Allan Burns, professor of anthropology and associate dean of faculty affairs at the University of Florida and chair of the AAA's award selection committee, writes in an announcement of this year's Solon Kimball Award that Acheson's "work is especially impressive in that his theoretical perspectives drive his policy efforts.
"The ease with which he works across disciplinary lines such as anthropology and economics reflects the spirit of the Kimball Award and the career of Solon Kimball as well," Burns writes. "His work truly contributes to the development of anthropology as an applied science, and his commitment to working in national and international policy is especially inspirational for all anthropologists."
Jim Roscoe, chair of the UMaine Anthropology Department, says that through his close work with lobstermen, Acheson introduced a human element into a regulatory process that traditionally has been guided by politicians and biologists.
Additionally, Roscoe says, "Jim has helped develop over the years theories of how institutions and rules evolve that can be used in other disciplines.
In helping to identify successful ways to regulate public policy, Acheson has provided insight into "what most of us cultural anthropologists are trying to do to come up with the means that will help us with the problems most of humanity faces," Roscoe adds.
Acheson grew up in Augusta and earned a bachelor of arts degree from Colby College and a doctorate at the University of Rochester. In all, Acheson has published more than 75 articles, including one in the June issue of the prestigious American Anthropologist, four books, several monographs and reports to the Maine legislature. His two books on the Maine lobster industry are "The Lobster Gangs of Maine," published in 1988, and "Capturing the Commons" in 2003. Th
Contact: James Acheson
University of Maine