Dr. Peterson teaches courses in anthropology and archaeology. The courses that best reflect her research interests include "Buried Cities and Lost Tribes", "Archaeology in Action: Ethnographic and Experimental Approaches", "Bioarchaeology: Linking Bones and Behavior," and "Women and Men in Cross-Cultural Perspective."
The primary focus of Dr. Peterson's research is the agricultural revolution -- when humans first came together into settled, farming villages. Her fieldwork has taken her to Jordan, Turkey, Ireland, and the American Southwest. Using stone tools, human skeletal material, and architecture she is able to trace changes in activities, sexual labor patterns. and village social organization over this important cultural transition.
Her current field project is in Jordan in the Wadi el-Hasa. Dr. Peterson was part of a team of archaeologists who spent several seasons tromping through the desert recording over 500 archaeological sites in this area. In 1999, she returned to the best preserved Neolithic site, Khirbet Hammam, to excavate. She returned briefly in 2004 to visit the site and resumed excavation in 2006.