• Distant vistas: Bradford Washburn, expeditionary science and landscape, 1930-1960

      Sfraga, Michael P.; Pearson, Roger (1997)
      Bradford Washburn is primarily known for his Alaskan mountaineering accomplishments and mountain photography. Between 1930 and 1960, Washburn led 19 expeditions to Alaska and Canada's Yukon Territory on which he surveyed, photographed and mapped some of the last unexplored mountain regions in North America. This study, however, analyzes Washburn's lesser known role in directing interdisciplinary field research involving high altitude physics, glaciology, cartography and geology, which he accomplished by linking such disparate entities as the motion picture industry, geographic organizations, the U.S. military, and prominent U.S. scientists. Washburn's career can be viewed as an intersection of nineteenth and twentieth century geographic traditions. He combined emerging technologies with new and innovative vehicles of exploration to more accurately study geological, geographical and environmental phenomenon in mountainous regions. During the Second Great Age of Discovery, which began with the Renaissance, explorers ventured into the heart of the world's continents by utilizing various vehicles of exploration such as canoes and pack animals. This style continued into the middle of the twentieth century when the present day Third Great Age of Discovery, characterized by the use of remote sensing platforms and space age satellites, allows for a more accurate geographic study and inventory of our planet. Washburn's interdisciplinary field work reflects the fundamental goals and patterns of expeditionary science found in both ages of discovery. In this study three important themes are examined: Washburn's role as innovative field scientist; geography as a disciplinary bridge; and the work of the independent geographer. By analyzing Washburn's work in the pre World War Two and Cold War era, we gain an understanding of the ways in which expeditionary science was funded and carried out within two fundamentally different political and economic frameworks. Moreover, this study provides an important window into our understanding of interdisciplinary earth sciences in the mid twentieth century. It also explores the often unappreciated link between environmental science and geography in the American context.
    • Historical archaeology of Alaskan placer gold mining settlements: Evaluating process-pattern relationships

      Mills, Robin Owen (1998)
      The objective of this research is to explicate appropriate methods for investigating relationships between past historical processes and variables, and resulting contemporary patterns in archaeological and historical data sets. Turn-of-the-twentieth century placer gold mining in interior Alaska is used as a case study to evaluate these relationships. By linking observable patterns in historical data sets with the variables and processes that in part create and shape them, a more-complete, context-specific explanation of past events and actions emerges when the data are evaluated in specific historical settings. The methodological approach used here is to just formulate explicit "expectations," and then to evaluate them against independent Alaskan historical and archaeological data sets. The expectations derive from independent comparative historical geographical, and archaeological research. One series of nine expectations evaluates attributes of artifacts relating to site and feature abandonment processes relating to curation and scavenging, including specific traits of artifacts in curated and scavenged deposits; the changing effects of continued curation and scavenging on an artifactual assemblage through time; and spatial characteristics of artifacts within curated and scavenged foundations. Four types of data are used evaluate the expectations, including the size of artifacts, whether they are still functional or usable, their spatial provenience within excavated structures, and a feature's data range. Seven of these expectations are corroborated, one is falsified, and one requires further data for a full evaluation. A second series of seven expectations examines aspects of placer gold mining settlement and transportation systems, including the core-peripheral relationship between Alaska and the United States; the nature of expansion of gold mining settlements into new areas; locational, demographic, and physical layout characteristics of settlement systems; the mining settlement hierarchy and its changing components through time; and characteristics of the supporting transportation supply system. These expectations, while also corroborated by the Alaskan data, lend themselves more to historical context-specific understanding and interpretation, as opposed to the strict corroboration-falsification dichotomy of the abandonment analyses.
    • Reconstruction Of Neets'Aii Gwich'In Land Use: A Methodological Study.

      Peirce, John Carl, Jr. (1995)
      This thesis attempts to determine to what extent land use patterns for the Neets'aii Gwich'in of Alaska can be spatially reconstructed from existing sources. Written narratives are reviewed, such as those related by explorers, missionaries, traders and prospectors, for information on land use. Also reviewed are data that give a broad array of subsistence, demographic, geographical or other relevant information concerning land use, including biological and geological reports, economic studies, census reports, Neets'aii Gwich'in oral narratives, archaeological studies, ethnographic studies, place name studies and maps, and land use and occupancy studies. Methodological models for gathering land use data are reviewed to establish a foundation from which the land use data discussed in this thesis can be compared. Finally, an analysis of the extent to which Neets'aii Gwich'in land use can be reconstructed using historic sources is applied to various conceptual levels of understanding Northern hunter and gatherer land use. <p>
    • The Akulmiut: Territorial dimensions of a Yup'ik Eskimo society

