Hiro Kurashina, PhD is the Emeritus Director of the University of Guam Richard F. Taitano Micronesian Area Research Center (MARC), appointed in 2004 by the UOG Board of Regents and the president of the University of Guam. Dr. Kurashina earned his PhD, MA and BA (receiving honors in both general scholarship and his major) in anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley, with an emphasis in Old World Archaeology. Upon graduation, he became a lifetime member of the Alpha Chapter of Phi Beta Kappa of California.
As a graduate student, Kurashina was a member of an Archeology Field School at Mt. Carmel, Israel under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. Supported by the National Science Foundation, he spent several field seasons conducting paleo-anthropological research as a member of the UC Berkeley Expedition to the Afar Rift in Ethiopia under the direction of J. Desmond Clark. The research in East Africa resulted in two co-authored publications in the British Scientific Journal Nature.
During the past three decades, Kurashina has carried out field research in the Marianas, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Indonesia. Recent writings of Kurashina include chapters in books published by Cambridge University Press, Gadja Mada University Press, Academic Press, Mayfield Publishing Co., journal articles, and others.
Kurashina has recently served as a consultant for the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, DC. During the past three summers (2007-2010), Kurashina joined archeologists John Peterson and Mike Carson from the UOG MARC and James Bayman of University of Hawaii at Manoa in conducting an Archeology Field School at Ritidian on the northwestern coast of Guam.
Kurashina was a Charter Member of the Guam Preservation Trust and he has continually served on the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands Historic Preservation Review Board since its inception in 1983 until recently.
He is a recipient of the CNMI Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award through the NMI Council for the Humanities, the Japanese Foreign Minister’s Award on the occasion of the 150th Anniversary Year of the U.S. – Japan Treaty, a Guam Legislative Resolution, and a Congressional Record Citation in the U.S. House of Representatives. Kurashina co-chairs the MARC Advisory Council with Lorraine Yamashita. He is an honorary member of the Board of Directors of the Chinese Chamber of Commerce of Guam, serving as its Presidential Advisor.