Search This Blog

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Last Talks

I have been presenting a lot of public lectures lately - 6 since January!  Yesterday at the Kodiak Area Marine Science Symposium I presented on how archaeological data can be useful for marine scientists studying the Gulf of Alaska while last week, in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Great Alaskan Earthquake, I presented on how earthquakes have effected Kodiak and the Alutiiq people in the past.  Yesterday's lecture should be the last one for quite a while - phweeeew!  I have to admit that talking in public makes me nervous so it is kind of a relief to be done for a while.  Below are a few of the slides from my last 2 talks.

In my talk for the Marine Science Symposium I basically talked about how archaeological data can be used to give time depth to analyses of the Gulf of Alaska's ecosystem.  How did people react in the past to changing conditions in the Gulf?  Also I showed how archaeological data can be used to examine what the Gulf of Alaska looked like at various moments in the past.  Sometimes I think marine scientists assume that conditions in the Gulf for the last 50 years are 'typical' when in fact commercial fisheries have created a system in far more of a state of flux than normal.

My presentation on past Kodiak earthquakes focused on Afognak Island and emphasized how such earthquakes have occurred every 400 years or so.  Back in the 1990s I excavated a village that was abandoned after a huge earthquake in about AD 1550.  Basically the same thing happened to Afognak Village in 1964.  What's amazing is that these events do not seem to have effected the cultural trajectory of the Alutiiq people - they seem to have weathered such events remarkably well.


No comments: