Environment and Culture in Sitka, Alaska

Culture and Environment in Alaska

Course name: Anthropology 280 and Environmental Studies 280

Dates: July 22-August 7, 2019

Contact: Prof. George Gmelch

This field course examines the relationship between culture and the environment in the island setting of Sitka, Alaska. Students learn about the region’s marine and terrestrial environments, its occupation and use by the indigenous Tlingit Indians and by 6 non-Native residents, and contemporary controversies surrounding the appropriate use of its natural resources, notably its fish and timber. Students learn about Tlingit and Western views of nature and compare their ideas about stewardship and conservation.  The program also looks at current conservation initiatives in the town. There is much experiential learning.