Museum

Department Staff

Dr. Joshua Reuther

Josh on Quartz Lake, interior Alaska, 2010 (Photo by Jason Rogers).

Curator of Archaeology/Assistant Professor of Anthropology
jreuther@alaska.edu
907-474-6945

Josh worked in the Archaeology Department at UAMN as a student from 1998 to 2000, and has closely worked with the Museum for over 15 years before joining the Archaeology Department full-time in 2013. He also teaches in the Department of Anthropology at UAF.

He is trained as an archaeologist with a strong emphasis on archaeological sciences and geosciences, and highly values interdisciplinary research within archaeology and anthropology, often working across traditionally non-archaeologically and non-anthropologically disciplinary frameworks. Josh is also grateful to be involved in several collaborative projects working with members of both urban and rural communities to understand the history and prehistory and development of landscapes in their regions. He spent several years working for a private cultural resources management firm in Alaska as a Senior Project Archaeologist and Lab Manager before joining the UAF Anthropology faculty, which provided him a background in cultural and heritage resource laws and practices.

His recent research has primarily focused on understanding changes in human technological, settlement, and subsistence systems within local ecological and environmental contexts in subarctic and arctic settings. He currently serves as a geoarchaeologist on the Upward Sun River Site and Quartz Lake-Shaw Creek Multidisciplinary Projects; both projects emphasize understanding changes in human-environment interactions over the last 14,000 years in the middle Tanana Valley in interior Alaska. Josh is also a collaborator on several field- and collection-based research projects focused on sites in the western Alaska Range in southcentral Alaska, the middle Kuskokwim River region in southwestern Alaska, and the arctic regions of northern Alaska.

Ph.D. Anthropology, 2013, University of Arizona

M.A. Anthropology, 2003, University of Alaska Fairbanks

B.A. Anthropology, 2000, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Selected Publications:

Potter, Ben A., and Joshua D. Reuther
2012 High Resolution Radiocarbon Dating at the Gerstle River Site, Central Alaska. American Antiquity 77(1):71-98.

Proue, Molly, Justin M. Hays, Joshua D. Reuther, and Jeffrey T. Rasic
2012 The Hayfield Site: Modern Technology Applied to Materials Collected in the 1950s. Alaska Journal of Anthropology 9(1):97-114.

Wooller, Matthew J., Josh Kurek, Ben Gaglioti, Les Cynwar, Nancy Bigelow, Joshua D. Reuther, Carol Gelvin-Reymiller, and John Smol
2012 An ~11,200 cal yr BP Paleolimnological Record from Quartz Lake, Alaska. Journal of Paleolimnology 48:83-99.

Gelvin-Reymiller, Carol, and Joshua D. Reuther
2011 Bird Bones, Needles, Iron and Stone: Insights into Late Holocene Prehistoric Alaskan Grooving Technology. Alaska Journal of Anthropology 8(1): 1-22.

Potter, Ben A., Joel D. Irish, Joshua D. Reuther, Carol Gelvin-Reymiller, and Vance T. Holliday
2011 A Paleoindian Child Cremation and Residential Structure from Eastern Beringia. Science 311:1058-1062.

Reuther, Joshua D., Natasha Slobodina, Jeff Rasic, John P. Cook, and Robert J. Speakman
2011 Gaining Momentum – Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene Archaeological Obsidian Source Studies in Interior and Northern Eastern Beringia. In From the Yensei to the Yukon: Interpreting Lithic Assemblage Variability in Late Pleistocene/Early Holocene Beringia, edited by Ted Goebel and Ian Buvit, pp. 270-286. Texas A&M Press, College Station.

Slobodina, Natalia S., Joshua D. Reuther, Jeff Rasic, John P. Cook, and Robert J. Speakman
2009 Obsidian Procurement and Use at the Dry Creek Site (HEA-005), Interior Alaska. Current Research in the Pleistocene 26:115-117.

Bowers, Peter M., and Joshua D. Reuther
2008 AMS Re-dating of the Carlo Creek Site, Nenana Valley, Central Alaska. Current Research in the Pleistocene 25:58-61.

Potter, Ben A., Peter M. Bowers, Joshua D. Reuther, and Owen K. Mason
2007 Holocene Assemblage Variability in the Tanana Basin: NLUR Archaeological Research,
1994-2004. Alaska Journal of Anthropology 5(1):23-42.

