About Norm


Over the past four decades, I've engaged in several long-term research projects in the North. Most have taken place in Alaska - and to a lesser extent, in Quebec among the Cree. Shorter periods of research include time spent in northern Scandinavia, northern China, and northeast Siberia.

A cultural and environmental anthropologist, I received my graduate training at the University of Pennsylvania and Cornell. After ten years of teaching in Oklahoma and at McGill University in Montreal, Quebec, I joined the University of Connecticut as head of their new Department of Anthropology. In the early 1990s, I also served on the faculty of Dartmouth College as a Research Fellow in the Environmental Studies Program and Senior Fellow in the Institute of Arctic Studies. At the moment, in addition to convening the Arctic Circle web site and writing a novel, I am researching problems of environmental injustice in Alaska and other regions of the Circumpolar North.

In the past, much of my writing focused on the impact of large scale natural resource development on northern peoples and their environment. Included in these publications are two books published by Harcourt Brace, entitled The Eskimo of North Alaska (1966) and The Inupiat and Arctic Alaska: An Ethnography of Development (1990). Some of the textual and visual materials utilized in this web site are adapted from these publications. A very different anthropological experience in the People's Republic of China culminated in China's Urban Villagers: Changing Life in a Beijing Suburb [2nd edition, Harcourt Brace, 1991].

Interests outside of anthropology and writing include music and flying. Early musical studies at the Eastman School of Music and Oberlin Conservatory led to a decade-long involvement as jazz drummer and band leader; while washing planes for flying lessons culminated in a long term commitment to the joys and adventure of flight. Highlights of these flights included exploring the mountains, river valleys, and wilderness areas of Canada and Alaska with my anthropologist-pilot wife, Nancy Fogel-Chance.

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