SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC SCIENCES
This dissertation grant is for support of an archaeological project on Unimak Island in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The goal is to illuminate the socioeconomic organization of a complex huntergatherer village. The site consists of nine semi-subterranean houses. Preservation at the site is excellent and this site is ideal for archaeological study in this little known region. Ethnohistorical and archaeological data suggest that early contact-period Aleut society was socially and politically complex. There were numerous ranked societies, permanent communal houses, intensive warfare and interregional exchange networks. The relationships between rank, economic organization and the corporate group will be investigated through the excavation of these multi-family houses and analysis of artifacts, features and food refuse.
This project describes contemporary Yup'ik conceptions of wellness (i.e., beliefs and practices associated with health promotion and illness prevention). Research is being conducted over a 12-month period in Bethel, Alaska, which is the hub of the YukonKuskokwim Delta-the most populous region of Yup'ik speakers in the state. The hospital there serves as the medical center for 56 villages. The project entails collaboration with the Alaska Native regional health entity operating the hospital to prioritize specific issues of concern within the topic of Yup'ik conceptions of wellness. The specific issues identified are the focus of ethnographic research at the hospital. By most epidemiologic, economic, demographic and social health measures this region is the most disadvantaged in the state. Acute infectious disease contributes to substantial morbidity. Additionally, many health problems are due to chronic disease, injury and other health problems that have a behavioral factor as a contributing cause, the prevention of which entails a behavior change component. The illness profile describing the disease and psychosocial dysfunction of the people of the region is well defined. A wellness profile will be developed through compilation of quantitative data on diachronic indices of risk factors and health behavior change, and qualitative, ethnographic data describing cognitive categories related to preventive health domains, explanatory models of illness episodes and their relationship to wellness and health behavior "success stories." By focusing on contemporary beliefs, the research will advance the knowledge of: Yup'ik conceptual categories of etiology and prevention; beliefs of a much wider age group than has previously been described; and beliefs related to health issues previously unexamined. Paradoxically, this work that focuses on the contemporary and on fostering behavior change, could advance the Yup'ik cultural revitalization agenda by reinforcing the traditional Yup'ik value of illness prevention and belief in the role of human agency in the health of the individual and the community. Interactive activities include teaching an undergraduate course, instruction and supervision of students as research assistants, teaching a graduate course for health care providers and giving guest lectures, including instruction for Community Health Aides, at the Alaska Statewide Community Health Aide Conference in Anchorage in April 1997.
Funds are requested for a three-year Russian translation project to be organized by the international circumpolar journal Arctic Anthropology. There is an urgent need to disseminate the scholarship of Soviet anthropologists working in the Eurasian Arctic and Subarctic. Since only a few Soviet scholars are sufficiently fluent to write for English language journals, important research contributions are off-limits to all but a few Russian-reading North American scholars. This project hopes to provide systematic coverage of Soviet scholarship, publishing 56 papers in each volume over a three-year period.
Scandinavian settlers colonized the islands of the North Atlantic 500 years before Columbus. They introduced European economies and culture into fragile Arctic terrestrial and marine ecosystems and, over time, suffered the consequences of ecological damage, human population decreases and extinction. The Nordic archaeological, historical and ecological data on these human impacts is unique in the circumpolar world and highly relevant to our understanding of global change. This five-year project seeks to coordinate, integrate and analyze the complex multidisciplinary data from the North Atlantic region. This effort will greatly enhance the value of individual research projects in ten countries, and is of direct relevance to applied studies of fisheries and agriculture in the North.
The prehistory of the Aleutian Islands is poorly known and there is little understanding of the development of cultural complexity in this region. This archaeological investigation involves the excavation and analysis of structures and middens in the Shumagin Islands. The project is designed to determine how many of the structures were occupied simultaneously and what variation exists in larger and smaller structures. In addition to determining the distributions of implements and prestige goods, the excavations will render food remains indicative of diet. Combined with this new information, overall patterns of site densities in the Aleutian Islands will enable estimates of prehistoric Aleutian populations.
