Tammy Stone has been actively involved in archaeological research since 1979. For most of that time she has specialized in the prehistory of the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest. She received her Ph.D. from Arizona State in 1992, where her dissertation research concentrated on the process of aggregation in the Zuni region. Between her affiliation with various universities and contract companies she has conducted fieldwork and published on research in all of the major branches of the greater Southwest. However, all of this research has been tied together with an interest in the political economy, factional formation, the negotiation of identity and communication organizations of regional systems.
Her articles range in topic from an examination of site function in the Hohokam periphery, the procurement and distribution of non-local goods in the Hohokam core, communication models to understand the rise of aggregation, the use of chaos theory to explain the reorganization of the Zuni regional system in the wake of the Chacoan collapse, the use of spatial syntax analysis to understand factional formation in the Point of Pines region of the Mogollon, and ethnic interaction and alliance formation in the western pueblos.
Although her research concentrates on aspects of political economy and social constructs, her methods are empirical in nature. As such, she has worked with and published on research conducted on most forms of prehistoric material culture. Additionally, she has worked extensively with architectural remains. While this research is quantitative in nature and relies heavily on multivariate statistical methods, she attempts to work within a "nuanced" science that is open to alternative approaches and interpretations.
Although the archaeological research in the Point of Pines and Kayenta regions is ongoing, she recently has conducted research on administration in Higher Education and this is proving to be a fruitful new area of enquiry. She has won numerous awards for her research and teaching. Most recently she won the CLAS Outstanding Faculty Achievement award in 2009.