Dr. Nancy H. Bigelow


Alaska Quaternary Center
Box 755940
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5940

tel: 907-474-5433

e-mail: nhbigelow@alaska.edu


  • Ph.D. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Department of Anthropology (Archaeology) Aug. 1997
  • M.A. University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Department of Anthropology (Archaeology). Sept. 1991
  • B.A. University of Vermont, Department of History (Modern European History). June 1982


Arctic paleoecology, palynology, vegetation history, and ecosystem reponses to climate change during the Quaternary period.


Currently studying the Holocene Thermal Maximum in interior Alaska and Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in western Alaska. Using vegetation history, fire history, and isotopes as temperature proxies during these relatively short-lived climate excursions.

Continuing work on interglacial peats of interior Alaska and what they can tell us about a time period when the climate was warmer than today.



2008. Mason, O.K., Bigelow, N.H. The crucible of early to mid-Holocene climate in northern Alaska: does Northern Archaic represent the people of the spreading forest? Arctic Anthropology 45(2) 39-70

2006. Bigelow, N.H., Zazula, G.D., Atkinson, D.E. Plant Macrofossils of Northern North America (working title). In Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, S.A. Elias, Ed. Elsevier.

2006 . Bigelow, N.H. Pollen Records of Northern North America (working title). In Encyclopedia of Quaternary Science, S.A. Elias, Ed. Elsevier.

2006. CAPE-Last Interglacial Project Members. Last Interglacial Arctic warmth confirms polar amplification of climate change. Quaternary Science Reviews 25, 1383-1400.

2003. Edwards M.E., Hamilton T.D., Elias S.A., Bigelow N.H., and A.P. Krumhardt. Interglacial Extension of the Boreal forest Limit in the noatak Valley, Northwest Alaska: Evidence from an Exhumed River-Cut Bluff and Debris Apron. Artic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 35, 460-468.

2003. Kaplan J.O., Bigelow N.H., Prentice I.C., Harrison S.P., and 14 others. Climate change and Arctic ecosystems 2. Modeling, paleodata-model comparisons, and future projections.Journal of Geophysical Research 108 12-1 to 12-17 Download pdf (5.0 mb).

2003. Nancy H. Bigelow, Linda B. Brubaker, Mary E. Edwards, Sandy P. Harrison, and 23 others. Climate change and Arctic ecosystems I. Vegetation changes north of 55 degrees N between the last glacial maximum, mid-Holocene and present. Journal of Geophysical Research 108 11-1 to 11-25. Download pdf (2.9 mb).

2001. Nancy H. Bigelow and Wm. Roger Powers. Climate, vegetation, and archaeology 14,000-9000 cal yr B.P. in Central Alaska. Arctic Anthropology 38, 171-195.

2001. Nancy H. Bigelow and Mary E. Edwards. A 14,000 yr paleoenvironmental record from Windmill Lake, Central Alaska: evidence for high-frequency climatic and vegetation fluctuations. Quaternary Science Reviews 20, 203-215.

2000. Mary E. Edwards, P. M. Anderson, L. B. Brubaker, T. A. Ager, A. A. Andreev, N. H. Bigelow, and 13 others. Pollen-based biomes for Beringia 18,000, 6000, and 0 14C yr B. P. Journal of Biogeography 27,521-554.

2000. Mary E. Edwards, Nancy H. Bigelow, and Bruce Finney. Single-core records as indicators of late-Quaternary Alaskan lake levels: a preliminary assessment. Journal of Paleolimnology 24, 55-68.


Coring at Eightmile Lake, near Healy, AK.


Dwarf fireweed (Epilobium latifolium) on the Killik River, northern AK


Chester Bluff, Yukon River, AK


Fall Vegetation near Dawson, YT

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