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Department of Anthropology

Igor Krupnik
Dr. Igor Krupnik

Igor Krupnik


Division: Arctic Studies Center

Area of Specialization:
Arctic, Circumpolar North, and Northwest Coast Ethnology

Fax:  202-357-2684
E-mail Address:

Department of Anthropology Mailing Address


Full Doctorate (“Doctor of Science”) in Subsistence Ecology and Resource Management (equivalent to Habilitat) from the N.N. Severtsev Institute of Ecology, Moscow (1991)

PhD in Anthropology from the Institute of Ethnography, Russian Academy of Sciences (1977)

B.S. in Ecology/Physical Geography from the School of Geography, University of Moscow in Moscow, Russia (1973, cum laude)


Professional Activities

As Arctic ethnologist working with contemporary Northern communities and indigenous cultures, Krupnik concentrates his scholarly activities in four key areas:

  • Arctic people’s cultural and environmental knowledge, particularly in connection to modern sea ice and climate change, language loss, and culture shift;
  • Indigenous peoples’ relations with Arctic wildlife populations, both historical and contemporary;
  • Ethno-historical data, museum and collection sources about Arctic communities and cultures; and
  • History of social/cultural research in North America, including that of the Smithsonian Institution.

Since joining the Smithsonian in 1991, Krupnik published 27 books, edited volumes and exhibit catalogs. He guest-edited six international journal issues and produced numerous papers and chapters in journals and collected volumes published in the U.S., Canada, UK, Japan, Russia, Germany, Denmark, and other countries.

He was among a small ‘founding’ group of Arctic anthropologists and human geographers, who in the late 1990s pioneered a new area of research on indigenous knowledge and observations of modern climate change. He published several community-focused collections summarizing indigenous visions on the changing Arctic environment produced by teams including local hunters, elders, language experts, and cultural activists, as well as anthropologists, biologists, and sea ice specialists

In 2014–2016, he led an interdisciplinary study of human-animal-climate relations, Arctic Crashes: Human, Climate, and Habitat Agency in the Anthropocene. The team of NMNH scientists and indigenous and local collaborators conducted two years of field and collection work across the North American Arctic in Alaska, Canada, and Greenland, studying the complex web of impacts of human predation and habitat changes on large Arctic mammals, such as whales, seals, walrus, caribou, and polar bear.

Since 2013, Krupnik serves as the editor for the new introductory volume to the famed Smithsonian series, Handbook of North American Indians started in the 1960s, under the editorship of the late SI anthropologist William C. Sturtevant. This monumental book will be published by the SI Scholarly Press and will help re-establish the Smithsonian as the prime national center for Native American scholarship.

Krupnik served as Editorial Board member of three leading Arctic anthropological journals, Arctic AnthropologyEtudes/Inuit/Studies, and Acta Borealia. He was a Founding member and Council member in 1990–1995 and 2004–2008, of the International Arctic Social Sciences Association.

Among his key scholarly contributions was his involvement in the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2008, an inter-disciplinary research and observation program in the polar regions that takes place every 50 year. In 2005–2010, Krupnik served on the Joint Committee, the main international steering body for IPY, where he represented the field of social and human studies. He was instrumental in bringing social/human research and collaboration with polar residents to IPY agenda. Krupnik’s special contribution to IPY 2007–2008 was the international SIKU (Sea Ice Knowledge and Use in the North) project, on which he coordinated (with Claudio Aporta) the activities of several research teams from Canada, U.S., Russia, Greenland, and France working with indigenous observers and knowledge experts in 20 polar communities, from Bering Strait to Greenland.

Dr. Krupnik's bio on the the Arctic Studies Center website.

Selected Publications

Dr. Krupnik's complete, updated list of publications

See: Arctic Studies Center Publications Series:
Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology
Arctic Studies Center website
Arctic Studies Center Newsletter

Major Books and Edited Collections:

Early Inuit Studies: Themes and Transitions, 1850s–1980s. Igor Krupnik, ed. 2016. Washington, DC: SI Scholarly Press. 450 pp

Maritime Hunting Culture of Chukotka – Traditions and Modern Practices. (Revised and edited translation from the original Russian edition – L. Bogoslovskaya, I. Slugin, I. Zagrebin, and I. Krupnik, eds. 2007). Igor Krupnik and Rachael Mason, eds. 2016. Anchorage: National Park Service. 344 p

Those Who Face the Sea: In Memory of Lyudmila Bogoslovskaya [Litsom k moryu: Pamiati Lyudmily Bogoslovskoi]. Igor Krupnik, ed. 2016.Moscow: August Borg, 648 pp.(in Russian).

