Prehistoric Human Response to Climate Change 2010

What Are They Doing?

During this multi-year, multi-location project, the research team collected and analyzed archaeological and paleoenvironmental data from three widely separated but environmentally comparable sites within the northern circumpolar region: the Yli-li area of Northern Finland, the Wemindji area of James Bay, Canada, and the Kamchatka Peninsula region of Russia.

Working on the Kamchatka Peninsula, the research team examined prehistoric human responses, or adaptations, to changes in climate and the environment that took place between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago. Due to its extreme climatic conditions, the circumpolar North can be a challenging place for human survival. By studying the lifestyles of these prehistoric humans, the research team can better understand how the prehistoric humans were able to survive and adapt to changes in the harsh arctic environment.

Data gathered from this project enabled more effective collaboration between social, natural, and medical sciences. The International Collaborative Circumpolar Archaeological Project (ICCAP) is a continuation of the International Polar Year, Histories From the North: Environments, Movements, Narratives (BOREAS) project of the European Science Foundation and the U.S. National Science Foundation's Social Science Polar Program.

Where Are They?

The team was based out of a remote camp near the Pacific Ocean on the Kamchatka Peninsula, a long peninsula in the Russian Far East. To the east of the Peninsula is the Pacific Ocean, and to west is the Sea of Okhotsk. The peninsula has a high density of volcanoes – about 160 volcanoes, 29 of which are still active.

Expedition Map

Journals

Jefferson Township Middle School Media Center
Spanning the globe and encompassing 20 time zones, PolarTREC does it again! The scientists in Kamchatka are up for a 5 AM Saturday morning live event. I lived with these folks and they are not morning people. So, the fact that they were full of energy and ready to go was impressive. Janet and Kristin are at work for a 9 AM Friday morning live event coordination. The Jefferson Township Middle School is ready for a 1 PM Friday afternoon live event. With a fair amount of effort and coordination from the teachers here at my school, I am pleased to have over 700 students taking part in this event...
Beth Ann and her quilt
So, it’s been a couple weeks that I have been home. The first few days back were fuzzy to say the least. I would ask questions and people would answer me and then I would ask the same questions. I had no recollection of asking the questions in the first place, and retrieving any answer I may have gotten was even farther from my capabilities. Friends have poured in and extended family has called to welcome me back. All of which has been wonderful since I missed a lot of summer happenings in the month I was away. After about one week of being home my beach bum friend and I took a trip to the...
Greg Korosec and Shiveluch Volcano
Well, I have been officially been home for 48 hours. There are some very nice things about being home, seeing my family and friends, wearing clean clothes, eating fresh vegetables and taking warm showers. None of these amenities should be taken for granted and I am enjoying each one thoroughly. Now that my camouflage duffel has been delivered, I began sorting through my things and washing the contents of the bags. With each item that I remove I have a moment of reminiscing. Washing the mosquito remains from my tent might sound disgusting but I actually miss crawling into that tent at night...
Petropovlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport
I am aboard my final flight from Heathrow Airport in London to Newark, New Jersey. The last leg of a month long journey to the end of the world is at last underway. I have spent the last two days, as best I can figure with the 11 time zone changes thus far, in airports or airplanes. I have had no Internet or phone contact to speak of. It has been an interesting series of people and places. I began the day at 5 AM yesterday in Katya's flat. She was leaving for an early flight and so I went to the airport for about 6:30 AM. I sat in the waiting area of Petropovlovsk-Kamchatsky Airport...
Shiveluch Volcano Erupts
I found out this morning on my way to the bus station that the man who took me to the hotel last night was in fact not Alexander Tikameerov. His name was Victor and I never learned the name of his wife. That is something here in Russia that is very different, people don't generally introduce themselves or shake hands or have very formal greetings. I was happy to meet them all the same and they were most helpful in getting me on my way to Petropovlovsk. They got me to the bus and I paid for my baggage and I have an assigned seat. Details here are very important. I asked Victor to call...

Expedition Resources

Project Information

Dates:
2 July 2010 to 3 August 2010
Location: Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
Project Funded Title: International Circumpolar Collaborative Archaeological Project (ICCAP)

Meet the Team

Claude Larson's picture
Jefferson Township Middle School
Oak Ridge, NJ
United States

Claude Larson feels a connection with the natural world and enjoys the rural setting of her home environment of northwestern New Jersey. In her sixteenth year of teaching, Claude currently teaches 8th grade Physical Science at the Jefferson Township Middle School in Oak Ridge, New Jersey. She believes that science is everywhere and seeks to inspire students to make connections with the world around them through her lessons. In her free time, Claude enjoys many outdoor pursuits, skydiving, travel, and creating mixed media art.

Ezra Zubrow's picture
University at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY
United States

Dr. Ezra Zubrow is a professor of anthropology at the University of Buffalo and also holds academic positions at the University of Toronto and Cambridge University. He is also Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Geographic Information Analysis Laboratory, which he helped found. He has a diverse set of academic interests: arctic archaeology and anthropology, climate change, human ecology and demography, as well as a deep interest in social issues (heritage, disability, and literacy). For more than 30 years he has been doing field work in Northern Canada, Finland, and the rest of Scandinavia, and he originally pursued a career in science because one of his high school teachers persuaded him to participate in an ozone-tracking project. To learn more about Dr. Zubrow, please visit his faculty biography page (http://wings.buffalo.edu/anthropology/Faculty/zubrow.htm).

Irina Ponkratova's picture
Social Humanities Faculty, Northeastern State University
Magadan
Russia
Tatiana Pinegina's picture
Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii
Russia

Biography coming soon.

Vera Ponomareva's picture
Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Russian Academy of Sciences
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskii
Russia

Biography coming soon.

Jody Bourgeois's picture
Department of Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington
Seattle, WA
United States

Joanne Bourgeois is a Professor in the Earth and Space Sciences Department at the University of Washington. Her main research interests include sedimentary structures and tectonics. Dr. Bourgeois also teaches and researches the history of geology, believing that exploration of how science is done leads to better science. Dr. Bourgeois has also served a two-year term as a Program Director in the Earth Sciences Division of the National Science Foundation.

Greg Korosec's picture
State University of New York at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY
United States

Greg Korosec is a PhD student in anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the assistant director of the University at Buffalo's Social Systems GIS Laboratory (http://wings.buffalo.edu/research/anthrogis/). Mr. Korosec has been returning to the circumpolar north for the past several years where he is interested in the human adaptation, evolution, and responses to a changing past environment.

Dustin Keeler's picture
State University of New York at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY
United States

Dustin Keeler is a PhD student in archaeology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mr. Keeler's research interests include studying people of the Paleolithic and Neolithic, or the Stone Age, human settlement patterns, Northern and Western Europe, and mapping using GIS. He has participated in archeological excavations in France for several years and is currently conducting surveys and excavations on Neolithic sites in Northern Finland.

Eva Hulse's picture
Department of Anthropology, University at Buffalo - SUNY
Buffalo, NY
United States

Biography coming soon.

Dan Griswold's picture
Department of Anthropology, University at Buffalo - SUNY
Buffalo, NY
United States

Biography coming soon.

Rebecca Miller's picture
Department of Anthropology, University at Buffalo - SUNY
Buffalo, NY
United States

Biography coming soon.