Current Graduate Students

TomTom Allen

Education: Current MA student; BS Anthropology (2011) University of Alaska Fairbanks
Thesis: Early Holocene Lithic Procurement, Technological Organization, and Mobility: Insights from XBD-167 (Little Delta #3)
Research interests: I primarily work on questions of technological adaptations during the Early Holocene especially on toolstone procurement behavior and the insight these behaviors have on understanding mobility during this ecologically dynamic time period. As an extension, my research includes the ways material quality and material availability affect technological organization and degree of tool production and intensification at procurement sites.


ChrisChris Cannon

Education: Current PhD Candidate in Cultural Anthropology; MA Northern Studies (2014) University of Alaska Fairbanks (Thesis: Alaska Athabascan Stellar Astronomy); BS Wildlife Biology (2007) University of Alaska Fairbanks
Dissertation Topic: Northern Dene Astronomical and Sky-Related Knowledge: A Comparative Anthropological Study
Research Interests: Northern Dene (Athabascan) language and culture with a focus on astronomical and sky-related knowledge within and across ethnolinguistic groups


EllenEllen Carrlee

Education: Current PhD candidate cultural anthropology, MA Art History and objects conservation (2000) New York University, BA Art History (1996) University of Wisconsin-Madison
Dissertation Topic: Meaning and Materiality of Gutskin in Yup'ik Relationships
Research Interests: Material Culture, Museums, Materiality, Yup'ik Culture, Webs of Relationships, Animal Personhood, Agency of Objects


Sierra CotronaSierra

Education: Current PhD student, BA (2016) Geological Sciences and Anthropology, University of Rochester; MS (2018) Biomedical Anthropology, Binghamton University; M.Re (2019) Bioarchaeology, Wrexham University. Master's Thesis: Skeletal Markers as Indicators of Labor in a Nineteenth Century New York Cemetery
Dissertation Topic: Dental Patterns in Understanding Origins of South Asian Populations
Research Interests: Dental morphology, forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, skeletal biology


AllisonAllison K. Cruz

Education: Current MA student; BA History (2017) University of Alaska Fairbanks; Associates of Art (2010) Marymount California University
Thesis Topic: Animal-Human Relationships in Alaskan Dog Mushing
Research interests: Anthropology of Religion, Spiritual Bonds and Dependency, Victorian Spiritualism, History and Cultures of Death, Ritual Movements


AudraAudra Darcy

Education: Current MA student; BA Anthropology, Minor: Earth Science (2013) University of Maine Orono; Management Certificate (2016) Harvard Extension School
Research interests: Geoarchaeology, hunter-gatherers, human-environment interaction, climate change, peopling of the Americas


Zhao JianZhao

Education: Current PhD student; MA Archaeology (2018) Zhengzhou University. Master's Thesis: Analysis of Starch Grains on Stone Tools Excavated from GouWan Site.
Dissertation Topic: Ancient Starch Grains; C and N stable isotopes; Geographic Information Systems.
Research interests: Environmental Archaeology, Archaeological Sciences; Agriculture.


CaseyCasey Jobe

Education: Current MA student; BA Anthropology (2017) University of Alaska Fairbanks
Thesis Topic: Understanding technological organization of mid- to late-Holocene occupation of the Mead site through lithic analysis.
Research interests: Lithic Analysis; GIS and Spatial Patterning; Technological Organization; Hunter-Gatherers; Prehistoric Transitional Phases; Human Behavioral Ecology


IlonaIlona Kemp-Noordeloos

Education: Bachelor of Education (2009) Hogeschool Utrecht The Netherlands; Master of Science (2011) Social and Cultural Anthropology; PhD student
Thesis: On the Ice Edge: Inupiaq people and climate change in Barrow, Alaska);
Field region: Alaska's North Slope, Bristol Bay. Ethnic group: Inupiaq and Yup'ik people
Research interests: Marine anthropology, environmental anthropology, history and culture of Alaska Native people, political ecology, historical ecology, climate change, climate change politics, environmental justice


Roman KitayskyRoman K.

