Team up with faculty on groundbreaking anthropological research.

The Department of Anthropology was founded in 1935 as part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Alaska. The first undergraduate degrees in Anthropology were given in 1959, the first MA degrees in 1968 and the first PhD degrees in 1988. We are the only anthropology program in the United States that maintains a holistic approach to circumpolar studies, providing instruction and research in all aspects of anthropology.

News and Even  

  • Dr. Elaine Drew receives UAF Honors College's 2021 Robert Piacenza Outstanding Teaching Award!!

    April 13th
    Dr. Elaine Drew is the recipient of the UAF Honors College's 2021 Robert Piacenza Excellence in Teaching Award! The award is facilitated through a process driven by the Honors Student Advisory Council, and the awardee is selected based upon student testimonials. We are swelling with pride in congratulating our esteemed colleague on this well-deserved recognition! We are also pleased to share these photos of Dr. Drew and her students at the Medical Anthropology Lab she has established at UAF; at the session on undergraduate research she led at the 2020 meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association; as a guest of the student-run KSUA Speaking of Anthropology show; and hosting a raffle at the celebration of the World Anthropology Day. Congratulations, Elaine! Thank you for all you do as a mentor, scholar, and caring generous contributor to the life of the UAF Anthropology Department.
  • A historic town

    Deadline Extended 2021 Archaeological Field School Applications Due April 23rd

    April 23rd
    Founded in 1902 on the north bank of the Tanana River, Chena was a bustling goldrush town home to thousands of miners and settlers that flocked to the region in search of prosperity. Chena rivaled its close neighbor Fairbanks as the commercial center of mining operations in the Alaska Interior. The rivalry lasted only a few short decades however before Fairbanks emerged victorious. Chena became a ghost town by 1920 and was all but forgotten. Little remains of the once thriving town. In the past two decades however, archaeologists have mapped, surveyed, and begun to excavate parts of Chena in hopes of better understanding its birth and abandonment. This year we will continue this research by conducting archaeological survey and excavations at the site where Chena once stood. The Chena Townsite is located just outside of Fairbanks, Alaska. Students will live in their own accommodations and report to the site daily. Students will provide their own lunches, but all tools and equipment will be provided. Participants will learn the fundamental skills of archaeological fieldwork while excavating and documenting historic structures and artifacts. They will examine artifacts, botanicals, sediments, and faunal materials to learn analytical techniques while providing insight into the lives of the traders, miners, and other members of this short-lived historic community.
  • logo

    2021 Geist Fund Competition Announcement

    April, 5th 2021
    The UA Museum's Geist Fund competition is now open. For student projects in archaeology, anthropology and paleontology that relate to collections at the Museums. Proposals are due April 5th and the award limit is $2500. For more information on the Geist Fund, visit