Rapid social and economic changes have taken place throughout rural Alaska, but relatively little research has focused specifically on how these changes affect adolescents whose life changes and beliefs about their future foreshadow the destiny of many Arctic villages. This project is a longitudinal study based on the Northwest Alaska Borough, site of a large zinc mine, and the Bristol Bay area, where commercial fishing dominates. The project systematically explores the progression from high school expectations to post-high school experiences. The data will be based on surveys, as well as ethnographic fieldwork, interviews, employment, police and Native association records. The data collected will help test the relationship between intentions and behavior, describe connections between individual and social changes in a rapidly transforming environment and yield practical insights for those involved in education, social services and occupational training for Native youths in rural Alaska.
This archaeological project will recover data on prehistoric and historic occupations at Pingasagruk, Point Franklin, once a whaling village on Alaska's Chukchi Sea coast. The rapidly eroding site will provide comparative data on differential access to trade and resources in the region, and provide a background for interpreting the well-documented aboriginal warfare of the past. In addition to analyzing settlement abandonment phases and the hiatus between the historic and prehistoric settlement at Pingasagruk, poorly documented outlying sites will be recorded using spatial domain radar. Information on house pit reuse and the vertical and historical extents of middens can be used to refine population estimates and patterns of resource exploitation. The project will be carried out in cooperation with Wainwright village residents and the North Slope Borough. Both students and elders will participate.
The proposed research will examine the changing significance of indigenous knowledge and practice in shaping resource management schemes. The principal research question examines whether or not attempts to integrate indigenous knowledge and practice with Danish management systems have led to more effective resource management in Greenland. The project seeks to understand what forms of indigenous knowledge and practice underlie use of renewable resources in West Greenland, and how indigenous knowledge and practice might contribute to future sustainable development in Greenland under Home Rule. Ethnohistorical materials will be analyzed, hunting lists compiled and case studies will be carried out within the the project. These data will additionally be made available to other North Atlantic projects (NABO) and the Danish Polar Centre.
The focus of this study is the weaving culture of Alaska Yup'ik and Inupiat Eskimo. Practiced continuously for at least a century, coiled basketry is nonetheless almost completely undocumented. Coiled basketry is a women's art and, as such, has been eclipsed by male art forms such as ivory carving and mask making. This collaborative Alaska Native study will be a first step in documenting this art form. The hypothesis that rapid social change negatively impacts indigenous art forms will be examined, as will the role of art in reinforcing cultural and gender identity in Native Alaska.
This archaeological project in northwestern interior Alaska seeks to elucidate the character of the Ipiutak and Late Prehistoric cultures, which span the transition between the 4000-year old Arctic Small Tool tradition and recent peoples of the region. The Ipiutak culture contrasts dramatically with Late Prehistoric cultures and various hypotheses to explain these differences will be tested using excavated data from numerous sites. Points of comparison will include settlement patterns, subsistence systems, house forms, tool types and paleoenvironmental data. Although some new field work will be undertaken, a major component of the project consists of analysis of previously excavated, but unpublished, material. The product will stand as a significant contribution to anthropology and to the knowledge of cultural development in Alaska.
This research project will document traditional ecological wisdom of beluga whales in native villages in northwest Alaska and in Chukotka, Russia. The objectives are to gather information on the natural history of beluga whales, including aspects of human use and interaction. A primary focus will be to examine patterns and changes over time, providing a temporal depth that is unavailable in the scientific literature. While traditional knowledge is often discussed, little research of this kind has been done in Alaska and Chukotka. This is also a pilot project of the Arctic Environmental Protection Strategy, and is intended to demonstrate how indigenous knowledge can be documented and incorporated into this and other management and conservation programs.
The number of social scientists engaged in Arctic research has grown substantially over the past two decades. This expansion in numbers, and in the variety of fields represented, has made it increasingly difficult to keep abreast of this research. The proposed project is intended to foster communication between social scientists and others working in the Arctic by creating a worldwide directory which could be made available free of charge to both individuals and organizations. The directory will further make known the expertise of Arctic social scientists to northern residents and natural scientists.
