BBC Radio 4 Inside Science: What Neandertals Smelt
BBC Radio 4's Inside Science (2 July 2015) features research led by Dr. Kara C. Hoover and a study on olfactory genetic variation and rebuilding ancient hominin noses.
Starting at 15:38 and running for ~8 minutes: "A team of scientists has just revealed how they've used genetics to scan the peoples of the world - and amazingly of extinct people from prehistory - to see who can smell what. They've used one particular olfactory receptor, called OR7D4, to build up a global map of what people can smell. Adam Rutherford speaks to Professor Matthew Cobb, from Manchester University to discuss how the different peoples of the world - including long extinct humans - smell different things."
Researchers show how our sense of smell evolved
The sense of smell plays a decisive role in human societieswe use our noses to taste food as well as identify pleasant and unpleasant substances. We have about 4 million smell cells in our noses, divided into about 400 different types. Each cell has just one type of 'lock' on it – the smell floats through the air, fits into the 'lock' and then activates the cell. A group of scientists led by Dr Kara C. Hoover has studied genetic variation for one of these receptors or 'locks' which enables us to detect a very specific smell called androstenone, a mammalian sex steroid produced in a large quantities by pigs and found in boar meat.
People with different DNA sequences respond differently to this smell some people find it foul, some sweet, and others cannot smell it at all. Dr Hoover's group studied DNA from over 2200 indigenous people from 43 populations around the world, and looked at the part of their DNA that enables them to respond to androstenone. They found that different populations have different gene sequences and therefore differ in their ability to smell this compound. For example, they found that populations from Africa – where humans come from – would tend to be able to smell it, while those from the northern hemisphere tend not to. Statistical analysis of the frequencies of the different forms of the OR7D4 gene from around the world, carried out by team-member Kara C Hoover, suggest that the different forms of this gene might have been subject to natural selection. One possible explanation of this selection is that the inability to smell androstenone was involved in the domestication of pigs by our ancestors – andostroneone makes pork from uncastrated boars taste unpleasant to people who can smell it. Pigs were initially domesticated in Asia, where genes leading to a reduced sensitivity to androstenone have a high frequency.
The group also studied the OR7D4 gene in the ancient DNA from two extinct human populations, Neanderthals and the Denisovans, whose remains were found at the same site in Siberia, but who lived tens of thousands of years apart. The group found that Neanderthal OR7D4 DNA was like our own – they would have been able to smell androstenone. The Denisovans are a mysterious group of our extinct relatives – we do not know what they looked like, and they are known from only one tooth and a finger bone, from different individuals. Their DNA showed a unique mutation, not seen in humans or Neanderthals, that changed the structure of the OR7D4 receptor.
Team-member Hiroaki Matsunami at Duke University in the USA reconstructed the Denisovan OR7D4 and studied how this tiny part of a long-extinct nose responded to androstenone. It turned out that despite the mutation, the Denisovan nose functioned like our own. Both of our close relatives, like our early human ancestors, would have been able to detect this strange smell.
Frederick West (1928-2015)
Frederick H. West died peacefully at his home in Manchester, Vermont on May 26, 2015. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1928 and was brought up in New Orleans. He joined the Marine Corps in 1945 and served in North China through 1946. He completed his PhD at Louisiana State University in Human Ecology. He served as a Professor in the Anthropology Department at University of Alaska Fairbanks from 1957 to 1966, later holding posts at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Alaska Methodist University, Anchorage, and Williams College, Williamstown, MA. He retired from the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, MA as the Director of Archeology.
The far north was the focus of his professional research, first with the Gwich'in people in the Brooks Range and then in prehistoric peoples in archaeological excavations, his main focus being sites in the Alaska Range foothills in the region of the Tangle Lakes, where he did some of the seminal work on the peopling of the New World. His research culminated in the publication of American Beginnings, an edited volume with 58 authors half of whom where in the collapsing Soviet Union. Memorial donations may be made to the Bennington Museum, 75 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201.
Pat Kwachaa (1942-2015)
Her obituary can be found here: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/newsminer/obituary.aspx?n=patricia-kwachka&pid=174946623
Annual Anthropology Photo Contest
Deadline: 15 October 2015
Please download the application, model release form, and submission details.
UAF Anthropology Department welcomes new Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Dr. Elaine Drew
Dr. Drew is a medical anthropologist and applied anthropologist. Her research emphasizes a collaborative process involving community and academic partners who work together to share knowledge, resources, decision-making and accountability. She has collaborated on a wide range of projects, including a study of diabetes risk appraisal among Yup’ik communities in remote Alaskan villages; a culturally-based media intervention to reduce diabetes disparities among Latinos in Milwaukee; a culturally-tailored cancer prevention program among the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa emphasizing cultural knowledge and the celebration of the spirit; and a critical examination of biomedical perspectives on fatalistic health behaviors among rural women diagnosed with cervical cancer.
