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Current Projects

Following is the list of continuing projects receiving funding through the Shared Beringian Heritage Program. No new projects were solicited for 2011. Since project proposals can be of one to three years' duration, continuing projects usually are receiving funding in addition to projects selected that year. For more detailed information on the continuing projects, including the proposal go to Find a Project and click on the year in which the project was selected for funding.

Continuing Projects Funded in Fiscal Year 2012

Collection of Traditional Ecological Knowledge Regarding Polar Bear Habitat Use in Chukotka, Russia

Partner: Alaska Nanuuq Commission
Contact: Jack Omelak, Charlie Johnson

  • Association of Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka (ATMMHC)
  • ChukoTINRO

Location: Lorino, Lavrentiya, Uelen, lnchoun, Enurmino, Neshkan, Nutepelmen, Vankarem, Ryrkaipi, Yanranai, Rytkuchi, Chukotka.
Duration: 3 years
Funding: $47,000 in 2012, $47,000 in 2013, and $47,000 in 2014

The Alaska Nanuuq Commission (ANC) will conduct a habitat-use study for polar bears that builds on previous studies using traditional knowledge and local observers in several villages in Chukotka, Russia. The ANC is currently conducting a polar bear habitat use study on the Alaska portion of the shared polar bear population, and in order to get a more complete picture of the changing nature of these habitats it is essential to include the Chukotka population. Scientists and Native leaders alike recognize that the most effective management of shared Bering/Chukchi polar bears and their habitat would require active cooperation among the governments and local people of the United States and Russia. The ANC will work with indigenous hunters' organizations in Chukotka and gather reports on environmental changes in polar bear habitats on the Russian side. Participants and coordinators from Chukotka will travel to Nome to train in data-collection and organization, and also to witness the functioning and processes of the Nanuuq Commission. This 3-year project will produce a report serving to update the report "Traditional Knowledge of Chukotka Native Peoples Regarding Polar Bear Habitat Use," which was conducted by ANC and the National Park Service in 2003.

The Current Nutritional and Cultural Needs of the Aboriginal Population of Chukotka to Harvest Gray and Bowhead Whales.

Partner: Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC)
Contact: Glenn Sheehan

  • Association of Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka (ATMMHC)
  • Chukotka Science Support Group (CSSG)

Location: Lorino, Sireniki, Lavrentiya, New Chaplino, Chukotka and Barrow, AK
Duration: 1 year
Funding: $39,751 in 2012

This project will document and demonstrate the importance of subsistence activities, most importantly the harvest of marine mammals, for Native communities in coastal Chukokta. The Barrow Arctic Science Consortium BASC will work with local non-profit organizations representing the hunters in Chukotka. By working in conjunction with the chosen local cooperators, this project will accomplish two major tasks. The first phase or task will be a core household survey project to be conducted by trained local surveyors. BASC will work with local organizations to collect and record this data. The second phase or task to be completed is a qualitative report that interprets the sampled information to show what the established needs are, to be conducted by a qualified local organization. Products of this research will provide empirical evidence for a "needs statement" to support subsistence claims to harvest Gray and Bowhead Whales to the International Whaling Commission (IWC). Recently, it has become clear from statements made by IWC officials to the representatives of indigenous groups in Chukotka that an updated and more recent needs assessment will be needed to substantiate the 2012 resource allocation decisions. This survey and needs assessment will substantiate and support the need for subsistence hunting of marine mammals for indigenous people in Chukotka.

Trans-Beringia Muskoxen — Creation of Ecological Baselines in an Era of Arctic Warming

Partner: University of Montana
Contact: Joel Berger, John J. Craighead Chair and Professor of Wildlife Conservation, Biological Sciences

  • Ecological Inventory and Monitoring Program, National Park Service Arctic Network, Jim Lawler, Network Coordinator
  • Western Arctic National Parklands, Brad Shults, Wildlife Biologist
  • Wrangel Island State Zapovednik, Alexander Gruzdev, Superintendent, and Taras Sipko, Scientist

Location: Western Arctic National Parklands, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Alaska; and Wrangel Island State Zapovednik, Chukotka
Duration: 3 years
Funding: $39,010 in 2012; $28,670 in 2013; $39,101 in 2014