Education: Current MA student; BA Russian Studies, University of Alaska Fairbanks (2011)
Subfield: Cultural Anthropology
Research interests: southern Alaska and Kodiak; historical Euro-aboriginal interactions


ShiakiShiaki Kondo

Education: BA International Liberal Studies (2009) Waseda University; MA Literature (2011) Waseda University (Thesis: Shape-Shifting Snakes and Bewitching Cats: Gift-giving, Retaliation, and Marriage between Humans and Animals in Oki District, Shimane Prefecture, Japan); PhD student
Dissertation Topic: Bird-Lovers in the Boreal Forest: Survival, Reciprocity and Otherness in Upper Kuskokwim Region, Alaska
Research interests: Anthropology of religion, ethno-ornithology, non-human personhood, indigenized Christianity, animal worship, interior Alaska, western Japan
Email: skondo @
Personal website:


VarpuVarpu Lotvonen

Education: Current PhD student; MA and BA in Folklore Studies (2012) University of Helsinki
Dissertation topic: Colonial encounters of the Sámi reindeer herders in Alaska and the making of Alaskan pastoral traditions
Research interests: Cultural and visual anthropology, circumpolar North, reindeer herding, colonialism, post-humanistic anthropology, folklore and oral history


NickNick S. Schmuck

Education : BA in History, Classical/Medieval/Renaissance Studies Minor (2010) Messiah College; MA in Medieval Archaeology (2012) University of York, UK (MA Thesis: Lost in the Landscape: Where the Dead Reside in Late Iron Age Bornholm); Ph.D. student. Focus: Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Archaeology of Southeast Alaska)
Research Interests: High latitude archaeology, Landscape Archaeology, behavioral modeling applications in GIS, coastal adaptation and human response to sea-Level change


DouglessDougless Skinner

Education: Current PhD student; MA Anthropology (2019) University of Alaska Fairbanks; BA Anthropology (2016) University of Montana
Dissertation Topic: Indigenous archaeologies and community research in Interior Alaska
Research interests: Indigenous Theories and Methodologies; Archaeology of the Arctic and Subarctic; Subsistence Practices; Human/Environmental Relationships; Gender Relationships; Decolonizing Academia


Gerad SmithGerad Smith

Education: Current PhD candidate, MA  Anthropology (2012) University of Alasks Fairbanks
Dissertation Topic: Exploring Mid to Late Holocene Economic Shifts and Cultural Change at Swan Point, Tanana Valley, Alaska
Research Interests: ethnoarchaeology, faunal/lithic analysis, feature reconstruction, footprint analysis, traditional place name reconstruction


HollyHolly Smith

Education: Current MA student, BA Archaeology and Anthropology (2010) Wilfrid Laurier University, Ontario
Thesis Topic: Analyzing Human Responses to the Northern White River Ash Eruption through Palynology of 6-Mile Lake and Excavations at the Forty Mile Site
Research Interests: archaeology of the subarctic and arctic, hunter-gatherers, faunal analysis, GIS, archaeological science, pollen analysis, human/environmental interaction, ice-patch archaeology


TaraTara Palmer

Education: M.Ed. Adult Education, University of Alaska Anchorage; BA French Language & Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language, Portland State University
Dissertation Topic: Adult ESL Teachers' Language Ideologies, Policies, & Practices
Research interests: Language ideologies, language policies, language & identity


Mary Ashley StoughMary

Education: Current MA student; BA Anthropology and Psychology (2019) Tulane University
Thesis topic: Evolution of Dentition in South Asia and the Linguistic Implications
Research interests: skeletal biology, forensic anthropology, bioarchaeology, paleopathology, dental anthropology, and trauma


LisaLisa Strecker

Education: MA University of Hamburg, Germany (Thesis: Ethnobotany of Kamchatka); PhD student
Dissertation topic: Northern adaptations in Kamchatka: fishing for sled dogs or fishing for snow-machines?
Research interests: ethnoecology, sled dog husbandry in the Arctic, ethnohistory, historical scientific accounts of the Russian Far East, ethnobotany, invasion biology
Email: lstrecker @


LynnLynn Walker

Education: BA Anthropology (2013) Alma College; MRes Social Anthropology (2014) University of Aberdeen; Museum Studies Certificate (2016) Tufts University; PhD student
Research Interests: museum anthropology; material culture; colonialism; Alutiiq/Sugpiaq weaving/basketry; museum discourse and experience
Email: lawalker5 @


JonahJonah Yakunin

Education: Current MA student; BA Fisheries (2018) University of Alaska Fairbanks
Thesis Topic: The changes in the culture of the Russian Old Believers in Alaska from involvement with Alaska's commercial fisheries. How a culture whose primary purpose of escape to Alaska was to avoid assimilation but became entrenched in the fishing industry and thriving because of it. At the present, the Russian Old Believer community in the Kenai Peninsula has become synonymous with fishing.
Research interests: Ethnohistory; fisheries; folklore; history; Russian culture; and theology


EduardEduard Zdor

Education: Current PhD student; Diploma Degree (History), Moscow University for the Humanities
Dissertation Topic: A hundred years after Bogoras: an indigenous Marxist perspective on the post-Soviet Chukchi
Research interests: The history and culture of the Bering Strait Region indigenous people; subsistence-oriented knowledge of the Arctic indigenous people; the correlation between traditional subsistence, language, and the identity of the Arctic indigenous people