In addition to research, Dr. Drew has considerable experience in cultural brokering and scientific diplomacy and often serves as a resource for other investigators on issues related to the cross-cultural translation, adaptation, and validation of study protocols and instruments. She is currently working on a study funded by the Greenwall Foundation that aims to revise the Belmont Report and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) research ethics regulations so that they effectively include and operationalize the ethical principles of community-engaged research.
The UAF Anthropology Department is happy to welcome Dr. Drew. Her contact information will be on our website shortly. She is interested in working with new PhD and MA students on medical and applied anthropological topics.
Free Public Lecture TODAY: Climate Change and Human Land Use in Ice Age Alaska
April 23 at 6:00pm in the Museum of the North
Thursday, April 23, 6:00pm at the Museum of the North
CLIMATE CHANGE AND HUMAN LAND USE IN ICE AGE ALASKA
Dissertation Proposal Defense: Reindeer, Dogs, Horses, and Furs: A Critical Ethnography of Hunting Economies among the Tozhu of Southern Siberia (Republic of Tyva, Russian Federation) (Tayana Arakchaa)
5 May 2015 at 9am in Bunnell 402
Dissertation Defense: Wrestling, Archery, and Horse Racing in Buryatia: Traditional Sport Competitions as a Mirror of Social Change (Stefan Krist)
4 May 2015 in 302 Bunnell at 10am
Colloquium: Graduate Student Research Showcase
1 May 2015 in 302 Bunnell
Please join us for our annual colloquium highlighting graduate student research. Presentations last roughly 9 minutes per student.
3.30 Kelly Harrigan
3.40 Della Hall
3.50 Hanna Stewart
4.00 David Lukaszek
4.10 Nick Schmuck
4.20 Kaitlyn Fuqua
4.30 Davin Holen
Thesis Defense: Once upon a time: an anthropological exploration of two Gwich'in stories (Man in the Moon; The Old Woman and the Brushman) (Monika Frey)
1 May 2015 in Bunnell 402 at 10am
Thesis Defense: Natural Histories of Yup'ik Memoirs (Caroline Crecelius)
29 April 2015 in Bunnell 302 at 10am
Thesis Defense: A reconstruction of steppe bison (bison priscus) mobility in the yukon-tanana uplands and implications for prehistoric human behavior (Crystal Glassburn)
10 April 2015 in Bunnell 402 at 10am
Workshop on DEER Study: 9-10 April in Port Heiden
Patrick Plattet and Amber Lincoln will be conducting a workshop in the community of Port Heiden April 9th and 10th, reporting on their findings from their research project titled, The DEER Study, Documenting the Ethnohistory and Ethnoarchaeology of Reindeer Herding on the Alaska Peninsula. Research collaborators from seven Bristol Bay communities will participate as will DEER Study collaborators from the Katmai National Park and Preserve, NPS in Anchorage and King Salmon. Please see our website for more information, the DEER Study,
Thesis Defense: Exploring the relationship between diet and osteoporosis in medieval Portugal using stable isotope analysis (Sharla Luxton)
APRIL 8 2015 at 8am in BUNNELL 402
This project investigates the relationship between health and diet in medieval Portugal by combining data on the occurrence of osteoporosis with information on past diet derived from stable isotope ratios. The aim of this project is to identify whether different sources of protein influenced the prevalence of osteoporosis in three populations. Individuals from three different regions of Portugal were previously evaluated for bone mineral density at the University of Coimbra, Portugal, and bone samples from 79 of these individuals underwent stable isotope analysis at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Collagen suitable for isotopic analysis was extracted from all individuals and indicated a negative correlation between bone mineral density (BMD) and nitrogen isotope values for females at one site and a positive correlation for males at another site. These results, combined with the lack of a clear relationship between BMD and nitrogen values for the other subgroups, suggest a complicated relationship between dietary protein source and the occurrence of osteoporosis. While samples sizes are small, the data indicate that future analysis is warranted, particularly considering the high incidence of osteoporosis and the economic and individual strain of the disease.
Evan Charles: A Celebration of Life
2 April 2015, 5:30 Wood Center Ballroom
Please see here for the details regarding the Celebration of Evan Charles' life.
