Skip to main content



Explore more of Isaaffik

Comparative Ecodynamics in the Aleutian and Kuril Islands: A GHEA synthesis workshop


Project start
Project end
Type of project
Project theme
Society, economy and culture
Project topic
Education & Outreach
Culture & history

Project details

Science / project summary

This project will provide funding to the University of Washington to hold a three-day workshop that will bring together a diverse group of expert scholars and students to explore long-term human-environmental dynamics through the Holocene in the North Pacific with a focus on the Kuril and Aleutian islands. The reason for focusing on these island regions is that these archipelagos constitute model ecosystems for tracking migration, human-environmental interactions and adaptations. Over the past decade, in both areas of the North Pacific, interdisciplinary teams of archaeologists, biologists, geologists, chemists, and modelers have worked to better understand environmental and human dynamics. These teams have developed innovative methods for exploring the intersection of geological, paleoenvironmental, biological, and cultural histories of these island environments. However, as the PI states, substantial research questions, methodologies, and data sets for both regions remain disparate and nonintegrated and are subsequently underutilized. The purpose of this workshop is to bring these diverse groups of scholars and their students together to compare data, methods, and analyses in order to start a synthesis of the North Pacific human-environmental ecodynamics. The workshop will be hosted by the University of Washington in early November, 2012 and will attended by approximately 35 participants, including scholars from the Unitied States, Canada, Russia, and Japan. In addition, the organizers envision a robust role for students; the proposal includes funds for up 10 students (graduate/undergraduate) to participate in the workshop from around the U.S. In return for travel, boarding and per diem, the students will be expected to play active roles in the management and intellectual activities of the workshop. A dedicated component of the workshop will be periodic student discussant presentations, in which students will be encouraged to reflect on the proceedings. Finally, careful planning and follow-up with the broader team of synthesis leaders will ensure the prompt preparation and publication of workshop results, preparation of the workshop report and white paper.