Well publicized genetic studies linking the origin of modern humans to Africa have been based largely on maternally inherited mitochondrial DNA, which reveal nothing about the role of males in the dynamics of human migration. The overall goal of this research project is to use the Y chromosome (carried by males alone) as an independent tool to test hypotheses regarding the origin and migration patterns of modern human populations and the male-dedicated gene flow in selected regions of the world. This research is the first comprehensive effort to systematically examine genetic variation in the human Y chromosome. These paternally derived data will complement the growing wealth of linguistic and archaeological data in northern Eurasia, and will give a more complete view of the origins and migration patterns of humans into the New World.
Major declines in fish stocks in the North Atlantic region are having extensive impacts on northern communities. This three-year comparative environmental, sociological and anthropological study examines how communities are responding to these environmental changes. The research design involves the collection and multivariate analysis of statistical data on fishing communities in Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland and Norway accompanied by more detailed qualitative case studies on single communities in Iceland, Newfoundland and northern Norway. The objectives are to examine exactly how people are being impacted, and what households, communities, governments and other institutions are doing to adapt to these changes. Of particular interest are concerns about sustainability, and how these vary by generation, gender, family, community, culture, levels of human and social capital, and political context. Finally, various adaptive responses that increase or reduce the resource base will be examined. The project is an important contribution to research on environmental policy, economic change, social change and global change.
This study addresses policy questions about the ability of Arctic communities to sustain themselves in the face of climate changes and development. For the past 25 years, communities in Alaska's North Slope Borough have sustained themselves through a combination of wage employment derived from petroleum revenues, harvests of caribou, marine mammals, and other resources. Local control has been exercised through regional government and Native-owned corporations. The principal climate changes considered in this study are rising temperatures, increased precipitation and increased frequency of extreme events. Climate changes of these types will affect caribou and other populations important to the local subsistence economy, as well as construction, transportation, and regional development. The policy audience includes state and national entities and the North Slope Borough. An interdisciplinary group will focus on a number of goals including: (1) development of a vegetation model that predicts forage for caribou and a model that responds to climate variables and human harvest; (2) a subsistence hunting/wage employment model as affected by caribou and wage opportunities; (3) an econometric and institutional analysis of petroleum investments as affected by environmental costs and public policies; (4) a comparative analysis of policy vehicles for responding to forces of change; and (5) development of a synthesis framework for relating policies to future outcomes. The study will not attempt to link the detailed subsystem models in a single grand model. Rather, the subsystem models will be designed to operate independently with the outputs of one subsystem model serving as key inputs to the other subsystem models. Integration of the subsystems will start with a simple meta-model that reflects gross changes and then successively elaborate the model to a level of detail appropriate to address specific policy questions. The ultimate goal is to develop a means by which policy makers can systematically examine relationships between policy choices and possible futures, as well as to provide a vehicle for scientists from different disciplines to combine their data and develop complementary research programs.
This proposal is for support of an interdisciplinary, international research group studying human/environmental interactions over the past 2000 years in the North Atlantic region. The North Atlantic Biocultural Organization (NABO) has developed a network of researchers from over 40 organizations and ten nations. Operating under the theoretical orientation of historical ecology, NABO workers are integrating historical, archaeological and ethnographic data with recent paleoenvironmental data derived from ice cores, pollen analysis, bones, insects and other sources. The overarching goal is to develop an integrated analytical approach to complex problems of climate impact on humans, human impacts on the environment, and the environmental effects of humans' interactions with each other. Systematic working meetings are needed to advance U.S. and international human dimensions of global change research.
This proposal is for initial support of an Alaska Native Science Commission (ANSC). The concept was developed following a series of planning meetings organized by the Alaska Federation of Natives, in concert with the University of Alaska Anchorage and other scientific and indigenous groups. The mission of the (ANSC) is to facilitate the integration of indigenous knowledge into science; influence priorities in research; mandate participation of Natives at all levels of science; provide mechanisms for the feedback of results; promote science to young people; encourage Native people to enter science; and to ensure that Native people share in the economic benefits derived from their intellectual property.