Yupik Transitions: Change and Survival at Bering Strait, 1900–1960. Igor Krupnik and Michael Chlenov. 2013. University of Alaska Press, 393 pp.

Our Ice, Snow and Winds (Nashi l’dy, snega i vetry). Indigenous and Academic Knowledge about Sea Ice and Climate Change in Eastern Chukotka. Lyudmila Bogoslovskaya and Igor Krupnik, eds. and compilers. 2013. Moscow: Russian Heritage Institute, 360 pp. (in Russian)

Kingikmi Sigum Qanuq Ilitaavut. Wales Inupiaq Sea Ice Dictionary. Winton Weyapuk, Jr. and Igor Krupnik, comps. Igor Krupnik, Herbert Anungazuk, and Matthew Druckenmiller, eds. 2012. Washington, DC: Arctic Studies Center, 112 pp.

From Kinship to Caribou. Festschrift to Ernest S. (Tiger) Burch. 2012. Special issue of Arctic Antropology, vol. 49(2). Guest editors Igor Krupnik and Kenneth Prat, 241 pp.

Ernest S. Burch, Jr. Caribou Herds of Northwest Alaska, 1850–2000 (Co-editor with Jim Dau). 2012. Fairbanks: University of Alaska Press.

Lessons and Legacies of International Polar Year 2007–2008. (J. Brigham-Grette, R. Bindschadler, M. Albert, J. Cassano, L. Hinzman. E. Hoffman, I. Krupnik, V. Kingeekuk Metcalf, S. Pfirman, L. Speer, W. Weeks, M. McConnell, E. Danlea, L. Brown, S. Freeland). 2012. Washington, DC: National Academies Press, 138 pp.

Understanding Earth’s Polar Challenges: International Polar Year 2007–2008. Summary Report for the International Polar Year 2007–2008. Igor Krupnik, Ian Allison, Robin Bell, Paul Cutler, David Hik, Jeronimo Lopez-Martinez, Volker Rachold, Eduard Sarukhanian, Colin Summerheys, eds. 2011. Edmonton: Canadian Circumpolar Institute, 720 pp.

Faces We Remember/Neqamikegkaput. Leuman M. Waugh’s Photography from St. Lawrence Island, Alaska, 1929–1930. Krupnik, I., and V. Oovi Kaneshiro, eds., comps. 2011. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology 9. Arctic Studies Center and Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, Washington, DC, 196 pp.

SIKU: Knowing Our Ice. Documenting Inuit Sea Ice Knowledge and Use. I. Krupnik, C. Aporta, S. Gearheard, G. Laidler, and L. Kielsen Holm, eds. 2010. Dorderecht: Springer, 520 pp.

Tropoyu Bogoraza (Along the Path of [Waldemar] Bogoras. Research and Literary Materials]. L.B. Bogoslovskaya, V.S. Krivoshchekov, and I. Krupnik, eds. 2008. Moscow, Russian Institute of Cultural and Natural Heritage-Geos. 353 pp. (in Russian).

The Bering Strait Universe: Cultures, Languages, History. Guest editor, with Yvon Csonka and Owen Mason. Alaska Journal of Anthropology, special issue, 2006, 4(1-2).

Preserving Languages and Knowledge of the North. With Louis-Jacques Dorais. Special issue of the journal Études/Inuit/Studies, 2005. 29 (1-2). Guest co-editor.

Watching Ice and Weather Our Way. Sikumengllu Eslamengllu Esghapalleghput. C. Ozeeva, C. Noongwook, G. Noongwook, C. Alowa and Igor KrupnikEdited by Igor Krupnik, Henry Huntington, Christopher Koonooka, and George Noongwook, eds. Arctic Studies Center and Marine Mammal Commission. 2004. Washington, DC. 208 pp.