      Andrews, Elizabeth Frances; Ellanna, Linda J. (1989)
      This monograph is an ethnohistoric and ethnographic study of 19th and 20th century land and resource use of the Akulmiut, a Yup'ik-speaking Eskimo society that occupied the inland tundra region between the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers of western Alaska. The study examines the relationship between the patterns of spatial organization and wild resource utilization and resource distribution. Ethnographic studies have shown there is considerable variability in socioterritorial organization, which according to one recent theory, applied to this study, can be accounted for by examining the distribution of critical food resources in terms of density and predictability. The Akulmiut were selected for this study because of their unique situation among Alaskan Eskimos in terms of their subsistence economy and geographic location. With an economy based on fishing, utilizing non-salmon species of the low, marshy moist and wet tundra ecosystems, the adaptation of the Akulmiut is distinct among Alaskan Eskimos. Using data for the Akulmiut, this study tests the hypothesis that a territorial system occurs under conditions of high density and predictability (in time and space) of critical resources. Between groups or societies, the Akulmiut exhibited a territorial system of land use and occupancy as predicted when critical resources are dense and predictable. The study found that the key resource species of whitefish (Coregonus sp.) and northern pike (Esox lucius) exhibited resource distribution parameters characterized as predictable in time and location and were abundant or dense. Spatial organization showed that all primary villages and storage and processing facilities were situated where pike and whitefish could be readily intercepted during their annual migrations. The Akulmiut maintained exclusive use through overt defense, but also by means of cultural principles of land and resource use, ceremonial activities, and naming conventions. Dispersion of the population at other times ensured maintenance of a broader area for use in harvesting another key resource, blackfish (Dallia pectoralis). Dispersion was an efficient means of signaling areas used by the group, but also served to monitor incursions throughout the territory. This type of analysis was found to hold promise for explaining the diversity of socioterritorial organization among Alaskan Eskimos.
    • The History Of The Social And Economic Importance Of Second Avenue And The Core Area Of Fairbanks, Alaska

      Scholle, Marie M. (1996)
      The City of Fairbanks changed and evolved over the years. The fifty years of the core-area's roller coaster economy was a mirror reflection of the city, as a whole. The infamous Second Avenue, also known as "Two Street," held a key to social reform and economic growth. This thesis explored the issues surrounding the social infrastructure of the "core-area" and how that infrastructure affected the economy of downtown Fairbanks.<p> In addition to the social and cultural phenomena, the political influences and their effect on the core-area's economic and social development was discussed. The government played a pivotal role in the economic direction of the downtown business district.<p> The conclusion of this thesis showed that the core-area of Fairbanks no longer enjoyed the status of the economic mainstay of the Fairbanks economy. However, this area was held as a historical business district and social gathering place for many Fairbanks events. <p>
    • The Mining Frontier And Transportation In The North: Analogies To Alaska (Soviet Union, Canada, Scandinavia)

      Rhoads, Edwin Milton (1986)
      This study identifies and analyzes the most important variables which have influenced the development of mineral resources in the Circumpolar North. The purpose is to determine, based on analogies, those variables most likely to be critical in the future development of Alaska's rich mineral resources. The factors most essential for any mineral development are: the location of viable deposits, demand for minerals, favorable governmental policies, available technology, transportation, sources of energy, investment capital, and economic or social or political benefits which exceed costs. These factors are discussed in terms of historical experiences in the Circumpolar North, a region in which there has been a steady movement northward of a frontier based on mining. This mining frontier has virtually disappeared in the paternalistic and export-oriented economies of the Nordic states. It has advanced substantially in the Soviet North under the centrally planned and largely self-sufficient economy of the USSR. In the relatively laissez-faire policies and market economies of North America, the mining frontier is not as far advanced. In Alaska, post World War II economic development has been fueled by defense construction and petroleum related activities, while federal and state policies towards land-use restrict mineral development. In Northern Canada, government policies encouraged an acceleration in mineral development. From analyzing experiences elsewhere in the North, the study concludes that the major critical variables for mineral development must be favorable simultaneously. These variables must be synchronized in time, but this has not always been the case in Alaska. This study highlights those policies which could facilitate the development of a much stronger mineral industry in Alaska, one which could contribute significantly to the national mineral base, to foreign trade, and to Alaska's economic development.
    • Travel Writing Sampler: Thailand

      Dickson, Jennifer Ann (1999)
      "Travel Writing Sampler: Thailand" is a collection of articles and essays employing three different approaches to travel writing: straightforward overview of a place; information-oriented travel article; and personal essay travel narrative. The thematic focus of this collection is travel experiences in Thailand. Part One examines the evolution of the genre of travel writing. Part Two gives the reader an overview of Thailand. Part Three includes four information-oriented articles. Part Four offers examples of personal essay travel narratives. After a review of the literature in this field, I have concluded that successful travel writers balance elements of the information-oriented article and the personal essay travel narrative. Effective, lively travel writing combines the place being written about and the self--of the writer and traveler. <p>