Notes that the dominance of the public sector, in particular the Federal Government, and the abnormally low role of private business, in the economy of Alaska, are factors which minimize effects of loss and speed reconstruction. In the short term, the economy was stimulated by the disaster, but continued dependence on Federal support is viewed as economically undesirable.
Discusses the spread of mammals from two refugia (a northern: interior Alaska-Bering Sea, and a southern) since the Wisconsin glacial maximum. Evidence that subsequently submerged coastal shelves aided the spread of fauna is reviewed. The brown bear, thinhorn sheep and one race of moose (Alces alces gigas) are identified as spreading from the northern refugium, whereas the black bear, deer, elk, mountain goat, bighorn sheep and other races of moose originated from south of the continental ice sheet. The wolf is believed to be a comparatively late arrival. Problems of mammalian colonization of the Alexander Archipelago are considered. The faunal affinities and origins of a number of small mammals are briefly discussed.
Reports a series of observations of tropospheric wind speeds measured by pilot balloon at Lake Hazen, north interior Ellesmere Island, 16 May-18 Aug, 1961. These data are compared with simultaneous observations at the coastal stations Alert and Eureka. Anomalously low mean wind speeds up to 7000 ft are analyzed. Two interacting contributory factors are identified: the influence of local relief and marked year-round thermal stability. This persistent inversion can only be dispelled on exceptional occasions when upper winds attain 25 mph in summer and 70 mph in winter.
Lists in tabular form the radiocarbon dates of 28 samples of organic materials taken from the Barrow peninsula and spit (Pleistocene Gubik formation); 26 consist of peat, driftwood, etc, and two are artifacts. From these a detailed geomorphic and cryopedological chronology of the area is attempted. The highly polygonized tundra areas are judged to be less than 8300 yr old. Much of the older peat has been reworked. The artifacts are from the second millenium AD. A correction is made in Arctic, v 18, no 2, p 122.
Reports the recognition of soils in the Mesters Vig district of Scoresby Land as being Arctic Brown soils corresponding to those identified in Alaska and USSR. The zonal distribution of this soil group is thus believed established. The favorable and limiting conditions of the soils are described, and the effects upon them of frost processes noted.
Reports an Apr 1964 attempt by General Motors Corp engineers to assess the feasibility of using the Houston Model V-100 portable drilling rig (illus) for drilling through ice islands. When used in its "pressure mode", it proved satisfactory to a depth of 100 ft. A method by which the drill hole can be kept free of ice for subsequent investigations, using diesel oil and an electric heat drill is described.
Summarizes investigations into the stratigraphy and paleontology of Proterozoic, Paleozoic and Tertiary formations. The geomorphology of raised shorelines and limestone formations was studied, and a number of magnetometer surveys carried out.
In the tragic death of Dr. J. L. Giddings on December 9, 1964 from a heart attack following an automobile accident, Arctic archaeology has lost one of its ablest, most brilliant and most productive workers. Born in Caldwell, Texas, April 10, 1909, Louis Giddings studied at Rice University, received his B.S. degree at the University of Alaska in 1932, M.A. at the University of Arizona, 1941, and Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania in 1951. From 1932 to 1937 he worked as an engineer for the U.S. Smelting and Refining Company. From 1938 to 1950 he was on the staff of the University of Alaska, progressing from Research Associate to Associate Professor of Anthropology. Between 1943 and 1946, however, he was on active duty as a Navy Lieutenant in the Pacific Area. In 1950 he became Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Assistant Curator of the University Museum, University of Pennsylvania. In 1956 he was appointed Associate Professor of Anthropology and Director of the Haffenreffer Museum, Brown University, becoming Professor in 1959. Louis Giddings was one of the first Associates of the Arctic Institute elected to Fellowship, and he received one of the Institute's first research grants. The Arctic Institute may well take pride in the fact that it was able to support Giddings' 1948 and 1949 excavations at Cape Denbigh, Alaska, which opened entirely new vistas in Arctic archaeology, and that it contributed to the support of his later and equally important work on the Arctic coast. An expert in dendrochronology, Giddings was the first to apply this technique in the Arctic. Working with samples from living trees and driftwood from old Eskimo village sites on the Kobuk, he established a tree-ring chronology for the last 1,000 years of Eskimo culture. Giddings' work at Cape Denbigh was in the opposite direction - it uncovered the roots of Eskimo culture. His 4,500 to 5,000 year old Denbigh Flint Complex was unlike anything previously known in the Arctic. It was a microlithic assemblage with close affinities with the Old World Mesolithic, and it represented a stage of culture that developed into Eskimo. Giddings' later work around Kotzebue Sound and at Onion Portage in the interior produced equally spectacular results. At Cape Krusenstern a long succession of old beach ridges revealed a remarkable record of human occupation extending from the present back to at least 4,000 B.C. The 114 beaches contained materials of the Denbigh Flint complex and of 11 other culture stages. Three of these were new, the Old Whaling culture, 1,000 years later than Denbigh, and Palisades I and II, 1,000 or more years older. The deep, stratified Onion Portage site on the middle Kobuk, discovered by Giddings in 1961, is without doubt the most important archaeological site within the Arctic. Covering some 20 acres and reaching a depth of 18 feet, it has over 30 distinct occupation levels containing in vertical sequence the hearths and artifacts of most of the cultures represented on the Krusenstern beaches, as well as others known heretofore only from undated, unstratified surface sites in the interior. Giddings has described his work at these and many other Arctic sites in more than 50 papers and monographs, the last of which, his monumental work, The Archeology of Cape Denbigh, was published by Brown University only a few months before his death. Louis Giddings is survived by his wife, the former Ruth Elizabeth Warner, and their three children, Louis Jr., Ann, and Russell. To those who cherished the friendship of this remarkably intelligent, vital and warm-hearted man, his untimely death still seems unreal. He will be sorely missed, but he has left his mark large and clear in that field of Arctic research in which he was the dominant figure.
