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Arctic Archaeologist, Smithsonian Institution

Dr. Aron L. Crowell is an Arctic archaeologist and Alaska Director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Arctic Studies Center in Anchorage. His research in collaboration with Alaska Native communities has examined cultural adaptations to coastal ecosystems, historical ecology, cultural landscapes, tectonic and glacial impacts, and Indigenous ecological knowledge. His books and edited volumes include Laaxaayík: Near the Glacier: Indigenous History and Ecology at Yakutat Fiord, Alaska (Smithsonian Scholarly Press 2024), Arctic Crashes: People and Animals in the Changing North (Smithsonian Scholarly Press, 2020), and Archaeology and the Capitalist World System: A Study from Russian America (Plenum Press, 1998). Crowell has led or co-curated Smithsonian exhibitions including Looking Both Ways: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People (2001); Gifts from the Ancestors: Ancient Ivories of Bering Strait (2009), and Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska (2010). Crowell has served on the Advisory Committee for the Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation and represents the Smithsonian for the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States. His Ph.D. in Anthropology is from the University of California, Berkeley (1994).


  • –present
    Arctic Archaeologist, Smithsonian Institution


  • 1994 
    University of California, Berkeley, Anthropology