UAF presentations at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists
25-28 March 2015
KARA C. HOOVER1 and FRANK L. WILLIAMS2
1 Anthropology/Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2 Anthropology, Georgia State University
Variation in regional diet and mandibular morphology in prehistoric Japanese hunter-gatherer-fishers
Previous research has identified a relationship between mandibular morphology and diet (e.g., coarse diets result in more robust mandibles). Prehistoric Japan is an excellent place to explore the significance of this relationship in shaping mandibular morphology due to the pronounced regional dietary variation. South/West Honshu Jōmon engaged in broad spectrum foraging, Northeastern Honshu Jōmon were fisher-gatherers, Hokkaido Jōmon were maritime (sea mammal) foragers, and the immigrant Okhotsk maritime (sea mammal) foragers with some rice. We test the hypothesis that diet variation across temporal and spatial zones will be reflected in mandibular morphological traits. Metric measurements were utilized to test for regional differences with both archaeological time period and biological sex as covariants. ANOVA results for region with time period as a covariate indicated all variables except corpus height and breadth are significantly different among regions but for the time period covariate, significance is only present for corpus breadth and the dimensions of the ascending ramus. ANOVA for region with biological sex as a covariate indicates all variables except corpus height are significantly different. Biological sex as a covariate only rarely demonstrates significant p-values. Generally, North Hokkaido, followed by Southwest Hokkaido exhibit the largest mandibles whereas South/West Honshu have the smallest. Multivariate analysis indicates a separation between North Hokkaido and South/West Honshu. Differences in mandibular morphology are better explained by regional diets than by temporal trends and biological sex.
CARRIN M. HALFFMAN1 , ROBERT SATTLER2 and JAMIE L. CLARK1 .
1 Department of Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2 Natural and Cultural Resources, Tanana Chiefs Conference.
Bone collagen stable isotope analysis of three late Holocene humans from Interior Alaska
Three prehistoric human skeletons were uncovered at the Tochak site near the inland Alaskan community of McGrath on the Upper Kuskokwim River. The skeletons include an adult male (35-40 years), a younger adult male (19-20 years) and a child (2-3 years). Direct radiocarbon dating suggests an age of 1,000 years cal. BP. Ethnohistorical reports suggest that the indigenous Athabascan people of this region were mainly hunters, rather than fishers, but paleodietary studies have never been conducted in interior Alaska. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis ( δ13C and δ15N) was conducted on bone collagen from the humans, and on faunal remains from a youngercomponent (ca. 350 cal BP), including domestic dog, bear, beaver, and freshwater fish. For the humans, δ15N values are relatively high and remarkably similar (15.2-15.3‰). The δ13C values are also similar in the adult and subadult males ( -18.8‰ and -18.4‰, respectively), but slightly lower in the child (-19.6‰). The human carbon and nitrogen isotope ratios are elevated over those of the prehistoric bear from the site, and are consistent with a diet that included a substantial proportion of marine-feeding animals, such as anadromous salmon found in interior Alaskan rivers. Two dog specimens from the younger component also show elevated δ13C and δ15N values consistent with a salmon-rich diet. These results suggest that fish, including salmon, were a critical resource for late Holocene populations in west central Alaska, both for human consumption and for dog provisioning, and contradict historical accounts of a subsistence emphasis on terrestrial mammals.
Lecture by Caroline Hervé: The construction of Inuit Leadership in Nunavik (Arctic Quebec, Canada)
30 March in Schaible Auditorium at 6pm
For more information, please see the abstract here.
Ben Potter to speak at the Yukon Science series
Transformations in Subarctic Prehistory: Ice Age Infants, Ancient Houses, and the Peopling of the New World
Ben Potter will present at the Yukon Science Institute lecture series, Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, on March 15th, 2015. The title of the talk is "Transformations in Subarctic Prehistory: Ice Age Infants, Ancient Houses, and the Peopling of the New World."
Details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/421968541303052/
Thesis Completion Fellowship Applications due Friday, 13 March
For more information and application materials for students in their final semseter or year, see here. Preference is normally given to PhD students but a few one-semester fellowships for MA students are awarded depending on the applicant pool.
David Koester to speak at GSRL in Paris
Colloquium: Werewolves of the Sea: Human-killer whale (Orcinus orca) relationship in the North Pacific
Tobias Holzlehner (Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg)
Monday 9 March at 3:30 pm in Bunnell 302
North Pacific mythology and sea-mammal hunting practices reflect on a close relationship of mutual exchange between humans and orcas. Imagined as a shape shifter that switches seasonally between wolf and whale form, orcas play a pivotal role in maritime hunting communities past and present. Tracing human-orca relationships along the Pacific Rim shows not only a common mythological substrate and an intricate human-animal relationship that developed over hundreds of years, but furthermore sheds light on how humans relate to other sentient and highly intelligent beings outside of their own species. Comparing indigenous knowledge with the understanding behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology have about orca communities reveals distinctive epistemologies, which yet come to surprisingly similar conclusions.
