording at Foxtrot and Lavic Lake, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, CA., 1998.  Additional funding for continuation of rock art recording fieldwork at Foxtrot site to Nov., 1999; expansion of recording to include helicopter survey of related geographical area, 1999.

California Council for the Humanities Conference grant with Mainland Council, Association of Hawaiian Civic Clubs (Ka’ala Pang), Century of the Pacific, 1995.

City of Los Angeles Citation and Commendation for work with the Century of the Pacific, 1995.

Foundation for Archaeology and Rock Art Publication grant, Easter Island Archaeology, Ecology and Culture, British Museum Press, 1994

National Geographic Society (3968088) Post-doctoral field research, Easter Island, 1989.

School of the Pacific Islands, Inc. Post-doctoral field research on the islands of Koror and Babeldaob, Republic of Belau, Micronesia, 1987.

School of the Pacific Islands, Inc. Pre-production grant with Helaine Silverman, Ph.D., Department of Anthropology, University of Illinois, Champagne-Urbana

Friends of Archaeology, UCLA. Pre-doctoral equipment purchase, 1982

Isaac D. and Ruth G. Sinaiko Foundation Publication grant

Ancient Images on Stone, UCLA Institute of Archaeology, 1981.

Ahmanson Foundation Research and publications grant for the UCLA Rock Art Archive, 1981.  Co-principle investigator with Clement W. Meighan, Chair, Department of Anthropology, UCLA.  Funded, in part, Ancient Images on Stone, 1981 and Rock Art of Easter Island by G. Lee, 1994.

California Council for the Humanities Pre-doctoral conference and publication grant for Prehistoric Indian Rock Art:  Issues and Concerns. Co-principle investigator with Clement W. Meighan, UCLA, 1981.

American Rock Art Research Association pre-doctoral field research grant, Church Rock Petroglyph Survey, City of Redding, CA.

Public Outreach, Publication and Education Related Directly to Archaeology

Sponsor, “The Van Tilburg Endowed Lecture in Pacific Studies”, Archaeological Institute of America.

Guest Curator, with four colleagues from four other UCLA institutions, of a special exhibit entitled “UCLA Collects!”  UCLA Fowler Museum of Cultural History, 2005.

Creator, Classroom Instructional Program in Rock Art, Fairburn Avenue Elementary School.  Los Angeles Chapter, Archaeological Institute of America, 1970s, 1998, 1999

Curriculum Development On-Line, Rock Art Archive, UCLA Institute of  Archaeology, 1999, 2000

Web Page, Rock Art Archive, UCLA Institute of Archaeology, 1999, 2000

Member, Editorial Board, UCLA Institute of Archaeology, 1998, 1999, 2000

Editorial Board, “Archaeology Magazine,” Archaeological Institute of America 1990, 1994

Exhibit Guest Curator, “Katherine Routledge y la Expedición Mana a Isla de  Pascua, 1913-1915.”  Museo R.P. Sebastián Englert, Easter Island, Chile and the  Department of  Ethnography, British Museum, 1995.

Exhibit Organizer: “Contemporary Paintings from Rapa Nui (Easter Island). Century of the Pacific California Council for the Humanities and Mainland Council, Hawaiian Civic Clubs.

Exhibit Consultant:  “Land of Projection” Japanese American Cultural Center, City of Los Angeles and Whitney Museum, New York.  With Bruce Yonemoto and Norman Yonemoto, 1994.

Organization Founder: Rapa Nui Outrigger Club. Organization founded and supported  with the assistance of Kahu Kahu O  Hera to re-introduce the outrigger canoe as a cultural artifact on Easter Island, 1989.

Organization Advisor, Rapa Nui Outrigger Club, 1989-2000.

Exhibit Director:  “Shamans’ Songs: The Rock Art of Western America.”  U.S. National Park Service, 1982

Exhibit Director:  “Hands on the Past.”  Los Angeles Children’s Museum, 1982.

Special Consultant, Site Preservation: Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, U.S. National Park Service, 1981-84

Exhibit Director:  “Rock Art: Ancient Images on Stone.”  UCLA Institute of Archaeology and the Rock Art Archive. 1980.

Media Presentations of My Work

“Mysterious Journeys:  Easter Island.” The Travel Channel, 2007  Guest appearance.

“Mega Movers:  Ancient Mystery Moves.”  The History Channel 2007.

Guest appearance, with Matt Lauer on Easter Island, “Where in the World is Matt Lauer? The Today Show, NBC, 2005. Web cast to 2006

“Easter Island Statue Project” One hour presentation, Bill White Productions, 2003

Broadcast, Chilean television on Rapa Nui, 2006.

“Easter Island” BBC Horizon Two-hour documentary , 2003. Web cast and web text through 2006.

“Wonders of the Ancient World:  Easter Island” Discovey Channel, 2003. “Easter Island.” The History Channel. One hour program aired world wide.  Appearance  and special commentary (including conversation with Thor Heyerdahl in Tenerife, Spain), 1999.

“Secrets of Lost Empires.”  NOVA/WGBH Boston One hour program describing my experimental archaeology project examining pre-industrial technology in an island chiefdom.  We created, transported and erected a replica statue representing the average figure.  Michael Barnes, Producer.  1997.  Airing Feb., 2000.  Web cast to 2010.

“Virtual Archaeologist on Easter Island.”  CD ROM format presentation prepared by the Digital Archaeology Lab, UCLA Institution of Archaeology and used for fundraising and promotional demonstrations, 1997.

“Katherine Routledge.”  Interview on The Women’s Hour, BBC Radio, London, 1996

“Rock Art in California.” Interview on Life and Times, KCET-PBS Television, Los Angeles, 1996

“Archaeology:  Easter Island”  Half hour documentary of my work for the Archaeological Institute of America’s acclaimed “Archaeology” series and The Learning Channel, 1995.  Aired repeatedly world-wide.

“Accidental Archaeologist.”  Biographical sketch of my life and work by Charles Osgood, CBS Sunday Morning, 1995.

“Easter Island.”  Arthur C. Clarke’s Mysterious World. Half hour program, Granite Productions, London, for ITV.  1995.  Aired world wide.

“Easter Island.”  Two hour documentary prepared by the BBC Horizons. Aired world wide repeatedly.  1987

Accompanying Expert Travel Lecture Experience

Accompanying Expert:  “Rock Art of Sierra de San Francisco, Baja California Sur.”  Lecture and teaching our under the auspices of UCLA Extension Division and the Government of Mexico (INAH), 1990.

Accompanying Expert:  “The Mystery of Easter Island” The British Museum Traveller, 1991-2001; The Traveller, Inc. 2001-present

Accompanying Expert:  Archaeological Tours, Inc. Linda Feinstone.  “The Mystery of Easter Island.” 1990-present.

Private Jet Tour to Easter Island, Abercrombie and Kent, 2007.

Private Tour to Easter Island, Cotsen Institute of Archaeology, UCLA Director’s Council and the Archaeological Institute of America, 2008

Memberships in Professional Organizations and Societies

Fellow, Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers

Fellow, The Explorers Club

Member, Society for American Archaeology

Member, Archaeological Institute of America

Member, The Polynesian Society

Member, Pacific Arts Association

Member, Society of University Women

Posted on May 6th, 2009 by EISP Staff | Category: Jo Anne Van Tilburg |