Gelvin-Reymiller, Carol, Joshua D. Reuther, Ben A. Potter and Peter M. Bowers
2006 Technical Aspects of a Worked Proboscidean Tusk from Inmachuk River, Seward Peninsula, Alaska. Journal of Archaeological Science 33:1088-1094.

Reuther, Joshua D., Jerold M. Lowenstein, S. Craig Gerlach, Darden Hood, Gary Scheuensthul, and Douglas H. Ubelaker
2006 The Use of an Improved pRIA technique in the Identification of Protein Residues. Journal of Archaeological Science 33(4):531-537.

Reuther, Joshua D., and S. Craig Gerlach
2005 Testing the “Dicarb Problem”: A Case Study from North Alaska. Radiocarbon 47(3): 359-366.

Scott Shirar

Scott Shirar at the Simpson Site, Summer 2013

Collection Manager/Research Archaeologist
sjshirar@alaska.edu
907-474-6943

Scott Shirar has worked in the Archaeology Department since January of 2008 after spending two years at the Museum as a Graduate Student Researcher. Scott’s first role in the Department was Research Archaeologist and he currently serves a duel role as Research Archaeologist and Interim Archaeology Collection Manager. As a Research Archaeologist, Scott leads two ongoing projects funded by the National Park Service. One focuses on mid-Holocene volcanism and human occupation on the Central Alaska Peninsula. The second is centered on the late-Holocene human occupation of the Central Western Brooks Range. His primary responsibilities as the Interim Archaeology Collection Manager are to oversee the long-term preservation of artifacts and documentation which includes maintaining the collections database, supervising projects to upgrade collections, and facilitating research access. 

MA Anthropology, 2007, University of Alaska Fairbanks

BS Anthropology, 1999, Indiana University

Selected Publications:

2011 Shirar, Scott. Late Holocene Chronology of the Noatak and Kobuk Rivers. Alaska Journal of Anthropology 9(2):1-16.

2011 Gaines, Edmund P., Kate S. Yeske, William C. Johnson, Scott J. Shirar, and James F. Kunesh. Pleistocene Archaeology of the Tanana Flats, Eastern Beringia. Current Research in the Pleistocene 28:42-44.

2009 Shirar, Scott. Subsistence and Seasonality at a Late Prehistoric House Pit in Northwest Alaska. Journal of Ecological Anthropology 13(1):6-25. 

2007 Odess, Daniel and Scott Shirar. New Evidence of Microblade Technology in the Nenana Complex Type Site at Dry Creek, Central Alaska. Current Research in the Pleistocene 24:129-131.

Selected Presentations:

2013 Shirar, Scott, Loukas Barton, Jeff Rasic, and James Jordan. 3000 Years of Fishing Technology from the Central Alaska Peninsula. Paper presented at the 78th the Society for American Archaeology, Honolulu.

2013 Barton, Loukas, Scott Shirar, Jeff Rasic, and James Jordan. Human Settlement of the Central Alaska Peninsula: An Index of Landscape Ecology and Volcanism. Paper presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, Anchorage.

2013 Jordan, James, Loukas Barton, Scott Shirar, and Jeff Rasic. The Wildman Lake-Ocean River Archaeological District: A New Record of Long-Term Human Adaptation to Endemic Volcanism and Environmental Change on the Central Alaska Peninsula. Paper presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, Anchorage.

2012 Shirar, Scott, Jeff Rasic, Eric Carlson, and Mareca Guthrie. Rock Art in the Far North: A Local Style of Petroglyphs from the Central-Western Brooks Range. Poster presented at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, Seattle.

2012 Barton, Loukas, Scott Shirar, Jeff Rasic, and Jim Jordan. Emerging Patterns in the Prehistoric Human Occupation of the Central Alaska Peninsula. Paper presented at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, Seattle.