This dissertation research project will test the proposition that Siberian peoples are becoming more integrated with the Russian and global market economy. Although microeconomic theory and ethnographic reports support this hypothesis for many regions, there is reason to question it for the Siberian north. Since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, native people across Siberia are instituting "family and clan" farms. They are replacing the state farm economy and may represent greater autonomy on the part of native people. The project will generate both quantitative and qualitative data from household surveys, interviews and participant observation in the community of Ust Avan. These data will be used to analyze and compare family/clan farms with the state farm system, modes of exchange, patterns of land and resource use and ethnicity.
This workshop will bring together Arctic indigenous people and applied health scientists from the United States, Canada and Siberia to discuss ethical issues in health research. Many of these issues involve social and cultural communication and the linkages between rapid social change and health status. This linkage is recognized by the U.S. Arctic Research Policy Act of 1984 and the Polar Research Board of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. The objectives of the workshop are to significantly extend the current dialogue between health researchers and indigenous peoples' organizations in the circumpolar north, to exchange information on health research ethics, to adopt principles on health research ethics which may be adopted by the circumpolar nations, and to ensure indigenous participation in the development of these principles. The workshop will take place in Inuvik, Canada, on June 23, 1995. U.S. support is being provided for Alaskan and Russian participants. Canada is supporting Canadian, Greenlandic and European participation.
This dissertation project will use data from the Upper Kolyma region, northeastern Siberia, to undertake a broad examination of stone tool technology over a 4000-year period (11,0007,000 B.P.). The proposed research involves an analysis of material from three sites (Uptar, Kheta, Buyunda), an analysis of assemblage variability using published reports and the investigation of the potentials of an environmental model for explaining artifact variability in this region. This study will make a significant contribution toward understanding the early prehistory of northeastern Siberia. A regional analysis of tools and manufacturing debris, and the environment in which people made and used tools, is prerequisite to an understanding of the earliest settlers of Beringia and the New World.
This goal of this proposal is to convene two international workshops incorporating social and natural scientists in order to examine how small-scale societies, such as the Labrador Inuit, have responded to long- and short-term climate fluctuation in the North Atlantic region. The collaborators all conduct research in the North Atlantic region and conceive of their individual study areas as regional monitoring sites in which chronology, climate, subsistence and technological issues can be examined. The study sites range from northern Greenland to Newfoundland. This region is strongly influenced by El Niño effects, and ice core data afford exceptional climate records for comparisons with human settlement and resource changes over time.
This dissertation improvement grant proposal combines archaeology and oral history in an analysis of Cupiit Eskimo society on Nunivak Island, Alaska. Due to their isolation, these people were long able to maintain their traditional lifestyle. The focus of the study is Nash Harbor, a known late historic village with at least 350 years of occupation. By integrating the oral testimony of island elders with the results of archaeological excavations and known ethnographic accounts, a comprehensive view of the lifeways of this unique culture will be revealed. This project will provide an enhanced understanding of the intimate relationship between the Cupiit people and their environment before the contact period, as well as an assessment of the impacts of Euroamerican culture into the late 20th century. The program involves local people in research, and contributes to an increased scientific and cultural literacy at the community level.
This dissertation grant proposal focuses on subsistence specialization during the last 1,000 years in the Kodiak Archipelago in Alaska. The role of marine resource specialization has been debated in the North Pacific region. This archaeological study will involve systematic collection and analysis of faunal remains from two prehistoric sites. Multiple faunal seasonality indicators will be used to test the hypothesis that salmon specialization was a major factor in changing village organization. The research will be part of, and will benefit from, a larger scale project on Alutiiq history by the Afognak Native Corporation.
The object of the dissertation project in anthropology is to investigate the role of native art in cultural identity and revival among the Bella Coola, or Nuxalk, people of British Columbia. For the Nuxalk, art is a process and a culture-constructing event, as well as an end product. Contemporary Nuxalk art can be interpreted as a manifestation of the current struggles surrounding Nuxalk identity. Art will be studied from the perspective of its producers, as well as its Native consumers. This study, which will employ participant-observation and open-ended interviews, relates to issues of object and knowledge appropriation and repatriation.
