February 5, 2009
Dennis H. O'Rourke, Ph.D.
Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, University of Utah
Ancient DNA, Archaeology, and Population History in the North American Arctic
Dennis H. O'Rourke is a native of Mound City, Kansas and was on its high school football team. This just goes to show that the student athlete idea works on occasion. He received his formal education at the University of Kansas, and was awarded his doctorate in 1980. Among his research interests are population and evolutionary genetics, molecular archaeology, and genetic epidemiology. His research addresses Native America, Siberia, historic and prehistoric populations of the circum-arctic. Dennis O’Rourke has a distinguished and productive research career, is a prolific writer and an engaging speaker. His many academic and professional accomplishments are a product of an inquisitive mind and an ability to solve problems. He has been Program Director for Physical Anthropology, National Science Foundation, and now serves on its Arctic Social Science Review Panel. From 1999 to 2003 he was Editor-in-Chief, Human Biology. This April, he begins a four-year term as President, American Association of Physical Anthropology. He is the coeditor of Human Biology: An Evolutionary & Biocultural Perspective. First published in 2000 by Wiley-Liss, Inc., a second edition has been requested and is currently in preparation. Among his invited book chapters and journal articles are “Ancient DNA and its application to reconstruction of human evolution and population history” from Anthropological Genetics: Theory, Methods & Applications (2007) and “The Late Pleistocene Dispersal of Modern Humans in the Americas,” published in Science (2008, co-authored with Ted Goebel and Michael Waters). His research is broadly collaborative. Dennis O’Rourke has not merely ridden the wave of DNA research now at the forefront of studies of past human populations. He is among those most responsible for the scope and tenor of this research into ancient human genetic variation.
March 4, 2009
Patricia Sutherland, Ph.D.
Curator, Canadian Museum of Civilization
A New Perspective on Native/Norse Contact in Arctic Canada
Patricia Sutherland is a widely known North American archaeologist who has undertaken pioneering research into the history of remote northern regions of the continent. Since 1975 she has been involved in archaeological research throughout Arctic Canada and has collaborated on a number of international projects in Greenland. Her studies have included the Inuit and pre-Inuit occupations of the High Arctic and the Mackenzie Delta; the art and culture of the Dorset people; the Norse in the Eastern Arctic; and the lost Franklin expedition. This work has been reported in numerous publications and she has lectured on these subjects to audiences in Canada, the United States and Europe. Her recent research is focused on the question of Norse/Aboriginal contact in the Eastern Arctic in the centuries around AD 1000. Sutherland received her Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of Alberta. She is a Fellow of the Arctic Institute of North America. The Explorers Club of New York has honored her with the Lowell Thomas Award for her accomplishments in field research and scientific exploration, and she has received the Canadian Museums Association’s Award for Outstanding Achievement in Research as well as its Distinguished Service Award for significant contributions in museum work. Among her publications are The Franklin Era in Canadian Arctic History, 1845-59 (editor, Archaeological Survey of Canada, 1985); “Archaeology of the Northern Coast of British Columbia” (with Knut Fladmark and Ken Ames, Handbook of North American Indians Volume VII 1990), “The Norse and Native North Americans” in Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga (Smithsonian Institution Press 2000), “Shamanism and the Iconography of Palaeo-Eskimo Art” in The Archaeology of Shamanism (Routledge 2002), Contributions to the Study of the Dorset Palaeo-Eskimos (editor, Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2005); “Norse and Natives in the Eastern Arctic” in The Viking World (Routledge, 2008).