No standard or baseline exists for Beringian mammals. Cooperator will establish baseline conditions for muskoxen within and between populations over time across both the Chukotka and Alaskan Beringian landscapes in a strong collaborative effort with Russian and American partners. Proposed study areas are Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, and Wrangel Island Zapovednik in Russia. The projects goals are: 1) to gain insights about how climate and other factors affect population change and potential persistence in muskoxen, and 2) to establish ecological baselines. This will be achieved through comparative efforts to understand populations in Chukotka (e. g. Wrangel Island) and eastern Beringia (e. g. Western Arctic Parklands NPS units). Pragmatic on-the-ground approaches will use non-invasive methodology, and concentrate on easily discernible and repeatable metrics associated with body size traits, growth rates, and annual population change. Currently, such an approach is being used at Cape Krusenstern National Monument and Bering Land Bridge National Preserve in eastern Beringia. Spring 2012 the project PI will prepare for field work on Wrangel Island and work out logistical difficulties of getting to the site. First field work season is scheduled for the summer of 2012.

Continuing Projects Funded in Fiscal Year 2011

Ethnographic Documentation of the Kotzebue Trade Fair

Partner: Kikitagruk Inupiat Corporation – Change to "KIC"
Contact: Nicole Stoops

  • Indigenous communities in Chukotka

Location: Kotzebue, Alaska
Duration: 1 year
Funding: $10,000 in 2011

The village of Kotzebue, located in Northwest Alaska, hosts an annual trade fair which showcases economic activities and pursuits pertaining to indigenous peoples and the economic development of rural Alaska. The fair was held July 1 and 2, 2011 in Kotzebue. The fair was documented and materials will be translated in to Russian. The documentation and transfer of the Alaskan's experience during the trade fair is relevant and useful, and the economic experiences of the Alaska natives could provide lessons for their Russian counterparts. Once received, this report will be sent out to interested parties in Alaskan and in Chukotka.

Continuing Projects Funded in Fiscal Year 2010

Beringia: What's Climate Change to You?

Partner: GoNorth! Adventure Learning
Contact: Mille Porsild
  • Beringia Nature-Ethnic Park, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug, Natalia Kalyuzhina
  • Ethnography Laboratory in Anadyr, scientists Viktoriya Golbtseva and Vladislav Nuvano
  • Beringia Tour Services
  • Chukotka Science Group
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks, Department of Anthropology, Dr. Sveta Yamin-Pasternak
  • University of Colorado, Physics Education Research Group, Dr. Stephanie Viola Chasteen
  • Collaboration with scientists from Woods Hole Research Center, NASA, and United Nations Environment Programme
Location: Provideniya, Sireniki, Yanrakynnot, Lorino, Lavrentia, and Uelen
Duration: 3 years
Funding: $37,000 in 2011, $48,400 in 2012, $49,610 in 2013

This project was selected for funding in 2010, but was delayed in order to change partners from the University of Minnesota to the University of Alaska and the University of Colorado.

This project will establish a local and sustainable framework to deliver Beringia: What's Climate Change to You? (WCCY) in Chukotka, Russia. This is part of a Pan-Arctic-American network where students and teachers partner with scientists to do science and explore climate change around the circumpolar arctic. The vehicle for WCCY is the "GoNorth," adventure learning series. The youth-generated content is used by more than 3 million learners and is broadcasted to teachers in more than 4,500 schools across the 50 U.S. states and on 5 continents. The cooperator, Mille Porsild, was in Chukotka in summer 2011 working towards the establishment of community "teams" in rural villages to record and observe the local environment. Cooperator is working closely with the Committee of Sports and Tourism, Administration of Chukotka, and was a presenter at the Beringia Days 2011 conference in September 2011. A draft annual progress report on the work accomplished during 2011 was submitted in January 2012, the final annual progress report is expected by the end of March 2012, and project activities will continue through 2013.