Geist Fund at UAF Museum
We are pleased to announce the request for proposals for the 2015 Otto William Geist Fund. The fund was established by Otto Geist in 1963 for the explicit purposes of:
- Acquisitions of archeological or paleontological material for the University.
- Financing in whole or in part expeditions for archaeological or paleontological field research.
- Scholarships or fellowship grants for students majoring in anthropology (archaeology) or paleontology.
Dulce Tentación (Sweet Temptation): A Culturally-Based Media Intervention to Improve Diabetes Prevention among Latinos in Milwaukee
NEW DATE: February 27 from 3:30-5:00 in Rasmussen 340 (Media Classroom)
Elaine Drew (Community-Campus Partnerships for Health) is a finalist for a faculty position in EPSCoR and the Department of Anthropology. In this presentation, Dr. Drew will give an overview of her academic background and action research orientation, describe a recent diabetes study to serve as an example of her approach to research, and end with a discussion of future goals. In the example study, Dulce Tentación (Sweet Temptation), Dr. Drew led a community-academic research team to create and test a culturally appropriate and theory-based Spanish-language teledrama to improve diabetes prevention among Spanish-speaking Latinos residing in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The study team administered the 1-hour media intervention to participants (N=125) who completed pre-post surveys assessing diabetes knowledge, health attitudes, and behavioral intentions. Participants also provided information on demographic factors, health history, and level of acculturation. In the analysis, all survey responses were dichotomized as “correct” or “incorrect” and were analyzed using McNemar’s test to assess whether, among those responses that changed from the pre-test to the post-test, responses were more or less likely to shift from correct-to-incorrect than from incorrect-to correct. The results showed the greatest positive changes occurring in diabetes knowledge, with most items indicating knowledge improvement. While two knowledge items did show a negative intervention effect, the vast majority of transitions in all categories of the survey were “positive,” even when the differences were not statistically significant.
URSA-SUgR (Summer Undergraduate Research) Award Opportunity
UAF undergraduate students are invited to apply for one of ten URSA SUgR awards of $5,000 (to fund student salary, stipend, tuition and/or supplies). Any undergradute student with good academic standing and a commitment from a faculty mentor is eligible for funding. Funding will cover activities conducted between June 1 and August 21, 2015. The project may extend beyond August 21, but funding must be spent by that date. The application deadline is February 27, 2015.
Click on this link to download a copy of the SUgR Request for Proposals.
Click on this link to download a copy of the SUgR Award Application Form.
Applications must be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org by February 27, 2015. Award winners will be notified by email and announced on this website by March 13, 2015. Students may apply for more than one URSA award.
Water and Waste in Bolivia: Assessing the Relationship between Local Communities, New Infrastructure, and Environmental Change
February 13 from 3:30-5 in Bunnell 302
Ecological and Reproductive Decision-Making in Northern Eurasia
February 9 at 4-5:30 in Rasmussen 340 (Media Classroom)
Sveta Yamin-Pasternak and Collaborators Publish in Current Anthropology
Stormy Fields Awarded URSA Grant
David Koester: Itelmen Resistance and Religiosity in the Flux of Russian and Soviet History
David Koester (University of Alaska Fairbanks, Visiting Senior Researcher at GSRL, UMR 8582 CNRS/EPHE) will be speaking in the Seminar Religions de l’Asie septentrionale et de l’Arctique: Itelmen Resistance and Religiosity in the Flux of Russian and Soviet History on Tuesday 13 January 2015, 11:00 - 13:00. EPHE, bâtiment Le France, salle 124, 190 avenue de France, PARIS 13e.
Murdock Institute technology grant brings Next-Generation Sequencing instrumentation to UAF
Anthropology Faculty Dr. Hoover CoI on project
The new year will bring an extremely fast, highly accurate, and very inexpensive next-generation DNA sequencer to University of Alaska Fairbanks scientists and students. Housed in the Institute of Arctic Biology’s DNA Core Lab managed by IAB microbiologist Mary Beth Leigh, the NGS technology will increase the pace of research, promote faculty recruitment, retention and competitiveness for funding, and help educate the future generation of life scientists. The instrument purchase was made possible by grants from the UAF Technology Advisory Board (PI Eric Collins) and the M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust (PI Mary Beth Leigh with CoIs R..Eric Collins, Jiguo 'Jack' Chen, Andrea Ferrante, Karsten Heuffer, Kara C. Hoover, and Link Olson).