Recent research in the lower Alaskan Peninsula and Unimak Island has demonstrated that this area is critical to our understanding of the development of Aleut society and human adaptation to climate change and landscape evolution in the region. A broad regional approach to these problems depends on large-scale systematic archaeological survey. Because of the expense of doing surveys in this remote region, satellite images, aerial photography, a Geographic Information System and statistical modeling, combined with field controls, will be utilized and tested. If successful, this method will greatly facilitate the discovery of archaeological sites and enhance our understanding of regional ecology and human adaptation in the North Pacific region.
This project by the Smithsonian Institution's Arctic Studies Center is designed to present profiles of NSF-supported research projects on the Arctic Studies Center web site. The Smithsonian Institution (SI) is a major web site with thousands of "hits" per day. Since an important strategic goal of the NSF is scientific literacy, this linkage to the SI offers a unique opportunity for the Arctic Social Sciences Program. The web site team will be tasked with designing and operating a NSF Arctic Social Sciences graphic identity, which will introduce a mission statement, a menu page for Arctic Social Science projects, reports and information, news and notables, hot links to other polar sites, and the NSF Home Page.
This proposal is for a series of workshops and working sessions to coordinate the scientific data and results of the project "Social Transitions in the North: Alaska and the Russian Far East" (OPP-9496351). The PIs of the original project, Steven McNabb, Alexander Pika and William Richards, died while doing field work in the Russian Far East. They were completing the fourth year of a study examining social change and health in Native villages in Alaska, the Aleutian Islands, Chukotka and Kamchatka. The Alaska Native Science Commission (ANSC) will serve as successor institution and coordinate the activities of a senior advisory group, which will oversee the completion of the project. This group consists of Patricia Cochran, Executive Director, Alaska Native Science Commission; Professor Lydia Black, University of AlaskaFairbanks; Professor Joseph Jorgensen, University of CaliforniaIrvine; and Professor Robert Kraus, University of Kentucky. The (ANSC) will convene the meetings, facilitate the archiving of project materials, manage the budget and help produce a final report.
A definite relationship has been found between the commercialization of archaeological finds and the destruction of archaeological sites. In spite of worldwide public attention to archaeological heritage preservation, site destruction continues to increase. The objective of this dissertation study is to analyze the rules, values and practices that affect the use of archaeological resources on St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Straits of Alaska. The Native village of Gambell is a unique case of a legal archaeological market. Many residents recover and sell marketable artifacts as a means of meeting subsistence needs in a cash economy. Other residents oppose this practice. This project addresses the dilemma of selling cultural heritage property, protecting archaeological resources and the clash between cultural resource managers and local people with limited sources of cash income.
This project will investigate the lives of women and children in two Yup'ik Eskimo communities on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, and in Chukotka, Russia. The people of both communities, Gambell and Sireniki, are close kin and still strongly identify themselves as Yup'ik, but they have experienced very different histories of contact with Western policies and cultures. The researchers will work with elders, family groups, and Yup'ik women in community work forces. Life histories will be recorded, as well as documentation of childbearing tasks, interactions of families and in education settings. Analysis of words related to emotions and values also will be carried out. The special features of the research are the circumpolar comparisons, the combinations of multifaceted methodologies, the attention paid to women, children and family life and a focus on cultural psychology, the nature of personhood and the socialization of emotions and values.
This small grant for exploratory research is intended to bring the PIs together with the Alaska Native Whaling Commission and the North Slope Borough History, Language and Culture Commission for purposes of research planning and coordination. The focus will be on prehistoric and contemporary whaling practices and cultures. Among the primary questions to be addressed are the environmental contexts within which whaling originated and developed, the varied importance of whaling through time, oral traditions, gender roles and ceremonialism. This combination of scientific expertise with Native interests has great potential and is in keeping with the goal of creating research partnerships with Native peoples.
This proposed research project will investigate baleen whale bones on precontact and contact Eskimo village sites between Barrow and St. Lawrence Island in northern Alaska. Bone elements will be identified to species and size for purposes of reconstructing the relative abundance of major species, their ages and sizes at death, and the ways they were used by humans. The analysis of mortality profiles in zooarchaeological assemblages is important for understanding the relationships between human predators and prey species. Further, because the distribution of bowheads and gray whales is ice- and season-dependent, whale abundance, or scarcity, will be related to long-term climatic reconstructions. Comparisons will be made with previously analyzed bone assemblages from northern Canada.