2011 Presentation | 2011 Progress Report

Bowhead Coastal Observation Project - Chukotka

Partner: North Slope Borough, Alaska
Contact: Craig George, Cyd Hanns

  • Russian Academy of Sciences, Dr. Vladimir Melnikov
  • Association of Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka, Eduard Zdor
  • Chukotka Science Support Group, Gennady Zelenskiy
  • ChukotTINRO, Denis Litovka

Location: Uelen and Sereniki, Russia (may change based on logistics and recommendations of colleagues in Chukotka)
Duration: 3 years
Funding: $34,022 in 2010, $39,230 in 2011, $47,216 in 2012

This project will study the distribution and abundance of the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort Seas bowhead whale population and document mammal sightings off the coast of Chukotka for three years, from 2010-2012. The North Slope Borough provided the program with annual field report for the 2010 field season, documenting observations from the Chukotka side. This report is available and posted on the program website. In addition, another field season of monitoring and documentation was carried out in 2011 and a progress report was submitted in February 2012 and is available here.

2010 Field Season Progress Report | 2010-2011 Field Seasons Progress Report

Climate Change: a View Through the Prism of Steller's Sea Cow Extinction

Partner: University of Alaska, Fairbanks
Contact: Dr. Alexander Burdin

  • Florida Atlantic University, Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, Dr. O'Corry-Crowe
  • Mote Marine Laboratory, Florida; Dr. John Reynolds, III
  • Kamchatka branch of the Pacific Institute of Geography
  • Russian Academy of Science in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky
  • Commander Island State Preserve, Dr. S. V. Zagrebelny
  • Nikolskoe High School and village members

Location: Commander Islands, Chukotka
Duration: 2 years
Funding: $39,762 in 2010, $40,305 in 2011

This project will test the hypothesis as to whether factors related to climate change influenced the eventual extinction of this last giant Beringian mammal. The cooperator went to the field in the summer of 2010 and provided the program with a year 1st year report of the field season and findings. It can be accessed here. Another field season was conducted during the summer of 2011 in the Commander islands to collect more Stellar's Sea Cow remains for genetic analysis. The samples and remains collected during this field season will be analyzed and recorded. The 2nd expedition report was submitted in February 2012 and is available here.

2010 Field Season Progress Report | 2011 Field Season Progress Report | Final Report

Creating a Modern Map of Submerged Beringia - The Bridge that Endures Time

Partner: Alaska-Siberia Research Center
Contact: Alexander Dolitsky, Executive Director, Michelle Ridgway

  • Oceanus Alaska, Michelle Ridgway, principal investigator
  • T.J. Howland, Chief of Hydrographic Surveys, Terrasond Limited
  • Dr. David Scholl, U.S. Geological Survey and Stanford University
  • Candace Stepetin, Pribilovian Native and liaison to Russian and U.S. Native communities

Location: Submerged Beringian region, Russian and U.S. waters
Duration: 1 year (project extended to 12/30/11, then again until 12/31/2012)
Funding: $35,050 in 2010

The principal investigators will develop a geospatial database of the best available data from the U.S., Russia, and other sources to create a modern seafloor map of submerged Beringia. A database of material on the seafloor has been submitted and is now being interpreted by NPS GIS staff. This project held a demonstration of the current map at the Beringia Days 2011 conference. Due to issues with a subcontractor, the Beringia Program is negotiating the completion of this project with other organizations and entities. The project has been extended until the end of 2012, so that the final project deliverables (a map suitable for broad electronic dissemination, which will also be published online and linked to the program website) will be completed as proposed.

View map (June 2012)

Indigenous Knowledge and Use of Bering Strait Region Ocean Currents

Partner: Kawerak, Inc.
Contact: Julie Raymond-Yakoubian
Collaborators: ChukotTINRO, Pacific Scientific Research Fisheries Center, Dr. Yury Khokhlov
Location: Alaska: Diomede, Wales, Shishmaref. Chukotka: Lorino, Lavrentiya, Inchoun
Duration: 3 years
Funding: $20,000 in 2010, $33,251 in 2011, $45,000 in 2012

This project will document the traditional and contemporary use of and knowledge about ocean currents by three Alaskan and three Russian communities in the Bering Strait region. The cooperator, Julie Raymond-Yakoubian, in collaboration with her Russian partner Dr. Yury Kholklov, presented a poster at the 2011 Beringia Days conference documenting year 1 research. This research included interviews in the selected communities and the collection of other data from the villages. In October 2011, a progress report for the first year was submitted and can be accessed here. The project work continues and a progress report and draft educational poster documenting project findings are expected during the spring of 2012.

