The Alaska Summer Research Academy promotes creativity and intellectual curiosity through hands-on, open-ended experiences in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). ASRA students engage with mentors and peers to explore scientific concepts, investigate student-driven questions, and solve problems. To find out more visit the Alaska Summer Research Academy website.
The 2009 ASRA Archaeology module took place primarily in the field and centered around the historic Coal Creek camp. This was the first of a two year project. ASRA students joined a team of archaeologists from the University of Alaska Museum of the North (UAMN), National Park Service (NPS), and the Alaska Bureau of Land Management (AK-BLM) to conduct archaeological excavations at two Historic era sites in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.The excavations, part of the Snare Creek Historical Archaeology Project, were led by Jim Whitney, Archaeology Collections Manager at UAMN. Robin Mills from the AK-BLM Northern Field Office provided specialized expertise and assistance during the preliminary investigations and testing order to direct future research and prepare for more extensive excavations.
In the summer of 2010 six ASRA students joined the project led by archaeologists from the University of Alaska Museum of the North (UAMN), National Park Service (NPS), and the Alaska Bureau of Land Management (AK-BLM) to continue archaeological excavations at two Historic era sites in Yukon-Charley Rivers National Preserve.
During the summer of 2012, the Archaeology Department at the UA Museum of the North (UAMN) participated in the Alaska Summer Research Academy (ASRA) by offering an archaeology module. UAMN partnered with the US Army to provide a teaching site (XMH-00266) located in the Donnelly Training Area near Delta Junction, Alaska. Five students enrolled in the archaeology module and were taught the fundamentals of the archaeology discipline (e.g. excavation techniques, site mapping). After excavating at the site the students were taught proper museum preservation and storage of artifacts/samples (e.g. cataloging, database management) at the museum.
This module involved a 6-day long field expedition to and from the Simpson archaeological site in the Rosie Creek subdivision. While at the site, we excavated five square meters using tools such as trowels, a total station, GPS technology, and other mapping techniques to document our finds. Once excavations were complete the research team worked at the Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Alaska Museum of the North, where we employed a range of computer software and scientific methods to decipher clues from the artifacts and soils we collected to futher understand what occurred at the site and how people lived in the past. Students got to learn how museum professionals preserve and store artifacts and samples so that they are available for future research.