MA Thesis Defense: Patrick Hall
Functional Comparisons Between Formal and Informal Tools Sampled from the Nenana and Denali Assemblages of the Dry Creek Site [no abstract available]
Eat what you smell: patterns of global variation in human olfactory receptors
Kara Hoover is giving a talk in the Linguistics Department at Radboud University (Nigmegen, Netherlands) on her research conducted in collaboration with colleagues in the Evolutionary Genetics Department the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig (where she is currently a Visiting Scientist). The talk will be held on 3 December and focuses on variation in genes that control the sense of smell--particular attention is paid to those genes that are closely linked with food odors such as malt, meat, and fruits.
The Shaman, the Saint and the General Secretary as Historical Effects in the Social Dynamics of Life in Rural Kamchatka
Arctic Roundtable Discussion - The Peopling of the Americas
Arctic Roundtable Discussion, Friday, November 14 at 5:30pm in AKST
An evening of discussion and discovery exploring the times, routes and lives of the first humans to inhabit North America. Co-hosted by the Arctic Institute of North America - Alaska and the National Park Service. Panelists include:
Dr. David Meltzer: Henderson-Morrison Professor of Prehistory, Southern Methodist University
Dr. Dan Mann: Professor of Geography, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dr. Ben Potter: Professor of Anthropology, University of Alaska Fairbanks
Mike Kunz: BLM Archeologist, BLM Arctic Field Office
MA Thesis Defense: Erin Dinneen
23 October, 8am, Bunnell 402
Amber Lincoln's ethnographic installation "History Felt" (3-7 December in Washington DC)
Anthropology Colloquium: David Meltzer 13 Nov 3:30 Bunnell 302
Folsom adaptations and Younger Dryas environments in the Rocky Mountains
Dr. David Meltzer (SMU), Thursday, Nov 13, 3:30-5 PM at Bunnell Rm 302.
Folsom adaptations and Younger Dryas environments in the Rocky Mountains. The Upper Gunnison Basin on the western slope of the Rocky Mountains is, today, one of the coldest regions in the continental United States. It was surely just as cold at the tail end of the Pleistocene. Yet, there is now evidence Folsom Paleoindian groups, whose geographic range was long thought to have been largely restricted to the Great Plains, occupied the Upper Gunnison Basin during the Younger Dryas. Excavations in the last dozen years at several high elevation localities in the basin, particularly the Mountaineer site, coupled with paleo-ecological investigations at cave and lake sites in the basin, provide insight into Folsom adaptations and environments. Not least, these results yield a rare glimpse into what these otherwise highly mobile hunter-gatherers did when they stopped.
Dr. Meltzer's visit is sponsored by the Arctic Institute of North America.
URSA Research Showcase: Joshua Reuther
Prehistoric Landscapes and Humans in Alaska
Joshua Reuther, Curator of Archaeology at UA Museum of the North, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology
Wed, October 8, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, UAF Schaible Auditorium
The Anthropology Society meets Mondays at 4:40 in the Nook, 319 Bunnell.
PhD Prospectus Defense: Shiaki Kondo
Time: September 26th (Fri) 10 am. Place: Bunnell 402. Prospectus Title: Hunters, Christians and Native Americans in Alaska: An Ethnography of Spirituality in the Upper Kuskokwim Region
PhD Dissertation Defense: Michael Kenyhercz
Friday September 19th at 9:30am in Bunnell 402. Molar Size and Shape in the Estimation of Biological Affinity: A Comparison of Relative Cusp Location Using Geometric Morphometrics and Interlandmark Distances
Anthropology Department Orientation
For all new and returning graduate students, please attend the Anthropology Department Orientation at 3pm on 5 September in Bunnell 302.
Tenure-track position in Social/Cultural Anthropology
Anthropology PhD Students receive Artic Social Sciences DDRIs
Congratulations to our PhD students for successful dissertation improvement grants on Northern Adaptations in Kamchatka (Russia): Fishing for Dogs or Fishing for Snow (Lisa Strecker) and Reindeer and Dogs in Modern Tozhu Mixed Economy of the Republic of Tyva (Russia) (Tayana Arakchaa).
MA Thesis Defense: Fawn Carter
May 8, 10:30 am (402 Bunnell)
Josh Reuther, research talk at Center for Applied Isotope Studies, University of Georgia (May 13th)
Undergraduate Research Day, Tuesday April 29
Stop by the Wood Center Multi-level Lounge between 10am-2pm to see research posters by anthropology majors Ana Fochesatto and Meaghan Trevena. Ana's poster is about catcalls and street compliments in Latin America and Meaghan's is about verbal aggression among girls.
