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.


Anthropology News


    The University of Alaska Fairbanks Department of Anthropology invites applications for Term Assistant Professor in Biological Anthropology, starting August 2024 and renewable for at least two years. The preferred candidate has the ability to teach in a variety of modalities, including on-line asynchronous, maintains an active research program with opportunities for student research, and demonstrates a willingness to mentor graduate and undergraduate students. We are especially interested in candidates with a background in dental anthropology, human variation, forensic anthropology, paleogenomics, or bioarchaeology, but other specialties in biological anthropology will be considered. Applications for this position will be accepted for review on 04/30/2024, to ensure consideration, please apply by 11:55 pm, Alaska Standard Time on 04/29/2024. The position will be open until filled.
  • Apr4th


    Laura K. Jurgensen of the 1st Special Forces Command, Airborne will discuss One Alumna’s Perspective on Career Opportunities and Being Part of Potential Solutions.

    What are the career opportunities for anthropology graduates
    interested in Socio-Cultural Action Anthropology? What are the
    ethical considerations in working for governmental, NGOs and
    defense organizations whose aims are to assess, impact, solve
    problems and influence human populations? This presentation will
    discuss one UAF alumna’s experiences and perspectives working
    for different stakeholder groups and organizations over 30 years:
    Alaska Native, Western Pacific Micronesian, USDA Forest Service,
    USFWS Office of Subsistence Management and the US Army. The
    talk will also consider the myriad of challenges involved in sitting at
    the table in a contested world with climate change, land and
    cultural rights and terrorism intermingled in the same human
    experience. Can you be part of the solution and also passionately
    engaged with full-time employment?
  • Archaeology, heritage, and transdisciplinary research in the Aleutian Islands: 9,000 years of Unangam resilience informs us about our shared world and future.

    Abstract: This presentation focuses on Unangam and environmental histories in the Aleutian Islands as revealed by collaborative archaeological, ethnohistoric, and multidisciplinary research. Collaborative research across disciplines that uses inclusive theoretical approaches and makes space for Unangam perspectives changes our questions and interpretations. And, ever-improving technologies to examine midden remains allow us to know a lot about past ecosystems, making archaeology in the Aleutian Islands increasingly useful for examining contemporary critical environmental issues. These combined approaches and diverse views of the past and the present are allowing us to move toward a more nuanced understanding of ancestral Unangam resilience mechanisms and the dynamic environment we all share.
  • Mar22

    The Spicer Legacy of Enduring and Persistent Peoples: A Panel Presentation

      Zoom (See flyer)
    Join us to learn more about the 2024 call for mini-grant proposals and to hear brief presentations about the projects of current recipients:

    • Ben Bridges (dual PhD candidate in Folklore & Anthropology, Indiana University Bloomington): Southeast Alaska Native Cedar Arts
    • Nicholas Puente (PhD candidate in Anthropology, with a focus on Archaeology, University of Colorado Boulder): Fostering Local Maya Voices and Community Museum
    • Andrew Gorvetzian (PhD student in Sociocultural and Linguistic Anthropology, with a focus on Ethnology, University of New Mexico): Garifuna Language Revitalization
  • 2024 Geist Fund Competition Announcement

    We have an exciting opportunity for both graduate and undergraduate students wanting to research anthropology, archeology and paleontology. Attached is information regarding the UA Museum's Geist fund competition. 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 March 22nd and the award limit is $3500. Geist flyer and info sheets are attached. For more information on the Geist Fund, visit Contact Josh Reuther ( for more information. May the odds be ever in your favor!
  • Photo of Brian Hemphill

    Brian Hemphill – In Memoriam

    Dr. Brian Hemphill, a long-time faculty member at the Department of Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, passed away on December 24, 2023, in Fairbanks.
  • Chena RPA

    The UAF Chena Townsite Archaeological Field School is now Certified by the Register of Professional Archaeologists

    The Chena Townsite Archaeological Field School, Directed by Dr. Justin Cramb, gained certification through the Register of Professional Archaeologists. This certification is recognition that the UAF program meets the highest standards of archaeological field training including professional criteria of research design, a qualified field director, a curriculum of formal instruction and proper data recovery and recording techniques. This also makes field school students eligible for scholarships through the RPA. Applications for the 2024 field school are now open. Please see for more details and email Dr. Cramb for application instructions (
  • Photo of the Broken Mammoth Site Courtesy of Dr. Josh Reuther

    NSF grant awarded to UAF archaeologists.

    A National Science Foundation research grant was awarded to UAF archaeologists Dr. Ben Potter (PI) and Dr. Josh Reuther (co-PI) in collaboration with Dr. Francois Lanoe (co-PI, University of Arizona) to analyze archaeological materials in central Alaska. The $931,466 grant will also support a post-doctoral fellow, graduate and undergraduate student research assistants, and incorporate a robust consultation process with local Native communities.

  • (A) Concreted shell and ash feature (G6-05) at ALA-11. (B) North lobe of concreted ash and shell feature G6-05. Red arrows indicate black layer sampled in this analysis (G6-05a).

    UAF’s Newest Archaeologist Tammy Buonasera just published a paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports!

    Abstract: Ash and black char samples from seven combustion features at CA-ALA-11, an Early to Middle Period (ca. 2500 cal BCE to 585 cal CE) shellmound site on the San Francisco Bay shoreline, were analyzed for lipid, isotope, and phytolith content. Three features were intermingled with human burials and four were from nearby contexts not directly associated with human remains. Unlike more fragile biomolecules and floral remains, lipids and phytoliths can survive exposure to high temperatures. Together, these techniques supply independent and complementary lines of data for considering past cultural practices, local ecology, and post-depositional contributions. Our results shed light on the function and content of several combustion features, highlighting the untapped potential of such applications in the archaeology of California and elsewhere in North America.

  • UAF archaeologists, led by Dr. Ben Potter, publish a new paper in Science Advances!

    Abstract: While freshwater and anadromous fish have been critical economic resources for late prehistoric and modern Native Americans, the origin and development of fishing is not well understood. We document the earliest known human use of freshwater and anadromous fish in North America by 13,000 and 11,800 years ago, respectively, from primary anthropogenic contexts in central Alaska (eastern Beringia).