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Dr. Katherine Reedy

Island Anthropology: Indigenous Aleut Fishermen of the Bering Sea and North Pacific

The Aleut peoples of the Aleutian Islands are indigenous fishermen and hunters who are situated in one of the richest marine environments in the world. The region is also one of the most seismically active, volcanic, stormy, expensive, and challenging landscapes in which to live and work. Aleut people have survived and thrived on these islands for thousands of years but face modern challenges to their communities linked to industrialized fishing, environmental agendas, and volatility in marine resources. This talk analyzes the survival strategies of these coastal communities and the role of anthropology in supporting their sustainability.

Why the World needs Anthropologists

The world is shrinking. People, goods, money, belief systems, ideas, and information are increasingly moving around the globe, accelerating human interaction and compressing the experience of time and space. But the world is not shrinking at the same rate for everyone in all places, and marginalized peoples experience this new world differently. The new economic, political, health, and environmental challenges of the 21st century demand research that actively addresses human problems across this spectrum. This course shows the ways in which practicing anthropologists work to understand and solve these problems using our diverse toolkit of methods and perspectives.

State Standards

These presentations meet the following state education standards for high school students:

World Languages


Relating cultural practices to perspective

Standard CLTR 1: Investigate, explain and reflect on the relationship between the practices and perspectives of the cultures studied in the target language.

Objective: CLTR 1.1 Analyze the cultural practices/patterns of behavior accepted as the societal norm in the target culture.

Objective: CLTR 1.2 Explain the relationship between cultural practices/behaviors and the perspectives that represent the target culture’s view of the world.

Social Studies

World History and Civilization

6-9.WHC.1.6.1 Describe types of evidence used by anthropologists, archaeologists, and other scholars to reconstruct early human and cultural development.

6-9.WHC.2.3.2 Explain how climate affects human migration and settlement.

6-9.WHC.2.5.4 Describe how the conservation of resources is necessary to maintain a healthy environment.


U.S. History I

6-12.USH1.1.1.1 Compare and contrast early cultures and settlements that existed in North America prior to European contact.

6-12.USH1.1.1.2 Compare and contrast the different cultural, religious, and social influences that emerged in the North American colonies.

6-12.USH1.1.1.3 Describe the experiences of culturally, ethnically, and racially different groups existing as part of American society prior to the Civil War.

6-12.USH1.1.4.1 Explain the effects of scientific and technological inventions and changes on the social and economic lives of the people in the development of the United States.

6-12.USH1.1.5.1 Examine the development of diverse cultures in what is now the United States.


U.S. History II

9-12.USH2.2.2.1 Analyze ways in which the physical environment affected political, social, and economic development.