• Historical archaeology of Marion Creek, Alaska: placer gold mining and the capitalist world-system

      Whitney, James W. (2009-05)
      "Archaeological investigations of two placer gold mining sites on Marion Creek, Alaska, a tributary of the Koyukuk River, challenge the myth of the independent prospectors of the last frontier and reveal their dependence on the capitalist world-system. The Grassy Mound Cabin site (CHN-024) consists of a small cabin and trash scatter representing individual placer mining dated to the first decade of the 20th century. The Marion Creek Mining Complex site (WIS-286) is a multi-feature site reflecting capital and labor-intensive mining from multiple occupations during the first and second decades of the 20th century. The historical context of gold mining in the Koyukuk district is reconstructed from historical documents, exploring the process by which Alaska was incorporated into the capitalist world-system. Functional analysis of the assemblages and application of the Commodity Flow Model demonstrate how material culture and site economy changed as investments of capital and labor increased"--Leaf iii
    • "I wonder when we'll be in civilization again": women, Alaska and the 1910 Seattle to Ophir travel letter of Cinthia "Addie" Rieck

      Misel, Lillian Anderson; Ehrlander, Mary F.; Gold, Carol; Mangusso, Mary Childers (2010-12)
      Mainstream Alaskan history has largely ignored women's role in the development of the state during the early 20th century. Although mainly a male endeavor, the multiple Alaskan gold stampedes from 1899 to 1914 brought a migration of women, and they played a role in the development of the territory. The current literature of women in the north focuses primarily on the Canadian Klondike stampede of 1897-98 which saw women traveling to the gold fields for a variety of reasons, such as to support their husbands in their ventures, seek their own business opportunities, or just seek adventure. The same reasons brought women to Alaska. Their experiences are well documented in literature of the period, through magazines, newspapers, published accounts, and autobiographies. These sources provide insight into everyday events of what could be considered the ordinary, but they paint a picture of what life was like for the female population and include details and descriptions not discussed by their male counterparts. The 1910 unpublished travel letter of Cinthia 'Addie' Rieck exemplifies a woman traveling to a remote area of Alaska. Her writings capture and document her experiences in traveling from Seattle, Washington, to a newly founded gold camp in the Innoko district of Alaska. Through Addie's travel letter, her descriptions bring to light previously unexplored topics of social etiquette, travel, and women's roles in early Alaskan mining communities as well as providing information about the Innoko district of which little published information is available
    • International and domestic drivers of military shifts in Alaska

      Burkhart, Peter K.; Boylan, Brandon M.; Ehrlander, Mary F.; Speight, Jeremy S. (2018-05)
      Since WWII, Alaska has witnessed dramatic influxes and reductions in military personnel and funding. This thesis explores the drivers of these events. It applies two theories to analyze the trends: realist theory from international relations and the advocacy coalition framework from public policy. The thesis uses a case study framework and process-tracing to analyze three different time periods in Alaska's history: 1) World War II (1940-1945), 2) the early Cold War era (1950-1958), and 3) the immediate post-Cold War era (1993-1999). This thesis argues that the level of international threat accounts for the United States' decisions to increase or decrease its military forces, while the strength of advocacy coalitions comprised of a diverse array of actors determines the amount of military personnel and funding transferred to Alaska.
    • A storm like no other: changes that shaped Seward Peninsula communities at the turn of the 20th century

      Russell, Amy (2009-12)
      "This thesis explains how four events at the turn of the twentieth century--the start of an American administration, the introduction of schools and missions, the introduction of reindeer, and the 1918 influenza epidemic--brought sweeping changes to Inupiat on the Seward Peninsula, and contributed to the decline of two formerly-prominent Seward Peninsula communities: Kingegan and Kauwerak"--Leaf iii