Northern Ethnographic Landscapes. Perspectives from Circumpolar Nations. Igor Krupnik, Rachel Mason, and Tonia Horton, eds. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology 6. 2004. Washington, DC: Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution. 416 pp.

Constructing Cultures Then and Now. Celebrating Franz Boas and the Jesup North Pacific Expedition. Laurel Kendall and Igor Krupnik, eds. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology, 4. 2003. Washington DC: Arctic Studies Center. xvii+364 pp.

The Earth Is Faster Now. Indigenous Observations of Arctic Environmental Change. Igor Krupnik and Dyanna Jolly, eds. 2002. Fairbanks, AK: ARCUS. xxviii+356 pp. (second edition 2010).

Akuzilleput Igaqullghet: Our Words Put to Paper. Sourcebook in St. Lawrence Island Yupik Heritage and History. Igor Krupnik and Lars Krutak, comps. Igor Krupnik, Vera Metcalf, and Willis Walunga, eds. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology 3. 2002. Arctic Studies Center: Washington DC. 464 pp.

Gateways. Exploring the Legacy of the Jesup North Pacific Expedition, 1897-1902. Igor Krupnik and William W. Fitzhugh, eds. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology 1. 2001. Washington DC: Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution. 336 pp.

Pust’ govoriat nashi stariki. Rasskzay aziatskikh eskimosov-yupik (Let Our Elders Speak. Oral Stories of the Siberian Yupik Eskimo. Recordings of 1975-1990). I. Krupnik, comp. 2001. Moscow: Russian Heritage Institute. 528 pp. (in Russian)

Inuit, Whaling and Sustainability. M.M.R. Freeman, L. Bogoslovskaya, R.A. Caulfield, I. Egede, I. Krupnik, and M.G. Stevenson. 1998. Walnut Creek, CA, Altamira Press. 208 pp.

Living Yamal/Zhivoi Yamal. Bilingual Exhibit Catalog. With N. Narinskaya. 1998. Moscow: Sovetskii Sport. 64 pp. (in English and Russian)

Perekrestki kontinentov. Kul'tury korennykh narodov Dal'nego Vostoka i Aliaski. Russian version of the exhibit catalog: V. Chaussonnet, ed. Crossroads Alaska. Native Cultures of Alaska and Siberia. 1996. Washington, DC: Arctic Studies Center. 112 pp. (in Russian).

Arctic Adaptations. Native Whalers and Reindeer Herders of Northern Eurasia. 1993. Hanover and London, University Press of New England. 355 pp. (German edition, 1999).

Arkticheskaia etnoecologiia (Arctic Ethnoecology). Moscow: Nauka Pubishers. 1989. 271 pp. (in Russian).

Kitovaia alleia. Drevnosti ostrovov proliva Seniavina (Whalebone Alley. Antiquities of the Seniavin Strait Islands). S.A. Arutyunov, I.I. Krupnik, and M.A. Chlenov. 1982. Moscow: Nauka Publishers. 176 pp. (in Russian).


Selected Recent Papers:

Waldemar Bogoras and The Chukchee: A Maestro and a Classical Ethnography. Pp. 9–45 in Waldemar Bogoras. The Chukchee, 1904–1909. In Bibliotheca Sibiro-Pacifica, Havel, Germany 2017

From Boas to Burch: Eskimology Transitions. In: Early Inuit Studies. Themes and Transitions, 1850s–1980s. Igor Krupnik, ed. 2016, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, pp. 1–32.

Closing the (Arctic) Circle: Ernest S. Burch and ‘Peoples of the Arctic Map.’ In: Early Inuit Studies. Themes and Transitions, 1850s–1980s. Igor Krupnik, ed. 2016, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, pp.374–409.

One Field Season and 50-year Career: Franz Boas and Early Eskimology. In Early Inuit Studies. Themes and Transitions, 1850s–1980s. Igor Krupnik, ed. 2016, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Press, pp.73–83

On Birds, People, and Indigenous Knowledge: ‘Birds’ section in the “Dictionary of Traditional Subsistence Terminology of the Chaplinsky Yupik Language”. In Litsom k moriu (Those Who Face the Sea: In Memory of Lyudmila Bogoslovskaya. 2016, pp. 120-149 (in Russian).

