Museum of the North
The University of Alaska Museum of the North is a popular visitor attraction, a vital component of the university and the only research and teaching museum in Alaska. The museum’s collection – 1.4 million artifacts and specimens – represents millions of years of biological diversity and thousands of years of cultural traditions. The collections are organized into 10 disciplines (archaeology, birds, documentary film, earth sciences, ethnology, fine arts, fishes, insects, mammals, and plants) and serve as a resource for research on climate change, contaminants and other issues facing the circumpolar North.
A rare example of Aleutian petroglyphs has been donated to the University of Alaska Museum of the North’s archaeology collection and will be used in a variety of research projects to better understand the cultural roles of rock art in Unangam culture.
While prehistoric rock art is common in some regions, such as the American Southwest, it is exceptionally rare in Interior and Northern Alaska. Archaeologists working in the 1960s and 70s found boulders adorned with petroglyphs at three different lakefront sites in what is now the Noatak National Preserve in Northwest Alaska.
Students from the Rural Alaska Honors Institute toured the museum on Friday, July 15. Operation manager Kevin May, genomic resources specialist Aren Gunderson and many of the museum’s technicians showed off the labs and parts of the collection that most people don’t get to see.