Submitted and Accepted Sessions

Cloaked in Mist: The Cultural Heritage and Archaeology on Prince of Wales Island

Organizers: Shona Donnelley and Risa Carlson

This session presents new perspectives on cultural heritage and archaeological studies from Prince of Wales Island in southern Southeast Alaska made possible by an agreement between the Forest Service, Tongass National Forest, Alaska State Historic Preservation Office, Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Land Office. Since time immemorial, Alaska Natives have continued to have a close connection to the land and sea. Multiple perspectives, including living cultures, give new voice to the past. New archaeological discoveries on Prince of Wales Island further illustrate the continuity of resource and landscape-use by ancestral Native people across time. Over the past few decades these discoveries have changed how we view the archaeological record and how archaeological investigations are conducted. In 2009, a Predictive Model for finding early Holocene sites based on the age and elevation of marine deposits revolutionized survey methods and rapidly increased the number of known sites. Since then, sites of all ages have been discovered correlated to their elevation on the present landscape. This session is specifically designed to allow Indigenous members, archaeologists, and students with a space to share their knowledge.


Student Papers in Anthropology

Organizer: Sally Carraher

Current and recently graduated students are invited to submit papers on research, field school and practicum or intern experiences, or theoretical topics within any subdiscipline of anthropology. Paper presentations must be the original work of the student presenter. Topics should include one or more of the following: Original research (data collection or analysis) done by the student; Research design or discussion of ethical considerations or community-engagement for a project or program the student is directly involved in; Or first-hand experiences by the student in the case of discussing a field school, internship, or practicum experience or project.


New Archaeological Research in the Middle Tanana Valley

Organizers: François Lanoë and Gerad Smith

Containing extensive preservation of over 14,000 years of human occupation, the Middle Tanana Valley of central Alaska continues to host numerous archaeological projects. The purpose of this symposium is to bring together and present new investigations and findings, highlighting how a diverse array of methods are being applied toward our understanding of multiple aspects of past life ways.


Climate Change, Accelerated Erosion, and Cultural Heritage Management in Alaska

Organizers: Shina duVall, Jonathon Flood, and Anne Jensen

Cultural heritage sites across Alaska are increasingly threatened by erosion due to climate change and its secondary effects. Coastal and riverine sites are particularly vulnerable to changes in waterways, extreme tides, shifting sea ice, variability in freeze-thaw cycles, permafrost thaw and thermokarst, and subsidence. This session will examine sites from diverse geographic locations across Alaska which are experiencing the detrimental effects of erosion, and the efforts that are being made by communities and heritage management professionals to respond.


AkAA virtual 2022 Career Forum

Organizers: Marine Gillespie, Ruby Fried, and Shina duVall

In 2021, the Alaska Anthropological Association hosted a successful forum for job seekers and employers that provided a space for networking, offered presentations on preparing employment documentation such as resumes and cover letters, and effective interviewing techniques in our specific field. For the #AkAA virtual 2022 Conference, we continue this key theme of exploring career paths in Anthropology in Alaska. We’ll provide an opportunity to network with and hear presentations from individuals with a wide variety of experience in the field. Professionals will talk candidly and share information about how they chose (or stumbled onto) their career path, the challenges or pitfalls they encountered, and the lessons they’ve learned along the way. They will be available for informal and truthful conversations about working in anthropology, archaeology, cultural resources, museums, social science and humanities, etc.

What does a day-in-the-life of an anthropologist, archaeologist, or cultural resources professional really look like? What are the day-to-day tasks and skills that are really important in this work (perhaps unexpectedly so)? What do you wish you’d learned about your profession in school? What have you had to learn on the job? What would you do differently if you could start over, knowing what you know now?

Please join us for the #AkAA virtual 2022 Conference Career Forum!


Anthropology by Alaska Native Researchers

Organizers: Norma Johnson and Gerad Smith

This session is designed specifically for Alaska Native/First Nation anthropologists and students to discuss their work. The purpose of this session is to specifically bring together and highlight any anthropological research driven by Alaska Native students, researchers, and communities, and provide commentary and critiques of the current state of the discipline in the northern regions. We kindly ask that all papers submitted for this session be either solely authored or first authored by individuals who identify as Alaska Native, Native American, or First Nations.


Recent Archeological and Historical Research at Chernofski Village on Unalaska Island, Alaska

Organizer: Michael R. Yarborough

This group of papers focuses on recent archaeological and historical research at Chernofski Village (UNL-0034), a large Unangax̂ settlement on Unalaska Island that was occupied from at least 3,000 years ago until the late 1920s. In 2019, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers determined that planned removal of contaminants associated with World War II (WWII) activities at Chernofski Harbor would have an adverse effect on the village site. In compliance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act and based on the stipulations of a Memorandum of Agreement, Cultural Resource Consultants LLCs archaeologists undertook a Phase III investigation during June and July of 2019 that included excavation of a representative area of the village. Historical research and analysis of the recovered cultural material was completed in November 2021. Fifteen Alaskan archaeologists, historians, and architects contributed to the final report.

The abundance of archaeological data from the site presented the opportunity to study many topics of interest, including trade, change through time, seasonality, regional variation, and how best to utilize archaeological data from damaged sites. Historical records, aerial photographs from WWII, surface indicators, and subsurface testing revealed that portions of the site had been lost or disturbed, but excavations in 2019 proved that substantial archaeological materials still remain. Our conservative estimate is that the Chernofski Village site has an area of 18,000 m2, and averages 3 m deep.


The Words We Use: The Language of Anthropology

Organizers: Monty Rogers and Kaare Sikuaq Erickson

From those just starting to those with extensive experience in any field, its practitioners must learn the lingo, to create, describe, and support concepts in their area of study. Sometimes the phrases and words we use date back to the origins of the field of study and sometimes the words are of recent origin. Communicating the importance of cultural heritage can be difficult at times, especially when attempting to bridge differing perspectives of and familiarity with the past. Complex or controversial projects can complicate communicating the importance of cultural heritage even more. This session examines anthropologists word choices for describing their research methods and results along with communicating their research with Tribes, the public, clients, and peers. Our word choices can have effects and meanings beyond their dictionary entries. This session offers individuals in circumpolar anthropology an opportunity to present on perspectives, data, and suggestions regarding the issues raised above, in the format of presentations followed by a virtual roundtable discussion.


Funding Opportunities at NSF

Organizer: Erica Hill

This workshop will consist of an overview of Arctic Social Science funding opportunities at the National Science Foundation. Dissertation, post-doctoral fellowship, and standard research grants will all be discussed, followed by attendee Q&A.


Beringia: shared heritage

Organizer: Evguenia Anichtchenko

Defined as the land and maritime area between the Lena River, the Mackenzie River, the Chukchi Sea and the Kamchatka Peninsula, Beringia is the link between Eurasia and North America with twenty thousand years of human history and interaction. Today this shared heritage unites Canada, Alaska and Russia. This session highlights recent research in Beringia, conducted both in conjunction with the NPS Shared Beringian Heritage Program activities and in the larger context of international collaboration in the region.