MA Thesis Defense: Cecilie Ebsen
May 5, 9am (Bunnell 402)
Public lectures by candidates for the Ethnology Curator position at the Museum of the North and Assistant Professor of Anthropology
Monday April 7: 3:30 pm – Public lecture, 302 Bunnell (Co-opting the Cooperative: Tlingit Women's Beadwork at Mid-Century)
Friday April 11: 3:30 pm – Public Lecture, Bunnell 302 (Inupiaq Narratives Reanimate Objects of Cultural Heritage and Beauty: A Community-based Approach to Knowledge Production)
Wednesday April 23: 3:30 pm – Public lecture, Bunnell 302 (Noise and the Thickening Earth: The Power of Stories in an Alaskan Yup'ik Community)
Tuesday April 29: 4:00 pm – Public lecture, Bunnell 302 (Mementos [Paisat], Museums and Meanings: Restoring relations among Inupiaq ethnographic collections in Great Britain)
Anthropology Society Triva/Pizza night: May 3 at 5pm (302 Bunnell)
The Anthropology Society is having a Trivia/Pizza Night to celebrate the end of the semester. The Trivia Night will be on Saturday May 3rd at 5pm in Bunnell 302. Pizza will be provided and we encourage all of you to come take part! We hope to see you all there to help us celebrate in the semester ending!
These defense: Dental caries prevalence in ancient Egyptians and Nubians
Konstantine Triambelas. Please see abstract here.
Anthropology Open House
Please join us 27 February all day for open house activities in our new space in Bunnell Building. For a map of campus, see here. For parking information, see here. Taku & Nenana lots have kiosks for ticketing as well as regular shuttle service to Wood Center and Eielson, respectively. Bunnell is a short walk from our old building (Eielson) and a slight longer walk from Wood Center.
Anthropology Brown Bag!
March 4 in Bunnell 301A from 1-2
Lisa Strecker and Tayana Arakchaa will be presenting dry runs of their Alaska Anthropological Association meetings presentations on Tuesday March 4 in 301A from 1-2.
Fellowship! Geist fund
The Otto William Geist Fund was established by Otto Geist in 1963 to support:
-Acquisition and conservation of archeological or paleontological material for the University.
-Financing in whole or in part expeditions for archeological or paleontological field research.
-Scholarships or fellowship grants for undergraduate and graduate students in archaeology or paleontology. Proposals from other fields are considered if strongly tied into these disciplines.
Application Deadline: March 29, 2013
Anthropology Brown Bag!
February 20 in Bunnell 301A from 1-2
Cecelie Ebsen will be presenting a dry run of her Alaska Anthropological Association meetings presentations on Tuesday March 4 in 301A from 1-2.
Graduate School Travel awards
To apply for a travel grant, travel must begin before July 1 of this year. There will be another competition for travel after July 1 later.
Anthropology Coloquium: February 21st, 3:30 PM in Room 302 Bunnell
Current Upper Paleolithic & Mesolithic Research in Cis-Baikalia, Russia, Dr. Alekesi Teten'kin
Anthropology Coloquium: February 7th, 3:30 PM in Room 302 Bunnell
Babylonian Astronomy Under Arctic Skies, Dr. Wayne Horowitz
David Koester co-organizes Symposium on Comparative Studies of Indigenous Cultures around the North Pacific Rim
David Koester is co-organizer of a “Symposium on Comparative Studies of Indigenous Cultures around the North Pacific Rim” at the National Museum of Ethnology in Osaka, Japan, January 11-13, 2014. He is speaking at the symposium on January 12.
Kenyhercz Dissertation Prospectus Defense
Funded Master’s Degree Positions to Study the Gender and Change at University of Alaska Fairbanks
University of Alaska Fairbanks is seeking to recruit a graduate student interested in pursuing a Master’s (or Ph.D.) degree at the University of Alaska Fairbanks with a research focus on gender and change in Arctic Alaska. Student funding is provided by a research grant from the National Science Foundation. Successful applicants will be offered two years of funding, including a stipend of approximately $28,000/year, field research, tuition, benefits, and research expenses.
We are particularly interested in students with backgrounds in the human dimensions of environmental systems or environmental anthropology. Please click here for more details and information on how to apply.
