Shelby Anderson

Dr. Shelby Anderson

Assoicate Professor
PhD, University of Washington, 2011
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Dr. Anderson is an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology Department at Portland State University. Anderson’s research interests include hunter-gatherer societies, evolutionary theory, human ecodynamics, ceramic technology, applied archaeology, cultural resource management, and archaeology of the Arctic, Sub-arctic and Pacific Northwest.

Anderson is currently engaged in several research projects that revolve around studying long term human ecodynamics in the Arctic.  Anderson’s research in this area centers around issues of social interaction and organization in past hunter-gatherer groups.  Specific interests include studying why and how past peoples created, maintained, and failed to sustain social networks during periods of environmental change, and how social networks factor into larger social changes such as increasing social complexity.  Anderson studies this primarily through research on ceramic distribution networks and changing settlement patterns.  Anderson is collaborating with other researchers in bringing together other lines of evidence important to addressing these questions, including subsistence data, study of landscape evolution, and paleoenvironmental shifts. Current projects include the Port Clarence Archaeology Project, the Cape Krusenstern 200 Generations Project, and the Human Response to Climate Change at Cape Espenberg Project.  Anderson is also researching the impact of contemporary climate change on northern archaeological sites through several collaborative projects with the National Park Service.  This work includes new research on the archaeology of the northern Seward Peninsula Coast and an investigation of climate change impacts on National Historic Landmark sites in northern Alaska.  Anderson was recently interviewed by National Public Radio as part of a story on the impact of climate warming on northern archaeological sites.

Other projects include study of the relationship between dietary shifts and the development of northern ceramic technologies, and research on clay technologies of the Pacific Northwest.  Anderson is also involved in curriculum development for northwest Alaskan middle and high school science and social studies classes and various outreach efforts in Portland and northwest Alaska.

Recent Publications

Anderson, S.L. and Freeburg (in press) High Latitude Coastal Settlement Patterns: Cape Krusenstern, Alaska.  Journal of Island and Coastal Archaeology.

Anderson, S.L. and Freeburg 2013 A High Resolution Chronology for the Cape Krusenstern Site Complex, Northwest Alaska. Arctic Anthropology, Vol. 50:49-71.

Anderson, S.L, M. Boulanger, and M. Glascock (2011)  Late Prehistoric Social and Political Change in Northwest Alaska: Preliminary Results of a Ceramic Sourcing Study.  Journal of Archaeological Science, Vol. 38: 943-955.

Selected Publications