Getting to know…

Official Title:
Associate Professor & Department Chair

How long have you been at UAA?
15 years

What have you taught at UAA?
* Introduction to Anthropology
* Biological Anthropology
* Evolution of Humans and Disease
* Modern Human Diversity
* Peoples and Cultures of Scandinavia
* Survey of the Primates
* Past Peoples of Scandinavia, a Travel-Study Course
* Human Osteology
* Human Evolution
* Independent Studies on Guam
* Research Methods in Dental Anthropology
* Laboratory Methods in Human Osteology
* Independent Studies on the Human Skull
* Independent Studies on Death-Scene Archaeology
* Advanced Human Osteology
* Graduate Proseminar in Biological Anthropology
* Independent Study: Scandinavia- Mesolithic to Medieval

What do you currently teach?
Biological Anthropology & Graduate Proseminar in Biological Anthropology

Where did you go to school? What was your major?
BA in Anthropology from University of California Berkeley;E AA in French from Sacramento City Community College; MA Case Western Reserve from the University of Cleveland Ohio; Ph.D. from Arizona State University,E plus course work atE Ecole des Mines, Nancy, France and at Universitiet i Trondheim, Trondheim, Norway.

What are some previous jobs you have had?
I was a nanny in France, an archaeologist in Norway, Alaska, Arizona and New Mexico, a fry cook in California, a cleaning woman in Ohio, a stable manager in California, neuroanatomy lab tech in Ohio, a professor in California and Arizona. These are the ones I can remember just now.

What was your worst or most interesting job as a student?
Most interesting? I used to prepare road kill for the Biology Department at Arizona State University.E I would spend my Saturday nights in the lab with the radio blasting skinning and gutting frozen rotten ‘rat-sicles’ so they could be skeletonized by the beetle colony.

- Advertisement -

Born and raised?
Sacramento, Calif. My great-grandfather made stagecoaches for Wells Fargo.

Do you have pets?
Four spoiled rotten dogs, all short dark ‘pound puppies.’

What kind and what are their ages?
A dachshund/cocker named Maggie, 14, a terrier mix named Willy, 14, a Lab-Corgie cross (imagine a Lab on Corgi legs!) named Cory, 5, and another terrier (I”m insane) named Max, 3, which stands for maximum number of dogs allowed.

Favorite movie(s)?
I just saw ‘The Fast Runner’ and liked it.E I really liked this Icelandic movie with the word ‘raven’ in the title, but I can”t remember the name. I usually go for movies that make me laugh. I don”t like movies where monsters jump out at you — I get too scared!

Favorite music or artist?
Jackson Browne, Bonnie Raitt, Nana Mouskouri, Kari Bremnes, Kong Lavering, Sten Overberg, John Denver, Grateful Dead and 60″s folk

Favorite food?
Unfortunately I seldom meet a calorie I don”t like.E The UAA Lucy Cuddy Dining Room does an excellent job.

Favorite book?
Most nights I read mysteries as ‘popcorn for the mind,’ but I also enjoy Douglass Adams,E Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Robbins, etc.E A book that has really stayed with me is ‘Kristen Lavransdottir’ by Sigrid Undset.E A must read!

Favorite activities in the summer in Alaska?
Gardening, teaching summer school, catching up on laundry.

Favorite activities in the winter in Alaska?
School — is there time for anything else?

Hobbies?
Gardening, reading, training dogs and travel.

List three things that your students would be surprised to know about you.
I used to be a pretty good equestrian; I spent a year hitchhiking around Europe; and I was an illegal alien in France.

If you could have lunch with any three people, living or dead, who would it be and why?
Hmmmm. I think I would like to have lunch with my own grandparents (that”s four, I know) when they were a little older than I am now.E They lived through great flu epidemic of 1919, they saw the transition from horse and buggy to moon walks, etc.E I would like to talk with them about the world they knew and the changes they witnessed.

If you won the lottery, what is the first item you would purchase?
How much? Enough to endow a chair in Anthro? Probably not. So I”d buy a new pickup truck — I think I”d look good in a shiny new truck.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go and what would you do when you got there?
Around the world — seeing all the major anthro sites, Klassis River in South Africa, Laetoli in East Africa, Ayers Rock in Australia, temples in Thailand, saga places in Iceland, etc.

If you could take a class from any other department at UAA, what would it be and why?
Last spring I took a stats class from the math department. You can never have enough math and stats.E I also want to take a Norwegian class and a class on cartographyE — maps and the history of maps are fascinating.

Who do you admire in your field and why?
My colleagues here at UAA.E The longer I know them the more I respect the breadth and depth of their knowledge and appreciate their kindness and good sense.