Archaeology. I have been conducting archaeological work in northern Labrador since 1976. I am interested in how Labrador Inuit have responded to the challenges and opportunities presented by environmental change and contact with western groups. The work has been supported by grants from the National Science Foundation and Kane Lodge Foundation, Inc., and Bowdoin College.
Arctic Exploration History. I am interested in the history of exploration of the Arctic, particularly of Labrador, Baffin Island, Ellesmere Island, and Greenland, and the quest to reach the North Pole. Culture contact issues and the roles of indigenous peoples in these exploration endeavors are of particular interest to me. I have spearheaded exhibition and publication projects to examine the expeditions of explorers Robert E. Peary, Donald B. MacMillan, and Robert A. Bartlett in particular. I use archival documents, publications, material culture, photographs, and films in that work. Grants from the National Science Foundation, Institute of Museum and Library Services, and Kane Lodge Foundation, Inc., and funding from Bowdoin College support this work.
Visual and Material Culture. I use material culture and historic photographs to study the history of individual objects and what stories they reveal about their various owners. Also, I work with historic photographs, motion picture films, and material culture to study the changing lives of indigenous northern populations and the impact of western technologies on the north, and to help document northern family and community histories.
Community Outreach. As Director of the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum and Arctic Studies Center I am committed to outreach to the general public and to the northern communities whose heritage is represented in the Arctic Museum’s collections. For information about school tours, exhibitions, lectures, and Family Day activities hosted by the Arctic Museum go to the Arctic Museum Site.