Hed: NASA archaeologist Tom Sever to speak at PCDA annual meeting
By Jane Clark Summers
Daily Journal Corinth Bureau
BOONEVILLE – The man called NASA’s own Indiana Jones will be guest speaker at the annual meeting of the Prentiss County Development Association April 25.
Dr. Tom Sever gained international acclaim for his development of remote sensing/GIS technology that has helped unearth lost histories of ancient cultures around the world. Sever’s research is aimed at reconstructing human environmental interaction across the centuries in order to determine the effects of global changes.
Working with leading scientists, his discoveries include ancient Anasazi roadways in the Southwest, the oldest known footprints in the world in Costa Rica, an Iron Age tower communication system in Israel, Mayan pyramids and roadways in Guatemala and Peruvian sites in the Andies.
PCDA board member Dr. David Powe said Sever goes into the jungles for lengthy periods of time and lives and works among the natives. Powe, manager of education programs at NASA’s Stennis Space Center, describes Severs as “our own Indiana Jones.”
Sever’s marriage of modern satellite imagery with the study of ancient civilization is rewriting history books, Powe said. “He is very personable. His presentation will hold everyone spellbound.”
Well published in professional literature, Sever has also been featured in several popular magazines.
In addition to attending the PCDA banquet Thursday, Sever will spend time with area students while in Prentiss County. Plans are being made for several students to accompany Sever on a mini-dig.
A former assistant professor at the University of Southern Mississippi, Sever has worked with NASA’s Science and Technology Laboratory as a remote sensing investigator/archeologist. In 1994, he received an Exceptional Achievement Award from the Society of Professional Archeologists for bringing remote sensing/GIS technology to the entire discipline of anthropology/archeology. Other honors include an Exceptional Achievement Award and a Scientific Achievement Award from NASA and the Earl Morris Award from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
This year’s PCDA banquet will be held at the Crow’s Neck Environmental Center east of Highway 30, near Paden. Casual dress is recommended.
The association is arranging a bus ride for those not wishing to drive to the site. To arrange for a ride or for other information, contact PCDA Executive Director Doug Mansel at 728-3505. Tickets are $15 each and available from any PCDA member or at the PCDA office.