Arctic Field Projects



Project Title: A Comparative Study of the Medical Ethnobotany of the Chukchi and Naukan Yupik of Siberia and the Central Alaskan Yup’ik (Award# 1304612)

PI: Jernigan, Kevin A (kjernigan@alaska.edu)
Phone: (907) 543.4576  
Institute/Department: U of Alaska, Fairbanks, CRCD Kuskokwim Campus 
IPY Project?
Funding Agency: US\Federal\NSF\GEO\OPP\ARC\ASSP
Program Manager: Dr. Roberto Delgado (robdelga@nsf.gov)
Discipline(s): | Social and Human Sciences\Anthropology | Social and Human Sciences\Ethnobotany |

Project Web Site(s):
Data: http://arctos.database.museum/home.cfm
NSF_Award_Info: http://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=13...

Science Summary:
This research is an ethnomedical comparison of the Chukchi and Naukan Yupik in Chukotka and the Central Alaskan Yup'ik. It will examine whether there are more similarities in medical beliefs between two societies speaking similar languages and sharing a deep historical root (Naukan Yupik and Central Alaskan Yup'ik), or between two societies speaking unrelated languages, but sharing the more recent influence of the dominant Russian culture (Naukan and Chukchi). The comparison will focus on beliefs about the effects that plants have on the body, including species believed to have medicinal, nutritional and toxic properties. It will address the following questions: 1)Which plants are considered to have health consequences in each culture, and how do the specific health consequences (perceived ability to prevent, treat or cause illness) attributed to each plant correlate among the cultures?; 2) How do concepts of illnesses, nutrition and toxicity themselves correlate among the three cultures?; 3) How do patterns in ethnomedical knowledge vary with language ability? and 4)What is the role of perspectivism in explaining human-plant interactions in each culture?

Logistics Summary:
This project involves researchers in a three-year comparative study of the medical ethnobotany of two cultures of the Russian Far East—Chukchi and Naukan Yupik—and one Alaskan culture, the Central Alaskan Yup’ik. Work takes place in Chukotka in summers of 2014-2016, Alaska in 2016 and via a supplement Russia and Alaska in 2019. Teams of up to four people will travel to villages within the study areas. There, they will meet with research participants, collect botanical specimens, and conduct ethnographic interviews. For the work in Russia, in 2016, the PI will deploy to the Chukotka region for approximately 42 days beginning in June to interview/film elders as they harvest plants near Lorino, Lavrentiya, and Cape Dezhnev. He will also travel to the tundra to interview/film reindeer herders. Under NSF Supplement #1934660 the PI will conduct another year (2019) of interviews in Russia and Alaska. The PI will travel to the Russian communities in June and the Alaskan communities in July, back to the sites where he originally conducted research to present multimedia research products that detail how local plans are gathered and used. Copies of the presentations will be given to local schools, museums, cultural centers, and research participants. He will also discuss the prospects of putting this information on the ELOKA platform to make it available for the wider world through gathering prior informed consent.

In 2019, CPS will provide support via Chukotka Science Support Group subcontracting to facilitate transportation between Anadyr, Lavrentiya, and Lorino, food/lodging in local villages, guide services and translation support for interviews with village elders. All other support, including the field work in Alaska, will be arranged and paid for from the supplement award.
SeasonField SiteDate InDate Out#People
2014Russia - Chukotka07 / 14 / 2014 09 / 25 / 20144
2015Russia - Anadyr06 / 28 / 2015 09 / 18 / 20152
2015Russia - Ryrkaypiy07 / 02 / 2015 09 / 20 / 20153
2016Alaska - Hooper Bay07 / 06 / 2016 09 / 30 / 20164
2016Alaska - Quinhagak07 / 28 / 2016 09 / 30 / 20162
2016Russia - Lavrentiya06 / 16 / 2016 07 / 28 / 20162
2019Alaska - Anchorage07 / 02 / 2019 07 / 05 / 20191
2019Alaska - Hooper Bay07 / 06 / 2019 07 / 13 / 20191
2019Alaska - Kotlik07 / 23 / 2019 07 / 30 / 20191
2019Alaska - Scammon Bay07 / 14 / 2019 07 / 21 / 20191
2019Russia - Anadyr06 / 06 / 2019 06 / 08 / 20191
2019Russia - Lavrentiya06 / 09 / 2019 06 / 18 / 20191
2019Russia - Lorino06 / 19 / 2019 06 / 27 / 20191
2019Russia - Moscow06 / 02 / 2019 06 / 05 / 20191
 


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Parameters used to generate this report:, Grant# = "1304612", IPY = "ALL" 
     Number of projects returned based on your query parameters = 1
 
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