Education and Professional Experience: Dickson has been a faculty member at Texas A&M since 1975. After receiving his M.A. from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. from the University of Arizona and before coming to Texas A&M, he was Assistant to the Director of the School of American Research in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Research Assistant Professor and Director of the Columbia Reservoir Archaeological Project at the University of Tennessee. Dickson has had extensive archaeological field experience in the American South and Southwest, Central America and East Africa. His research focuses largely on hunter-gatherer adaptations to the arid and semi-arid highland environments of Africa during the Middle and Later Stone Ages. To this end, he has been conducting site reconnaissance and excavation in the Mukogodo Hills region of Kenya since 1989. Pursuant to this research, he received a Fulbright Research Fellowship to Kenya in 1994.
Publications: Dickson has 60 professional publications including three books. His first book, Prehistoric Pueblo Settlement Patterns, was called "one of the most stimulating settlement pattern studies ever done in the Southwest" in an American Anthropologist review. His second book, The Transfer and Transformation of Ideas and Material Culture was co-edited with Peter Hugill. His third book, The Dawn of Belief: Religion in the Upper Paleolithic of Southwestern Europe, deals with the "cognitive archaeology" of the Stone Age in the Old World. Dickson also has authored a textbook, Ancient Preludes: World Prehistory from the Perspectives of Archaeology, Geology, and Paleoecology, the third edition of which was released in 2004.
Professional Activities: Dickson has served as President of the Council of Texas Archaeologists, Trustee of the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History and, since 1984, has been on the Board of Directors of the Human Relations Area Files, Inc. In 2000, he was selected, along with Dr. Jon P. Alston, to give the Fallon-Marshall Lecture at Texas A&M University.