As a founding member of the both the Department of Latin American and Caribbean Studies and the Institute of Mesoamerican Studies at Albany, he has significantly broadened the University's international research and teaching mission while becoming a scholar of international renown. During more than 20 years of research, he has conducted more than 54 months of field work in Guatemala, Mexico and Costa Rica field experience and cultural immersion that has set him apart from the majority of Mesoamerican researchers.
Carmack has authored eight books six of which have been translated into indigenous languages co-authored two others, and edited seven more. In 1993, his Historia Antigua de America Central was given the Aquilio J. Echeverria National Prize of Costa Rica as one of the year's best books on Central America. Harvest of Violence, his 1988 collection of essays on the effects of ongoing violence on indigenous peoples, has been praised in major anthropological and historical journals. He has also written 40 articles and chapters and 15 book reviews, and given presentations internationally.
He has garnered more than $430,000 in external funding support from the most prestigious programs for anthropological research, including the Social Science Research Council, the Wenner Gren Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation.
Under his supervision, more than 70 graduate students have been educated to be future scholars and researchers. He himself remains a visible example of the value of quality field research as the basis for a strong scholarly contribution to one's discipline. His presence as researcher/teacher has also done much to increase the University's reputation as a strong center of area studies.