Anthropology Labs



The Archaeology/GIS Lab is designed to accommodate instruction, student archaeological analysis and GIS research, and laboratory portions of a number of courses (e.g., ANTH-492/692 Archaeology Seminars, ANTH-211 Fundamentals of Archaeology). The space is suitable for examination of archaeological collections, including lithic, faunal, spatial and other analyses.

Three computers with ArcGIS and all extensions, including 3d Analyst and Geospatial Analyst, form the hub of the GIS laboratory. Lithic comparative and analytical collections (including material types and technologies) are available for students to use, as well as low-powered stereoscopes. Two additional computers are dedicated to materials analysis, and all five computers have SPSS statistical software and Surfer 3d mapping software.


For more information contact Ben Potter.

The Environmental Lab hosts a wide range of faculty, staff and student research oriented to reconstructing local environments through time and understanding long-term human ecosystem adaptations. This lab is equipped with instrumentation for the preparation of archaeological specimens (e.g., bones, teeth, soils) for isotope analysis, radiocarbon dating, soil chemistry. Instrumentation includes: freeze dryer, mixer mill, Milli-Q ultra pure water system, fume hood for chemical work, analytical balance and microbalance, multiple sizes of centrifuges, and other support equipment.


For more information contact Josh Reuther.

This lab houses an extensive skeletal comparative collection that is used for teaching and research. The collection focuses mainly on Alaskan fauna with additional specimens from the South Pacific and around the world.


For more information, contact Justin Cramb.




The lab houses the human osteological comparative collection of the department, primate and hominid fossil casts, a small collection of human paleopathological specimens along with osteometric and other research equipment (osteometric board, spreading and sliding calipers, anthropometers, ASUDAS plaques, pubic symphysis aging kits, micro- and other balances, etc.). The lab also has 3-D digitizing and morphometrics instruments. The Dental Anthropology Lab houses a large case of dental casts.


For more information, contact Brian Hemphill 

 This lab is fitted with a PCR hood/workstation, real-time qPCR and standard PCR instruments. The lab is also equipped with a variety of supporting equipment: mini-centrifuge, vortex, balance, sub-zero freezer, refrigerator/cooler, PC, and printer.


For more information contact Kara Hoover

This lab is PCR-free and contains two biosafety cabinets for preparation of ancient DNA specimens and ancient DNA extraction.


For more information contact Kara Hoover


The newly renovated and expanded Digital Ethnography Lab in Bunnell 309 provides students with state of the art audiovisual equipment for recording in digital audio and video and computational facilities designed for multimedia editing, acoustic analysis, transcription and discourse analysis and digitizing and archiving analog and minidisc materials.

The lab is equipped with two PowerMac quad core computers, with Adobe Premiere Professional and Final Cut programs for advanced video editing and six new Asus work stations and a new PC laptop installed with GIS software for student check out. All computers have Adobe Premiere Professional and Photoshop for visual analysis and are installed with: Praat, Audacity, Transana, Express-scribe and Elan for transcription and discourse analysis. There are digital foot pedals and studio quality headphones for transcription. We have a high speed audio cassette copier and cassette-to-CD dubbing equipment to facilitate digitizing archival CD recordings. There is a mini-DV deck for copying digital video cassettes. We also have a minidisc deck that allows digitization and copying of minidiscs for archival purposes. The lab also has numerous Marantz and small Tascam digital audio field recorders, cardiod and binaural lapel microphones, wireless lapel mics and solid state video recorders and tripods for student and faculty use.


For more information contact Robin Shoaps or Patrick Plattet.

The Medical Anthropology Lab in Bunnell 407 is designed to facilitate small group instruction, mixed-methods research, and anthropometric procedures. The lab has a Marantz Professional PMD660 portable solid state audio recorder, numerous Tascam DR-05 digital voice recorders (carry cases and accessories), a Sony transcription kit with foot pedal, high quality headphones for in-lab transcription, and two Dell XPS 15 laptops. The lab is also equipped with a portable stadiometer height-rod and a Tanita SC-240 Total Body Composition Analyzer. Four computer workstations are available for students to access a variety of software programs, including Atlas.ti (for qualitative data analysis), Remark Office OMR (for creating surveys, tests, assessments and evaluations), and Tanita HealthWare software (for recording, tracking, and analyzing body weight, body water, body fat, muscle mass, visceral fat rating, bone mass, BMI, and more). 
For more information, contact Elaine Drew



Other UAF Research Facilities

Faculty and students at the Department of Anthropology are able to utilize a wide variety of research facilities on the UAF campus.


The UAF DNA CORE lab contains advanced instrumentation for The Core Facility provides nucleic acid sample analysis, and maintenance and support for molecular instruments (some of which may be too expensive for individual labs to own) for both UAF and outside users. The Core Lab facilitates learning by hosting training workshops and seminars for instrumentation and techniques to help students, faculty, and staff learn to use available equipment. The Core Lab also provides tours to middle and high school students/teachers, undergraduate students, graduate students, research staff, faculty candidates, and local or out of state visitors. The Core Lab has also been involved in several undergraduate/graduate classes offered by the Biology Department and the Chemistry Department. See Services and Fees for more information on lab services.


The UA Museum of the North has archaeological collections containing materials that document cultures in Alaska from the Late Pleistocene to the present. Extensive paleontology, geology, botany, zoology, ethnology, and fine arts collections are also available for study at the museum.

The Elmer E. Rasmuson Library contains the distinguished Alaska Polar Regions Collection, as well as an outstanding rare book and map collection. Primary sources and photographic collections on the Circumpolar North are also available in the Archive and Manuscript Division of the library.

The UAF Stable Isotope Facility is an excellent resource for bioanthropology and archaeology students interested in using advanced lab methods for their research. Student and faculty researchers alike may use our own chemical bioarchaeology lab for preparation of materials before submitting samples for analysis.


The Alaska Quaternary Center focuses on the natural history of Alaska from the beginning of the Pleistocene through the Holocene.

The Alaska Native Language Center offers unrivaled opportunities for the study of Alaskan languages, and provides important support for instruction and research in sociocultural anthropology.

The Alaska and Polar Regions Collections & Archives has several resources including Oral History Archives, Project Jukebox, and Alaska's Digital Archives.