William Fitzhugh – Climate Impacts in the Circumpolar Region: An Archaeological Perspective on the Present

6a01156e4c2c3d970c01b7c7833fac970b-800wi“Climate Impacts in the Circumpolar Region: An Archaeological Perspective on the Present”
William Fitzhugh, Director, Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution and Visiting Professor, Dartmouth College

Friday, February 24, 2017, 7:30 – 9pm
Lillie Auditorium
Lectures are free and open to the public.

Lecture Abstract:

The history of northern regions gives pause to those thinking we live in a complacent world. For decades we became used to a world in which episodic disturbances like hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, and floods were the only environmental events of note. Long-term change seemed to be a story for the history books, not our lives. Today that complacency has been shaken in a way we could not have imagined just two decades ago. Changes in the Arctic have led the charge, and its role as the harbinger of global climate change is now widely acknowledged. This presentation shows how archaeology could have predicted the events we now find changing our world. A review of some of the cultural and environmental shifts in the North may provide clues about where we are headed in the future, and what can be done about it.

Dr. William Fitzhugh is an anthropologist specializing in circumpolar archaeology, ethnology and environmental studies. He first became interested in the North through canoeing in Ontario and his anthropological studies at Dartmouth College with Elmer Harp, Jr., who invited him to take part in archaeological projects in Newfoundland and Hudson Bay. After two years in the U.S. Navy he attended Harvard University where he received his PhD in anthropology in 1970, and thereafter took a position at the National Museum of Natural History. As director of the Arctic Studies Center and Curator in the Department of Anthropology, NMNH, he has spent more than thirty years studying and publishing on arctic peoples and cultures in northern Canada, Alaska, Siberia and Scandinavia.