2010 Progress Report

Indigenous Language Learning and Documentation in the Bering Strait

Partner: Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
Contact: Aron L. Crowell

  • Regional cultural organizations and language programs
  • Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • Alaska Native Language Archive, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Location: Anchorage and Fairbanks, Alaska
Duration: 3 years
Funding: $35,999 in 2010, $45,000 in 2011, $47,616 in 2012

The future of indigenous languages around the Bering Strait is severely threatened. The Arctic Studies Center (ASC) will work with elder fluent speakers of the Inupiaq and St. Lawrence Island/Siberian Yupik languages to produce extensive linguistic recordings and documentation of heritage objects. A seminar was held at the Anchorage museum in early 2011 and a report was generated and received, and cooperator Aron Crowell presented during the 2011 Beringia Days conference. The project continues to work on translations of the recordings gathered at the seminar. Inupiaq and Yupik community source books which include images and edited texts for each object discussed in the language workshops will also be produced in the next phases of this project. In early 2012, a similar language seminar will be held with St. Lawrence Island Yupik elders. The next phase of work also will include collections-based discussion with fluent speakers and the preparation of teaching films and curriculum materials in St. Lawrence Island/Siberian Yupik.

2010 Progress Report | 2011 Progress Report | 2012 Progress Report

Sugpiaq Collections of the Kunstkamera and Telling Our Stories, Vodcasts of the Cape Alitak Petroglyph Survey (2 projects merged, both with Alutiiq and same cooperator, Sven Haakanson)

Partner: Alutiiq Museum
Contacts: Sven D. Haakanson, Jr., Executive Director

  • WonderVisions, Elizabeth O'Connell
  • Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography
  • Various Sugpiaq leaders, artists, and anthropologists

Location: St. Petersburg, Russia, and Cape Alitak, Alaska
Duration: 2 years
Funding: (Sugpiaq Collection) $17,812 in 2009 and $15,265 in 2010 and (Vodcasts) $18,580 in 2010, $12,000 in 2011

Two separate projects with the same cooperator and principal investigator merged together and added funding to the first project to include the second project. This funding adds the creation of 12 video podcasts or vodcasts to the production of an annotated catalog of the Sugpiaq Collections of the Kunstkamera, a current project that is reuniting Alaska's Sugpiaq community with ancestral objects stored in the Peter the Great Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia. The vodcasts on the Cape Alitak Petroglyphs are featured on the Beringia Program website, and a second set of vodcasts will be added featuring Kodiak basket-weavers in May of 2012. Sven Haakanson of the Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak presented the status of this work at the 2011 Beringia Days Conference in Nome. The final edits for the English Kunstkamera publication are in the works, and the University of Alaska Press has it scheduled for publication in September of 2012.

2010 Aleutiiq Museum Bulletin | 2010 News Release | 2010 Progress Report | 2009 Aleutiiq Museum Bulletin | Vodcasts

Continuing Projects Funded in Fiscal Year 2009

Encounters Radio Broadcast

Partner: The Island Institute
Contact: Lisa Busch
Collaborators: to be determined
Location: Central Beringia subject matter, broadcast nationally
Duration: 2 years
Funding: $11,000 in 2009, $15,000 in 2010, $3,000 in 2011

Encounters is a regular weekly, nationally distributed public radio program about the human traditions of the northern polar region. The program presents scientific information and indigenous knowledge about the natural environment in a widely distributed and easily accessible audio format. Radio segments that were done on Polar Bears and the Aleutian Goose through this project can be found here. In December 2011, a bonus segment on "Stellar's Curse" was submitted and can be heard here. All deliverables, plus a bonus segment, have been submitted and this project has been successfully completed.

2009-2010 Progress Report | Aleutian Goose | Russian Polar Bears | Steller's Curse | Listen to a radio piece

Health Evaluation of Walrus

Partner: Eskimo Walrus Commission, Kawerak, Inc.
Contact: Vera Metcalf, Cheryl Rosa

  • Arctic Research Commission, Cheryl Rosa
  • Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Gay Sheffield
  • ChukotTINRO, Denis Litovka
  • Association of Traditional Marine Mammal Hunters (ATMMHC), Eduard Zdor
  • Chukotka Science Support Group (CSSG), Gennady Zelensky

Location: Chukotka, Russia
Duration: 3 years (extended)
Funding: $25,601 in 2010, $4,284 in 2011 to cover travel cancellation cost in 2010; $21,400 in 2012

This community based project will proactively monitor walrus as the arctic environment is altered. A multi-disciplinary assessment will be conducted of body conditions and health-related parameters for an important arctic subsistence species. The data collected will advance the knowledge of arctic pinniped biology and will include comprehensive data management plans that will serve as templates for future health assessment and monitoring of the species. In 2011, weather and other issues prevented the cooperator from traveling to the field site in Chukotka for the second year in a row (also didn't reach field site in 2010.) These difficulties were documented and the program will use this input to further guide cooperators in planning Russian travel. The difficulty in getting to the field site has hindered progress on this project, so changes in methodology have been made to the workplan. The sampling will be done by trained locals in the selected villages in Chukotka and sent to the cooperator in America for analysis. This project will work with local organizations to train and monitor sample collectors in the community of Lorino, and these samples will be sent to the cooperator in Alaska. A report summarizing the findings of the sample analysis is expected in early 2013.

Kivetoruk Moses, Inupiaq Artist

Partner: University of Alaska – Fairbanks
Contact: David Mollett
Location: Various places in Alaska
Duration: 1 year
Funding: $15,000 in 2009

Beringia funding for this project supported field work to gather first-hand accounts from local people who knew or had a connection to Native artist Kivetoruk Moses and his work. Principal Investigator David Mollett conducted interviews with people in the communities and is using them for the final book product serving as a catalogue for Moses' artwork. A poster presentation and display of Moses' artwork was exhibited during the poster session at Beringia Days 2011. A travelling museum exhibit is planned and additional fieldwork interviews will be added to the existing documentation. The project is finished and the final report can be read here.

2009 Progress Report | 2011 Final Report

Preserving Our Knowledge (Added to 2007-2008 project "Sea Ice Knowledge and Use")

Partner: Smithsonian Institution
Contact: Igor Krupnik

  • Institute for Russian Cultural and Natural Heritage, Lyudmila Bogoslovskaya
  • Chukotka Local Language/Knowledge Experts
  • Shaktoolik Local Language/Knowledge Experts

Location: New Chaplino and Sireniki, Chukotka; Wales, Gambell, and Shaktoolik, Alaska
Duration: 2 years
Funding: $20,000 in 2009, $20,000 in 2010

This project is a joint Beringian-focused heritage program to document endangered environmental and subsistence terminologies in five communities in Alaska and Russia: New Chaplino, Sireniki, Wales, Gambell, and Shaktoolik. Cultural and language specialists collected indigenous terms and produced illustrated thematic lexicons in St. Lawrence Island/Siberian Yupik and in Inupiaq. The SIKU (Sea Ice Knowledge and Use in the North) book was published in 2011 by Igor Krupnik, and he was a panel organizer at the 2011 Beringia Days conference in Nome. Further deliverables for this project include journal articles in English and Russian. The final project report is expected in January of 2013.

SIKU project article in AK Park Scinece | SIKU book cover | 2008-2009 Progress report | 2010-2011 Prelimenary Report | Wales Sea Ice Dictionary

Understanding the Evolutionary Relationship of Beringian Plants

Partner: University of Alaska Museum
Contact: Stefanie Ickert-Bond, Curator, UAF Museum Herbarium

  • Komarov Botanical Institute (St. Petersburg), Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Yu. Razzhivin, Professor, Co-Principle Investigator
  • Beringia Nature Ethnic Park, Chukotka Autonomous Okrug
Location: 10 localities in the Beringia Nature Ethnic Park, Chukotka
Duration: 1 year (extended 2 year)
Funding: $25,000 in 2009, $2,350 in 2010, $3,223 in 2012 (being overcharged for field work and delayed samples transfer)

This field project will integrate biogeographic and phylogenetic data to unravel the evolutionary relationships among Beringian plants as well as further document, with specimens, the rich flora of this region. Field work was delayed from 2009, and was successfully completed during the summer of 2010. During the field season the cooperator was unexpectedly overcharged by the company facilitating their field work (report is on file with the Beringia Program's office), there for additional money were added to the project in 2010 and 2012 to assure project completion. Samples from Chukotka were collected, stored, and prepared for transport to Alaska. Samples were held at the Komarov Botanical Institute until transfer to Alaska could be arranged and the subsequent analysis conducted. Some of the samples are still being held due to Russian regulations and logistical issues. The cooperator was able to transport some of the samples to Alaska and will proceed with scientific analysis in 2012. The Beringia Program is working closely with the cooperator to determine the next steps needed for the successful completion of this project.

Interim Report

Continuing Projects Funded in Fiscal Year 2008

Alaska/Chukotka Climate Change Examination

Partner: West Anchorage High School
Contact: Michele Whaley
Collaborators: Chukotka Multi-Discipline College, Anadyr'
Location: Anchorage, Alaska; and Anadyr', Chukotka
Duration: 3 years
Funding: $28,190 in 2008, $32,128 in 2009, $32,128 in 2010

Anchorage West High completed the third year of the Alaska/Chukotka Climate Change Examination project. In the late spring/early summer of 2011, a group of Anchorage West High school students visited Anadyr for the final stage of the project. This visit included face-to-face work with their Russian counterparts, field work, and video recordings. The Beringia Program provided assistance to West High for their trip this year in communication with their Russian partners and with Russian travel logistics. While in Anadyr, the students were engaged in various activities: bird observation, documenting plant data, testing water quality, measuring carbon emission. Some of the collected data, such as comparison between disturbed and undisturbed tundra regions will be given to Cornell University as a baseline for future studies. The students also conducted a series of interviews with Russian students and filmed them. The film was shown during the Youth Forum at the Beringia Days 2011 conference. The videos that were produced and other materials will be added to the Program website soon. All deliverables have been received and the project has been completed successfully.

2008 Article | 2008-2009 Achievements | 2011 Trip Report | 2011 Science Report | 2011 Article | 2011 Bird List | Summary Report

Finding the Lost Dances

Partner: Native Village of Kotzebue
Contact: D'Anne Hamilton

  • Tribal government of the Qikiktagrukmiut peoples, Kotzebue, Alaska
  • Russian Native youth dancers, New Chaplino and Provideniya, Russia
  • Throat Singers in New Chaplino, Russia
  • Inuit Circumpolar Conference, Barrow, Alaska
Location: Kotzebue, Alaska; and New Chaplino and Provideniya, Chukotka
Duration: 3 year in 2005, extended in 2008 (to 2011)
Funding: $38,667 in 2005, $26,307 in 2006, $40,860 in 2007, and $45,320 in 2008

This is a cross-cultural exchange program between Alaska Native youth of Kotzebue and Russian Native youth of the Chukotka region. It builds off the 2005, 3-year project "Arctic Teens Speak Out." Kotzebue students met with traditional young dancers in New Chaplino and Provideniya and shared impressions about life in their own communities. The visit was documented on video. Clips of the DVD were shown to the Beringia Days 2011 conference audience as part of the youth showcase and also as an exhibit at the poster session. The video production aspect of this project exceeds the original proposal both in quality and scope. Added benefits include community economic development for local video and film production. They are also producing a trailer for Russian communities and partners. Short previews of the final film were submitted in March 2012, called Healing and Rules of the Dance, and are being added to the Shared Beringian Heritage Program website. The final film is expected in September of 2012.

2009 Presentation | 2011 Presentation

Inupiaq Landscapes and Architecture

Partner: University of Washington
Contact: Carol Jolles

  • Diomede Traditional Native Knowledge Experts
  • Wales Traditional Native Knowledge Experts
  • Anadyr Museum, Galina Diatchkova
  • Center for Advanced Research Technologies, Department of Arts and Humanities, University of Washington
  • Eskimo Heritage Center, Kawerak, Inc.
Location: Diomede and Wales, Alaska
Duration: 3 years (extended through 2012)
Funding: $23,700 in 2008, $6,610 in 2009, $7,996 in 2010, $10,000 in 2011, and $10,000 in 2012

This social science research and educational project will document the cultural, social, and economic changes in the Native villages of Diomede and Wales during the last 40 to 50 years. Project funding and schedule was revised to accommodate the suspension of air transportation to Little Diomede and the passing away of a team member in 2010. Cooperator indicated that more fieldwork was needed in order to complete this project satisfactorily. Additional money was given to finish the project, with the final deliverable being an interactive DVD, a final report, and outreach in the communities where work was done. The project was again extended, to 2012, and field work in Wales was undertaken by the Principle Investigator Carol Jolles and Grant Crosby in September 2011. The cooperator plans to integrate the current research, produce the DVD, and bring the results back to the communities to successfully complete this project.

