William Fitzhugh

William Fitzhugh is the director of the Smithsonian's Arctic Studies Center at the National Museum of Natural History. Bill is an anthropologist specializing in circumpolar archaeology, ethnology, and environmental studies. He has spent more than 30 years studying the arctic peoples and cultures of northern Canada, Alaska, Siberia, and Scandinavia and has produced many publications, international exhibitions, and films on the subject, including work on the NOVA specials on Norse Americans and the Vikings. Bill is an advisor to the Arctic Research Commission, represents the Smithsonian arctic social science in various interagency councils, and serves on the Smithsonian Science Commission.
 
Jun 18 - Jul 3, 2014
Aug 27 - Sep 11, 2014
16 days
Experience the traditions and natural wonders of Mongolia
Tour details


Questions & Answers with William Fitzhugh
Q: What have been the most interesting and enjoyable aspects of your Arctic research?
A: The L'Anse aux Meadows site area is one of the most dazzling archaeological sites you could imagine, because of its historic significance, its sheer beauty, and the wonderful site reconstruction and museum exhibits available. I know the L'Anse aux Meadows site extremely well and they are used to me arriving there with my own field crew on my way to Quebec each summer, and return!
Q: Can you tell us a bit about the scope of the Arctic Research Center's research?
A: We work throughout the arctic and sub-arctic regions, and even a bit beyond—for instance, in Mongolia. We work in archeology, ethnography, and environmental studies, usually combining all of these perspectives in any given project. We always include Native people in our projects and work closely with experts from all of the polar nations. Our website gives lots of other general information as well!
Q: Do you hope participants will experience and learn by visiting this region?
A: I think perhaps the greatest experience will be the recognition that the north is not the 'end of the earth' or a god-forsaken land. There's plenty of natural and cultural wonders in the North, most of which we hardly know about—yet. But we're learning and I think our visitors will come away with ideas and information they never dreamed of.