Our research team received proofs for one manuscript yesterday (journal Radiocarbon) and another manuscript was submitted for review today! The research process: 2011 - idea for project + team-building, 2012-proposal writing, 2013- proposal review and success!, 2014+2015 field seasons and initial lab work, 2016 more lab work on samples, presentations at national and regional meetings, first manuscript written and submitted, 2017 - so far 9 manuscripts (not all by our team but all topical) submitted to special issue. Working on 2 more manuscripts and review process. What an amazing journey from dream to achievement!

Caroline Dickey did a nice job of presenting the latest work on the Islands of Four Mountains project at the Geological Society of America conference in Seattle on Sunday!

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Former IFM team member John Lyons showed a beautiful photo of Bogoslof by Maritime Helicopters pilot Dan Leary!

At the IAVCEI conference watching USGS geoscientist John Lyons giving his talk about monitoring Bogoslof eruptions using infrasound and earthquakes. Cool!

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Final post for today - because I have been giving friendly reviews to any manuscript intended for the special issue, I have neglected to send Mitsuru Okuno the last needed information for the !!** accepted pending revision**!! paper for the journal Radiocarbon! Mitsuru provides carbon-14 dates and a first description of the CR02 tephra sequence that interrupted the human occupation in the area. Finally today I spent time on the Whitman Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and collected this BackScattered Electron (BSE) image of a glass shard from the CR02 ash. This was my favorite so I call it Greedo.

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As one of the guest editors (with Ginny and Bre and colleague Ben Fitzhugh at Univ of Washington), we will be reading all the manuscripts (in progress) for the QR special issue. We have divvied up the manuscripts so that we will each act as editor for about 5 manuscripts. Obviously we cannot be co-authors and editors for the same paper. What does this all mean? Each guest editor will choose 2-3 other scientists to read and comment on the paper. The fabled [kidding] and highly... effective peer review process. Then the guest editor reviews the comments, adds their own comments, and makes a recommendation - accept with revision or thumbs down. I've never heard of an actual - accepted with no revision. There's always re-writing. Then the top editorial board of QR decides whether they accept the guest editors findings and the comments. Then the whole package returns to the author(s) to revise. Where are we now? A couple of people have actually submitted their papers. The rest of us are circulating nearly final drafts among co-authors for additions, corrections, and accolades (we hope).

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Even though we haven't been posting much, we are all working at top speed to finish collecting data, make all the figures, and write up manuscripts for the special issue of Quaternary Research that we hope will be published in 2018. I will try to post for the next week or two to show what the manuscript writing process is like....

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Melissa Deiman Good added 4 new photos.

Kiska Island is remote and beautiful, but no stranger to humans. It was home to the Aleuts for thousands of years, became a Russian fur-trading outpost in the l...ate 1700s, and was captured and occupied by the Japanese during WWII. The Japanese occupation site is now considered a National Historic Landmark, but the scars of war are still present. The hills are pocketed with crater holes and rusted air-raid guns still look over Kiska Harbor, which has its fair share of shipwrecks, beached two-man Japanese submarines, and other war relics. Our work, and weather, brought us to Kiska Harbor, where underwater the marks of the past were not as visible on the outcropping rocky reefs. However, this scarred landscape has not been saved from the explosion of sea urchins. Even here we see the deforestation of the kelp forests and we continue to explore the patterns of biodiversity between the urchin barrens, kelp forests, and the transition zones in between.

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Check out photographs of the Islands of Four Mountains research at the new Museum of the Aleutians Facebook page:

IFM project co-principal investigator Dr. Virginia Hatfield is now the Director of the Museum of the Aleutians (MOTA). Ginny and the MOTA team, temporarily including doctoral student Kale Bruner, created a new exhibit that highlights the archeological discoveries about the people of the Islands of Four Mountains. It's thrilling to see how a scientific conversation that started in 2011 has blossomed into an opportunity for public conversation about the prehistory of the Aleutians. See

I spent Monday and Tuesday at Macquarie University embedding small obsidian fragments, a subset from the thousands of pieces of debitage recovered on the project, in epoxy. Three reasons to do this: first the obsidian tools could only be analyzed by non-destructive pXRF; the debitage flakes allow us to verify the accuracy of the pXRF results. Secondly the pXRF analyzes only a small number of the chemical elements that are usually available in geochemical data sets. Checking t...hese fragments with LA-ICPMS and electron microscope will give us the best chance to make inferences about the source or sources of these fragments. Finally, Ginny potted a few flakes that visually were distinct from the majority of the obsidian used. Unfortunately all of these flakes were too tiny for pXRF analysis. Taking this final analytical step will help me test the hypothesis that the people of the IFM used only one type of obsidian. Looking forward to finishing up this exciting project!

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New exhibit at the Museum of the Aleutians highlights fishing technology

Richard John Barnes

The long awaited ninth update in my semi-ongoing blog about my work at the Museum of the Aleutians in Unalaska, Alaska. This time, we look at the new exhibit I ...put together on the bone fishing technology used by the native Unangan. These tools and techniques lasted long after Russian contact, only truly beginning to disappear from common use during the 1900s.

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Well, it’s certainly been a while. I don’t exactly have any excuses for that, but let’s just blame it all on an election induced coma. As part of a grant from the (soon-to-be-elim…

Preparing a small exhibit of the Islands of the Four Mountains artifacts for the Museum of the Aleutians auction event tomorrow night

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AVO is raising Cleveland Volcano to Orange/Watch following an explosion at 1:10p AKDT today.

Alaska Volcano Observatory home page.


Earlier this month AVO was able to repair our Makushin webcam - this camera looks northwest at the summit of Makushin. The summit is visible now, and perhaps the clouds will continue to clear.

Latest Aleutian Working Group Blog:

Author: Debra G. Corbett | Nanutset Heritage One question I hear as an archaeologist working in the Aleutian Islands is “what was their religion like?” or “What did they believe”? Everyone familia…