What Are They Doing?

For this project, the research team collected and analyzed archaeological and paleoenvironmental data from three widely separated but environmentally comparable sites within the northern circumpolar region, the Yli-li area of Northern Finland, the Wemindji area of James Bay, Canada, and in the Kamchatka Peninsula region of Russia.

The circumpolar North is widely seen as an observatory for changing relations between human societies and their environments. The goal of the research team was to learn about the prehistoric society and economy of these areas in order to better understand human adaptation to significant environmental changes that took place between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago. Data gathered from this project helped enable more effective collaboration between social, natural and medical sciences.

This project was part of a the first circumpolar humanities research initiative called Histories From the North: Environments, Movements, Narratives (BOREAS), which involved collaboration of researchers from Europe, the US, Canada, and Russia and is part of the International Polar Year.

Where Are They?

The research team conducted work near Yli-Ii, Finland, a town located about 30 miles northeast of Oulu. Yli-Ii is situated on the banks of the river Iijoki near an expansive Stone Age settlement area that researchers have been excavating since the 1960's.

In August of 2009, the researchers traveled to the community of Wemindji, which is located on the east coast of James Bay in northern Quebec, Canada. Wemindji is a relatively new settlement – in 1958, Cree families residing on an island called Old Factory moved 25 miles south to the current location.

Latest Journals

Thirty glass squares and thirty marble squares prepared by Drake students,Ceramic sign prepared by a Drake student, One square meter of shade cloth*,Landscape fabric pins to anchor shade cloth*, Diamond tipped engravers, soil scoops, knife and other tools,Light meter, Drake High pennant,Dell laptop…
I am going to Namibia in April! Specifically, to the Namib Desert near Walvis Bay. I'll be there from April 18 to April 25. It was out of print, and cost me $70 for a used one! Why? And what does this have to do with the polar regions? If you remember my post on this site from March 23 2009,…
Back in the USA, I had to hit the ground running. There were two weeks of school left, including final exams and graduation. My substitute teacher, Mr. Lazlo Toth, had done an awesome job of executing my lesson plans while I was gone. He is a retired high school teacher himself, and he really…
I usually have a very good sense of direction, because I know the sun rises in the east, crosses the sky to the south, and sets in the west.  In Finland at this time of year it is usually cloudy and you can’t see the sun.  Even when you can, it just goes in circles and circles around the…
Dates
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Location
Yli-Ii, Finland
Project Funded Title
Social Change and the Environment in Nordic Prehistory: Evidence from Finland and Northern Canada
Michael Wing - Teacher
Teacher
Sir Francis Drake High School

Michael Wing has taught at Sir Francis Drake High School in San Anselmo, California since 1998. He teaches science to students in the Revolution of Core Knowledge (ROCK) program, an academy within Drake High focused on college preparation and interdisciplinary projects. Recently, Dr. Wing and his students built an insulated mini-greenhouse at the University of California’s White Mountain Research Station, at an elevation of 12,500 feet. Not only is the greenhouse the highest school garden in America, it is the highest garden of any kind in the USA or Canada!

Ezra Zubrow - Researcher
Researcher
University at Buffalo

Dr. Ezra Zubrow is a professor of anthropology at the University of Buffalo and also holds academic positions at the University of Toronto and Cambridge University. He is also Senior Research Scientist at the National Center for Geographic Information Analysis Laboratory, which he helped found. He has a diverse set of academic interests: arctic archaeology and anthropology, climate change, human ecology and demography, as well as a deep interest in social issues (heritage, disability, and literacy). For more than 30 years he has been doing field work in Northern Canada, Finland, and the rest of Scandinavia, and he originally pursued a career in science because one of his high school teachers persuaded him to participate in an ozone-tracking project. To learn more about Dr. Zubrow, please visit his faculty biography page (http://wings.buffalo.edu/anthropology/Faculty/zubrow.htm).

Dustin Keeler - Researcher
Researcher
State University of New York at Buffalo

Dustin Keeler is a PhD student in archaeology at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Mr. Keeler's research interests include studying people of the Paleolithic and Neolithic, or the Stone Age, human settlement patterns, Northern and Western Europe, and mapping using GIS. He has participated in archeological excavations in France for several years and is currently conducting surveys and excavations on Neolithic sites in Northern Finland.

Greg Korosec - Researcher
Researcher
State University of New York at Buffalo

Greg Korosec is a PhD student in anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo and the assistant director of the University at Buffalo's Social Systems GIS Laboratory (http://wings.buffalo.edu/research/anthrogis/). Mr. Korosec has been returning to the circumpolar north for the past several years where he is interested in the human adaptation, evolution, and responses to a changing past environment.

Prehistoric Human Response to Climate Change Resources

Finish newspaper, Maaseudun Tulevaisuus, published this article about Micheal Wing and the archaeology team working in Yli-Li. Attached is the translated article (by Reija Shnoro).

Article
Arctic
All Aged
Download

Overview

In this activity, students diagram the hydrologic cycle. Most of the concepts will already be familiar to middle and high school students, but this activity is a good way to prepare for making the far more challenging carbon cycle and energy NON-cycle diagrams.

Lesson
Arctic
About 1 period
All Aged
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Overview

In this activity, students diagram the flow of energy through the Earth's ecosystems. A lot of the concepts presented here are necessary in order to fully understand the greenhouse effect and global warming. This lesson is presented as an activity to do before embarking on a study of the greenhouse effect and global warming.

Lesson
Arctic
About 1 period
High school and Up
Download, Share, and Remix

Overview

In this activity, students diagram the carbon cycle. A lot of the concepts presented here are necessary in order to fully understand the greenhouse effect and global warming. This lesson is presented as an activity to do before embarking on a study of the greenhouse effect and global warming.

Lesson
Arctic
About 1 period
High school and Up
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Overview

Each group of 2-4 students will research an arctic topic from a list, build a small web page devoted to that topic, link the group’s page to other groups’ relevant pages, and advocate for change around an issue that is important to the topic.

Objective

  1. Students will understand the complexity and vulnerability of Arctic ecosystems

Lesson
Arctic
About a week
Middle School and Up
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