Naukan: Chapters to community history. Michael Chlenov and Igor Krupnik.In Safeguard and Ensure. Cultural Heritage of Chukotka: Prospects in Protection and Conservation. M. Bronshtein, ed. Moscow: Museum of Oriental Arts, pp.38-73 (in Russian)

Decadal Bering Sea Seascape Change: Consequences for Pacific Walruses and Indigenous Hunters. GC Ray, GL Hufford, JE Overland, Igor Krupnik, Jerry McCormick-Ray, Karen Frey, Elizabeth Labunski. Ecological Applications, 26(1), 2016, pp. 24–41.

Bering Sea Seals and Walruses: Responses to Environmental Change. G.C. Ray, G. Hufford, T.R. Loughlin and Igor Krupnik. In: Marine Conservation: Science, Policy, and Management. G. Carleton Ray and J. McCormick-Ray, eds. 2014, Wiley-Blackwell, pp. 171–199 .

Project SIKU in Eastern Chukotka, 2007-2013: The Role of Indigenous Knowledge in the Era of Global Change – Igor Krupnik, L.S. Bogoslovskaya, B.I. Vdovin, V.V. Golbtseva, N.I. Kalyuzhina, V.I. Nuvano. Ecological Planning and Management 2014 2(15):72–88 (in Russian).

Sergei Bogojavlensky and His Legacy in Alaskan Socio-Cultural Research (Introduction and selection of SB texts, with notes and comments). Alaska Journal of Anthropology 2014, 12(1):25–52.

A framework and database for community sea-ice observations in a changing Arctic: an Alaskan prototype for multiple users. Hajo Eicken, Mette Kaufman, Igor Krupnik, Peter Pulsifer, Leonard Apangalook, Paul Apangalook, Winton Weyapuk JR, and Joe Leavitt. Polar Geography, 2014, 37 (1): 5-27



Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely (NMNH, Washington DC, 2006)

Crossroads Siberia: Native Cultures of Alaska and Siberia (Russian Far East, 1996-97)

Arktis und Antarktis. Section on Native Peoples of the Circumpolar Region (Bonn, Germany, 1997-98)


Major Awards

Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Prize. 2016. For ‘exemplary scholarship’ for the book, “Yupik Transitions: Change and Survival at Bering Strait, 1900–1960,” (Igor Krupnik and Michael Chlenov, 2013, University of Alaska Press).

International Arctic Social Sciences Association. 2014. Life Membership/ Achievement Award.

Inuit Circumpolar Council–Chukotka, Distinguished Award. 2014. “For outstanding contribution to the preservation of cultural heritage, languages and history of Indigenous people of Chukotka” (Anadyr, Russia).

Honorable mention. 2013. For “Wales Inupiaq Sea Ice Dictionary” (2012, Winton Weyapuk, Jr. and Igor Krupnik, eds.) – by the Atmospheric Science Librarians International (ASLI); selected among the “best books of the year in the atmospheric sciences; Reference Category.”

International Arctic Science Committee, Arctic Science Medal. 2012. “For bridging between natural and social sciences as well as to the knowledge of the indigenous Arctic residents, and for invaluable contributions to the success of the International Polar Year 2007–2008.”

Certificate of Appreciation. 2009 (“For valuable contribution to the International Polar Year 2007–2008 and strengthening international science collaboration”). Joint award from the World Meteorological Organization and the International Council for Science (ICSU).

Distinguished Service Award. 2007. NMNH Senate of Scientists.

NMNH Science Achievement Award. 2005. For the volume Northern Ethnographic Landscapes: Perspectives from Circumpolar Nations. Igor Krupnik, Rachel Mason, and Tonya Horton, eds. Contributions to Circumpolar Anthropology 6. 2004.

American Book Award 2003, The Before Columbus Foundation – for: Akuzilleput Igaqullghet. Our Words Put to Paper (with Willis Walunga and Vera Metcalf).

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