2014 Field School in Subarctic Archaeology: Mead Site
Dates: May 19 to June 21
Mead site is a multicomponent site consisting of at least 4 components dating from 14,000 to 1,400 years ago in deeply buried stratified contexts in the mid Tanana Basin, near Delta Junction, Alaska. This site has received little investigation given its importance in the early prehistory of northwest North America, but initial excavations have yielded lithic tools, organic tools, and faunal remains from multiple components. Along with Broken Mammoth and Swan Point, this is one of the oldest sites in northwest North America, and indeed in the Western Hemisphere. The presence of faunal remains and lithic artifacts within stratified contexts provides an opportunity to document patterning in site use and test hypotheses about technology, subsistence, and settlement of ancient populations in Interior Alaska.
For more informationon the 2014 field school: click here.
Alaska Anthropological Association Meetings in Fairbanks
Call for papers
The 2014 meeting will be held at the Wedgewood Resort, 212 Wedgewood Drive, Fairbanks, Alaska 99701 (452-1442). Workshops will be held on Wednesday, March 5 and the conference will begin that evening with an opening reception at the Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum (located on the conference grounds).
Call for Sessions, Papers, Posters, and Workshops Anthropology and art are diverse subjects in their own right but are closely intertwined on many levels. Anthropology and Art--the theme of the 41st Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association--is intentionally broad and was chosen to explore the multiple interconnections of Anthropology and Art. The theme may be applied to the past or the present, and to Native or Non-Native topics.Presenters, as well as workshop and session organizers are encouraged to develop sessions, papers, posters, and workshops that incorporate the theme of the interface of anthropology and art; however, as always submissions that relate to any of the four fields of anthropology are welcome. In keeping with the conference theme, the use of a range of media is encouraged for all presentations.
The deadline for submissions for sessions, papers, posters and workshops is January 1st, 2014. Abstracts are limited to 100 words or less. For more information, please visit the annual meeting website.
Kara Hoover interviewed for Scientific American blog on pheromones and mating
Kara Hoover interviewed for Scientific American Mind blog post by Julia Calderone on human pheromones and pheromone parties.
Ben Potter gives three talks in China on Beringian archaeology
2013 GIS Modeling and Intersite Variability in Eastern Beringia. Special Lecture to Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Prehistory, Chinese Academy of Sciences. December 20, 2013, Beijing, P.R. China.
2013 Site Structure and Organization in Eastern Beringia. Special Lecture to Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Prehistory, Chinese Academy of Sciences. December 11, 2013, Beijing, P.R. China.
2013 Traces from Northern Forests: An Emerging Synthesis of Beringian Prehistory. Special Lecture to Institute of Global Ethnology and Anthropology and Ethnic Minority Study Center of China. December 5, 2013, Beijing, P.R. China.
Ben Potter gives a talk at the Paleoamerican Odyssey Conference
2013 Technology and Economy Among the Earliest Prehistoric Foragers in Interior Eastern Beringia. Paper presented at the Paleoamerican Odyssey Conference. October 17, 2013, Santa Fe, New Mexico. (with Charles E. Holmes, and David R. Yesner)
David Koester participates in an Indigenous Mapping Workshop
December 5-8 David Koester participated in an Indigenous Mapping Workshop jointly sponsored by Google Earth Outreach and the University of Arizona through a National Science Foundation grant, Ben Colombi, PI. The workshop brought indigenous students and scholars from Kamchatka, Russia both to learn about creating maps using Google Earth tools and techniques and to work with researchers to plan indigenous mapping projects over the next year.
2014 Symposium on Comparative and Collaborative Studies of Indigenous Cultures along the North Pacific Rim
National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka Japan (12 January 2014)
“Historical Trajectories and Contemporary Issues: Comparative Studies of Kamchatka Peninsula” David Koester (University of Alaska Fairbanks)
Despite differences in culture and language and vast differences in political histories in the 20th century, there are many similarities in the fates of indigenous peoples on both sides of the North Pacific. Some of the similarities are based on parallels in the surrounding environment at corresponding latitudes. Some occurred as a result of political resemblances of 18th to 20th century colonial practices. Others occurred because of shared technological and economic legacies of the industrial revolution. This presentation outlines the history and contemporary position of the peoples of Kamchatka in relation to developments and issues on the eastern side of the North Pacific.
Kara Hoover gives two research talks on human olfactory evolution
Univeristy of Alaska Anchorage and the University of Cincinnatti
My olfactory population genetics research engages with the long-standing assumption that the sense of smell has little to no functional significance in primate (and particularly) human evolution. Yet, there is tremendous genetic, geographic, and cultural variation in olfactory perception. The field of olfactory science is young—the receptors were discovered in 1991—and there are currently few known genotype-phenotype relationships established. Of the ones that are known, most of them are related to diet and food preference. My research on allelic frequency variation OR7D4 serves as the first link between perceptual/cultural and microevolutionary factors shaping the distribution and diversity of human olfactory receptor genes. OR7D4 is an olfactory receptor associated with sex pheromone detection and pig meat preference. I found significant differences in human populations with more variant alleles occurring in Eurasia: 34% of Europeans and 47% of Asians are not sensitive to androstenone. Less sensitivity to androstenone is correlated with increased preference for pig meat. An interpretative narrative to this analysis is the long prehistory of pig hunting and domestication in Asia, where pork is a stock food item today.