Current Projects:

Archaeology of Late Prehistoric Lakeside Settlements in Northwest Alaska

Archaeology of the Central Alaska Peninsula

Ecology and Subsistence Technology Along the Noatak and Kobuk Rivers during the Late Prehistoric Time Period

Sam Coffman

Sam on the Muddy River, Denali National Park and Preserve

Research Assistant/GIS Coordinator 
sccoffman@alaska.edu
907-474-6819

Sam is a research assistant and GIS coordinator who deals predominately with the geographic information systems (GIS) component for the archaeology department and museum. His research interests include lithic sourcing, hunter-gatherer landscape-use/adaptation, GIS modeling and analysis. Sam’s main focus of research deals with the late Pleistocene/early Holocene archaeology of the sub-arctic and Great Basin. 

MA Anthropology, 2011, University of Alaska Fairbanks

BA Anthropology, 2007, University of Nevada, Reno

Selected Publications:

2011     Coffman S. and B. A. Potter. Recent Excavations at Teklanika West a Late Pleistocene Site in Denali National Park, Central Alaska. Current Research in the Pleistocene 28.

2011     Fenner L., G. Smith, S. Coffman, and G. Noyes. Comparing Great Basin Paleoindian Raw Material Procurement Strategies: X-ray Fluorescence Data from Obsidian Fluted and Stemmed Points from Mud Lake and Lake Tonopah, Nevada. Current Research in the Pleistocene 28.

Selected Presentations:

2013     S. Coffman and J.T. Rasic. Eastern Beringian Rhyolite Sourcing, poster presented at the Paeoamerican Odyssey Conference, Santa Fe, NM. October 2013.

2012     S. Coffman and B.A. Potter. Lithic Analysis and Site Activites at Teklanika West, Central Alaska. Paper presented at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association,Fairbanks.

2011     S. Coffman and C. Holmes. East meets West, Archaeology at Teklanika East, Central Alaska.Paper presented at the 38th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, Fairbanks.

Fawn Carter

Fawn at a site in Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve

Collection Assistant/Graduate Student
fmcarter@alaska.edu
907-474-6819

Fawn is a graduate student assistant in the archaeology department and specializes in rehousing and organizing archaeological collections. She started at the museum as an undergraduate student assistant in 2007 and is currently working toward her Master’s degree in anthropology at UAF. Her academic background focuses mainly on physical anthropology, but she has participated in several archaeological research projects as well. Fawn is interested in the archaeology of St. Lawrence Island and other coastal sites in the Bering Sea.

B.S. Anthropology, 2010, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Selected Presentations:

2013 Carter, Fawn and Christopher Houlette. Revisiting Kukulik: A Languishing Collection Meets Modern Methodology. Paper presented at the 78th the Society for American Archaeology, Honolulu.  

2012 Carter, Fawn and Christopher Houlette. Managing the Gadgets: Breathing New Life into Languishing Collections.   Paper presented at the 39th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, Seattle.

2011 Carter, Fawn and Amiee Ely. Caribou Identification at the Matcharak Lake Site Using Ancient DNA Analysis. Poster presented at   the 38th   Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, Fairbanks.

2010 Carter, Fawn. An Examination of Osseous Materials from a Meat Cache at Kukulik St. Lawrence Island, AK. Poster presented at the 37th Annual Alaska Anthropology Association, Anchorage. 

Lori Hansen

Lori during fieldwork, Summer 2013

Collection Assistant
lrhansen@alaska.edu
907-474-6819

Lori is a collections assistant working on various projects pertaining to archaeological collections. She started at the museum as a volunteer in 2009 and was hired in 2011. Her educational focus was on physical anthropology, but has worked as a field technician on projects ranging from historic mining cabin sites to prehistoric occupation sites. Lori grew up around a small family museum consequently loves working in the museum environment. She has many interests, which include prehistoric oil lamps, art, and ancient burial practices.

B.A. Anthropology, 1995, University of Montana Missoula

Selected Presentations:

2013   Sam Coffman, Julie Esdale, Lori Hansen, James Whitney, and Christopher Houlette. From the field to the museum –results from ASRA 2012. Paper presented at the 40th Annual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological Association, Anchorage.

2013   Lori Hansen. Museum Mysteries: Two unique oil lamps. Poster presented at the 40thAnnual Meeting of the Alaska Anthropological, Anchorage.

Undergraduate Student Assistants

Evie Combs
Stormy Fields
Tyler Graham
Cassidy Phillips

Collection Assistants

Ryan Nordstrom

Volunteers

Steve Lanford
Brooks Lawler 
Kate Mulliken

Back to Top