zooarchaeology and alaska native focused research.
All precontact archaeological research in Alaska, and some postcontact research, is relevant to Alaska Native history. Significant topics often focus on how human adaptation to environmental changes alter subsistence practices. The emphasis on subsistence in zooarchaeology is used to support statements of long term subsistence patterns in modern Alaska Native economic pursuits. Most analyses conducted using the ACZ collection concentrate on subsistence practices.
acz collection supports teaching.
The Comparative Collection has supported the research of two students through the high school mentorship program, both of whom entered UAA as undergraduates majoring in Anthropology. Annual tours and brief lectures are provided to East High School student by Diane Hanson.
The Collection is also used for presentations at elementary and other high schools, such as the Denali Montessori school "Bones and Stones" day, the Women in Science program, and Girls Scouts of America.
The Collection is used as a teaching aid at the university level. Students enrolled in anthropology courses use the Comparative Collection to learn analytical techniques and the fundamentals of archaeology. Specimens are used to illustrate the difference between primates and other animals, the consequences of domestication on animals (neotenization), and for independent study courses.
The Christina Jensen Scholarship, in honor of a UAA graduate student and ACZ volunteer, is funded through donations from ACZ members. Since 2006, the scholarship has been awarded to seven graduate students working on zooarchaeological research.
At the professional level, the ACZ provides a workshop at the Alaska Anthropological Association Annual Meeting. Since 2002, the Annual Workshop has ranged from identification of particular taxa, to quantification techniques, taphonomy, and most recently databases. Researchers coming for annual meetings that are held in Anchorage often visit the lab to analyze some of their collections.
acz collection benefits arctic and alaska research.
The Collection has contributed to graduate research of archaeological collections from all over Alaska. Thus far, six M.A. theses and one Ph.D dissertation were assisted by the Collection. Four other graduate students are currently using the Collection for their research.
The ACZ Collection has aided cultural inventory reports and archaeological analyses generated by Federal and State agencies, including contractors hired by these agencies. Agency archaeologists that have used the collection work for Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (many of the specimens are on loan from USFWS), U.S.D.A. Forest Service, the State of Alaska Office of History and Archeology, and the Matanuska-Susitna Borough.