The objective of this research project is to produce a relational database documenting the genetic relationship of Athabaskan, Eyak and Tlingit, as well as explanatory prose. The main tables within the database will include: (1) a combined morpheme list for the (proto-) languages compared; (2) citations for Proto-Athabaskan reconstructions and other comparisons in the published and unpublished literature; (3) the cognate sets themselves; (4) sets of conceivably interrelated cognate sets; and (5) tables of regular sound correspondence. The database and prose explanation will be disseminated in diskette sets that are compatible with either MacIntosh or DOS-based computers.
This is a project to study the phonetic and phonological elements of Central Alaskan Yup'ik postlexical prosody; their distribution with respect to each other and with respect to independently motivated syntactic and discourse structures; and their meaning (i.e., their pragmatic value and their use in framing naturally occurring speech of various kinds). Project work involves: (1) two three-week field trips to Chevak, Alaska, a village where a particular dialect of Central Alaskan Yup'ik is spoken, in order to construct and record sets of utterances in which potentially independent determinants of postlexical prosody are systematically varied, and to examine prosodic usage in already existing recordings from Chevak of oral literature and other speech; (2) instrumental and other linguistic analysis of both elicited and naturalistic recordings at the PIs home base; and (3) writing for a book on the project's topic. The project is expected to have significance for: (1) the documentation and description of Central Alaskan Yup'ik, a language that is rapidly becoming moribund as fewer and fewer children learn it; (2) the theory of postlexical prosody, by contributing a case study and by exploring the idea that syntax, discourse structure and interpretation directly determine the distributions of individual prosodic elements; (3) prosodic methodology, by establishing the importance of studying distribution and use side by side, using quantitative data from both repetitive elicitation and natural discourse; and (4) the promotion (via the foregoing) of research on a wide range of languages, especially those studied in the "field" and faced with imminent extinction.
This dissertation project will provide experimental and naturalistic studies of the language acquisition of children 36 years of age as they acquire Inuktitut (a language of the EskimoAleut family) as their first language in Igloolik, Northwest Territories, Canada. This research will be particularly significant because it: (1) will contribute to providing foundational knowledge on the acquisition of languages with highly complex morphology; (2) will examine the concurrent acquisition of syntax and morphology, and the ways in which the child's developing knowledge of one might contribute to knowledge of the other; (3) will investigate aspects of the human cognitive competence for language in the context of a language (and a language family) which has been little studied to date; and (4) will provide important descriptive information on a North American language in an area where there is current concern about severe language loss.
With NSF support, the PI, in collaboration with American and Russian colleagues will conduct archaeological excavations at the site of Masterov Kliuch', which is located in the Transbaikal region of Siberia. Previous test excavations have revealed five stratigraphically separate archaeological components. The lowest three contain Upper Paleolithic materials and span the period from ca. 40,000 to 10,000 years ago. In addition to excavation, the team will apply a number of specialized techniques that will enhance the capture of archaeological information. The entire stratigraphic profile will be chronometrically dated through multiple procedures, including accelerator radiocarbon, luminescence and electron spin resonance. All excavated artifacts and ecofacts will be precisely provenienced, and orientations will be noted to reconstruct site formation processes. Fauna will be studied in detail and lithic artifacts analyzed and refitted to trace technological manufacturing processes, as well as site spatial patterns. Humans first penetrated Siberia during Upper Paleolithic times and the Northern Eurasian region constituted the last major habitable area to be settled. Based on available information, it appears that groups expanded from West to East and the stone blade tools characteristic of these groups appear to stop in the Transbaikal region. The reason for this is not known and the phenomenon is interesting, because it may shed light on basic processes of human adaptation. This research is significant for several reasons. It will add to our understanding of the origins and dispersal of modern humans, especially attempts to explain the pattern of human global colonization. It will significantly increase our knowledge of the Upper Paleolithic of the Old World. Through the application of paleoecological and paleogeographic perspectives, the research will add to a growing body of knowledge addressing past human adaptive strategies and associated environmental limiting factors affecting past and present population distributions. Finally, the project will offer unique research experiences for undergraduate students.