Henry Asbjørn Larsen, retired Superintendent of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, died in Vancouver, B.C., on 29 October 1964, after a brief illness. He was buried in the R.C.M.P. cemetery at Regina, Saskatchewan. Superintendent Larsen was born on 30 September 1899 at Fredrikstad on the east coast of Oslo Fjord in Norway, not far from the birth place of Roald Amundsen, the first to bring a ship through the Northwest Passage, and the leader of the first expedition to reach the South Pole. It is uncertain if Larsen ever knew Amundsen personally, but when he was an adolescent the tradition of Norwegian arctic exploration was at its height and the brilliant exploits of Nansen, Sverdrup and Amundsen undoubtedly fired his imagination and inspired a strong desire to follow the sea in search of arctic adventure and exploration. It is not surprising, therefore, that young Henry should choose to do his compulsory military service in the Norwegian Navy. Later he learnt practical seamanship in merchant ships and entered navigation school from which he graduated with a mate's certificate. After some years spent in Norwegian ships, including a stint as Chief Officer in a trans-atlantic liner, he was at last to realize his cherished ambition for arctic service when offered the berth as navigator in the veteran arctic trading schooner Old Maid of Seattle, bound for the Western Canadian Arctic. The arctic experience gained during two voyages in the Old Maid qualified Larsen for command of the R.C.M.P. patrol vessel St. Roch, specially designed for arctic navigation, built and commissioned in Vancouver, in 1928. In April of that year Larsen had joined the Force as a Constable; he was promoted to Corporal on April 1, 1929, six months later was made a Sergeant and on November 1, 1942 a Staff Sergeant. Between 1928 and 1939 the St. Roch with Larsen in command spent 12 summers and 7 winters patrolling the Western Canadian Arctic, supplying northern detachments and, in general, serving as a floating detachment; but the two voyages for which the St. Roch and its captain became famous were the west to east trip through the Northwest Passage in 1940-42 and the east to west return passage, completed in one season, in 1942. On the first Larsen followed Amundsen's route in the Gjøa, 1903-06 but on the return voyage he sailed the St. Roch through Lancaster and Viscount Wellington Sounds and south through Prince of Wales Strait to Beaufort Sea, the first ship to have completed this passage. The official report of the two historic voyages is recorded in a R.C.M.P. "Blue Book" published in 1945. To those familiar with arctic exploration and its long history of privation, hunger and cold, the terse daily entries copied from the St. Roch's log seem as undramatic and commonplace as if each voyage had been entirely routine. ... In his northern work, whether on the bridge of his sturdy little ship or heading a winter patrol, Henry Larsen proved himself an experienced traveller and an eminently successful navigator and leader of men. By his sympathetic understanding, patience and quiet sense of humour he completely won the confidence and lasting friendship of the Eskimo who in him have lost a staunch friend and understanding advocate. Henry Larsen was commissioned Sub-Inspector in the Force in September 1944, promoted to Inspector in 1946, and to Superintendent in 1953. ... Superintendent Larsen was a graduate of the Canadian Police College. From 1949 until his retirement on February 7, 1961 he was stationed at Ottawa as Officer Commanding the "G" Division of the R.C.M.P. whose work deals with the Northwest Territories and Yukon. ...