2009 Presentation

Continuing Projects Funded in Fiscal Year 2007

Bilateral Walrus Monitoring

Partner: Eskimo Walrus Commission, Kawerak, Inc.
Contact: Vera Metcalf

  • Association of Marine Mammal Hunters of Chukotka (ATMMHC)
  • Naukan Native Cooperative
  • Yupik Society of Eskimos of Chukotka
  • Chukotka Scientific Support Group (CSSG)
  • Chukotka TINRO
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks
Location: Eight villages of the Chukotskiy and Providenskiy districts of Chukotka: Lorino, Uelen, Inchoun, Enurmino, New Chaplino, Sireniki, Enmelen, Yanrakynnot
Duration: 3 years
Funding: $32,363 in 2007; $35,000 in 2008; $37,500 in 2009

The Pacific walrus is represented by a single stock of animals that inhabits the continental shelf waters of the Bering and Chukchi seas. The population ranges across international boundaries of the United States and Russia. This project continued to develop bilateral relations with Chukotka in a manner that fostered mutual understanding and cooperation, focused on the continued subsistence use of walrus, and helped reestablish cultural connections between Chukotka and Alaska. Two collaborative English/Russian reports were received in spring 2011 from Vera Metcalf and were posted on the program website. The final deliverable is a revised map of the range of Pacific Walrus including walrus harvesting communities, known haul-outs, and migration corridors; and a report outlining bilateral research priorities and needs. It will also be translated and produced in Russian, and shared with Chukotkan communities. This is expected in early 2012, and will successfully complete the project.

Final Report | Final Technical Report | Final Traditional Knowledge Report | 2007 Walrus Workshop Report

Old Whaling Culture in Chukotka

Partner: University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska Museum
Contact: Daniel Odess/Christopher Wolff (SUNY Plattsburgh)

  • The University of Alaska Museum
  • Institute of Heritage in Moscow
  • The Kunstkamera Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (St. Petersburg)
  • Richard Stockton College
  • Yup'ik high school student
Location: Provideniya and Nunligran, Russia
Duration: 2 years
Funding: $35,000 in 2007; $35,063 in 2008

This project aims to conduct and report on explanatory archaeological research on the Old Whaling culture in Chukotka, Russia. Staff changes have delayed this project. The new Principal Investigator, Christopher Wolff at SUNY Plattsburgh Department of Anthropology, has indicated that fieldwork was carried out in the summer of 2011 at Cape Krusenstern, and that he would conduct an analysis of existing collection at Brown University. Due to staff changes and other unexpected issues, this project has been delayed several years. The Principle Investigator has indicated that progress is being made on completing the deliverables, and that the information is due to be presented at several forums in the spring of 2012. Presentations, articles, and the final report will then be submitted to the Beringia Program. Project needs to be closed out once deliverables are received.

Reindeer Bridge of Beringia

Partner: Center for Environmental Economic Development
Contact: Ruthanne Cecil, Faith Fjeld, and Nathan Muus

  • Kawerak Reindeer Herders Association
  • University of Alaska at Fairbanks
  • Polar Research Archives of the Rasmussen Library
  • Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
  • Alaska Native regional organizations

  • Chukotka Peninsula: Anadyr', Lavrentia, and Provideniya
  • Seward Peninsula: Nome, Brevig Mission, Shishmaref, Teller, and Wales
  • Western Arctic: Kotzebue, Buckland, Candle, Deering, and Selawik
  • St. Lawrence Island: Gambell and Savoonga

Duration: 3 years
Funding: $38,000 in 2007; $35,000 in 2008; $35,000 in 2009

Reindeer are not native to Alaska. In the late 1800s, the coming of reindeer and reindeer herding to Alaska created a cultural bridge that forever connected four Indigenous Arctic Peoples: the Chukchi, the Inupiaq, the Saami, and the Yup'ik. This project will produce a book-quality report of the three-year project, suitable for publication and dissemination in target communities. The cooperator has indicated that work is on-going on the final deliverable, and it can be expected in the Fall of 2012. Once they are received this project will be completed and closed-out.

Exhibit - the Sami Reindeer People of Alaska | 2007-2008 Progress report | 2007 Presentation | 2007 Article
Last Updated: November 20, 2013