UAF Anthropologists at the AAAs in Chicago
David Fazzino, session co-chair with Ethan Sinsabaugh (UAF)
The Occupy Movement Is Dead, Long Live the Occupy Movement!
Wednesday, November 20, 2013: 9:15 PM Conference Room 4L (Chicago Hilton)
The Occupy Movement in the United States started as a response to economic policies that exacerbated disparities between social classes. The Occupy Movement was propelled by rational actors who demanded economic equality through a variety of means, most notably the physical occupation of public land. During this, the Occupiers were being portrayed in the media accounts as upper-class urban campers who had a vague notion about what they were protesting. Whereas this might have been an accurate portrayal of some I encountered in my two years as a participant of the Occupy Movement, in reality there were a variety of reasons fellow “campers” shared with me for their participation. In addition to my two years as a participant observer, I conducted semi-structured interviews with ten of the most active occupiers in three different settings (Phoenix, Arizona, Fairbanks, Alaska, and Rochester, New York). This paper explores four facets of the Occupy Movement's inner-workings: 1. The physical layout of the protest sites, 2. The internal economy within the Occupy Movement, 3. The informal political infrastructures within Occupy, and 4. The role social media had in regards to the distribution of information and ideas.
David Koester, paper
To Speak Or Not to Speak, and Other Existential Questions: Discussions On the Itelmen Language By the Few Who Speak It
Thursday, November 21, 2013: 3:15 PM, Chicago Hilton, 5E
When the number of speakers of a language dwindles and speech events in that language become socially marked occasions, the waning language and even ‘language’ as an abstract concept can become objects of discussion. At the same time, practitioners of an ‘endangered language’ can be steadfastly resistant to seeing their means of speaking as ‘language’, that is, as an abstract system that enables humans to communicate. There are now less than 10 fluent, confident speakers of the Itelmen language of Kamchatka, Russia. In the summer of 2012, the healthy and able among the confident speakers were brought together for eight days of discussions and documentation. This paper examines the metalinguistic and metadiscursive aspects of those discussions. In questions ranging from orthography to linguistic authority to language variation, participants in the workshop expressed a range of views. They mentioned the power of language transmission over time, the nostalgia associated with childhood use of the language and its association with ancestors, the social and personal value of song, the authority of linguists and a series of other revealing pronouncements about the status of ‘the language’ as fewer and fewer people speak Itelmen.
Robin Shoaps, paper
K’iche’ formal pronouns at the crossroads of theological tension, linguistic anxiety and cross-linguistic discursive circulation in Sakapultek evangelical discourse
In the past decade, use of K'iche'-derived formal pronouns (lal/lanh and alaq/laq) has gained traction in the diminishing realm of Sakapultek-language evangelical Christian radio broadcasts and sermons. Formal pronouns, which are not native to the Sakapultek language (Du Bois 1981), have conventionally appeared in traditionalist oratory and prayers directed at Maya deities and in ritualized greetings between married people and their godparents and in-laws. In this paper, I approach the evangelical embrace of lal as a window into contemporary theological, linguistic and ethnic difference which become prominent only in local Maya, not Spanish-language, evangelical prayer. I demonstrate that linguistic ideologies about respect erase the seeming incongruity between Spanish language Christian prayer practices (which involve the informal pronoun in addressing God) and apparently “necessitate” the (clumsy) incorporation of K'iche' formal address forms in Sakapultek. I draw from my research among K'iche' Pentecostals to suggest that increasingly emphatic K'iche' discourses about the importance of lal use in divine address reflect anxiety about linguistic and cultural change, and play into long-standing Sakapultek ideologies of linguistic inferiority. These K'iche' and Sakapultek linguistic ideologies, coupled with increased intercommunity contact between K'iche' and Sakapultek-speaking evangelicals and widespread circulation of K'iche' evangelical discourse have set the scene for Sakapultek evangelicals to adapt formal pronouns in prayer. Lal use has gone hand-in-hand with valorization of a once-despised immigrant K'iche' population and the elevation of a hybrid K'iche'-Sakapultek-Spanish register into a communicative ecology that once condemned salient code-switching.