Arctic Field Projects

Project Title: International Collaborative Circumpolar Archaeological Project (ICCAP): Joint Russian-American research in Kamchatka (Award# 0915131)

PI: Zubrow, Ezra B ( )
Phone: (716) 645.2414 ext. 146 
Institute/Department: State University of New York at Buffalo, Department of Anthropology 
IPY Project? NO
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ASSP
Program Manager: Dr. Anna Kerttula (
Discipline(s): | Social and Human Sciences\Archaeology |

Project Web Site(s):

Science Summary:
This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5). The ICCAP research effort aims to better understand 1) the extent to which the circumpolar area has been subject to varying trends of environmental change in the past and 2) the similarities and differences in human adaptations to these changes in different areas of the Arctic. The research team will employ a well-tested collection of direct and indirect proxies of climate and human adaptation based upon methods from dendro-climatology, palynology, geo-chemistry, climate modeling, ethnography, and archaeology. By using a long-term perspective on human responses to climate and environmental change in three coastal circumpolar locations between 60 and 78 degrees N latitude and 7000 to 3000 years ago, the researchers hope to answer some basic questions that are important for science and policy. For example, over several thousand years, are yearly average temperatures more important than seasonal temperatures? Are absolute temperature and precipitation changes more important than the variability in temperature and precipitation? Does diversity of environmental change result in increasing stability or diversity of human adaptation? Are there thresholds that must be met in environmental change or in human adaptation before changes occur? Does human adaptation to environmental or climate change need to be reactive or may it successfully be proactive? The circumpolar north widely is seen as a critical observatory for understanding environmental change and human adaptation. This is particularly true today since the effects of climate warming are most clearly visible in the Arctic. Ultimately, this project hopes to explain the past and the potential range of human resilience when faced with global and local environmental changes. Taken from the circumpolar perspective, the research team believes that this information has the potential to aid policy makers as they enter into debates on new post-cold-war partnerships, and set policy concerning such issues as energy, post-colonial governance, and strategy.

Logistics Summary:
Researchers on this grant will conduct archaeological research on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian Far East as an expansion of the collaborative research project known as SCENOP (Social Change and the Environment in Nordic Prehistory). Researchers will conduct fieldwork during three years, 2009-2011. A research team of nine or ten will arrive in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, the capital of Kamchatka Krai, and travel with field equipment overland by truck to Ust-Kamchatsk, located on the Bering Sea coast to the northeast. Ust-Kamchatsk will be the base location for the 2009 field season. From there they will travel by rented trucks along unimproved roads to the proposed survey locations around Nerpichye Lake and the coast of the Kamchatsky Peninsula. The team will camp in the field while conducting archaeological and geological surveys. Fieldwork during years two and three will take place further to the north along the Bering Sea coast in Ozernoy Sound and on the Ozernoy Peninsula. This will require other means of travelling to the fieldwork locations, most likely helicopter support. In 2010, PolarTREC teacher Claude Larson (0956825CL) will join the team in the field. The PI will plan all fieldwork and logistics for this grant.

In 2010, CPS will provide a satellite phone for the PolarTREC teacher traveling with this project. All other costs associated with this project will be paid by the PI through the grant.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2009Russia - Ust-Kamchatsk9
2010Russia - Ust-Kamchatsk07 / 05 / 2010 07 / 29 / 201010
2011Russia - Ust-Kamchatsk9

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Parameters used to generate this report:, Grant# = "0915131", IPY = "ALL" 
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