Aron Crowell

Alaska Director of the Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
Department of Anthropology


  • Ph.D., Anthropology, University of California, 1994


Dr. Aron L. Crowell is an Arctic anthropologist and Alaska Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Arctic Studies Center. His research and publications in cultural anthropology, archaeology, and oral history reflect collaborations with indigenous communities of the north and with major museums and research institutions. He is the curator and project director of the Smithsonian exhibition Living Our Cultures, Sharing Our Heritage: The First Peoples of Alaska at the Anchorage Museum and directs a wide range of current programs in Alaska Native heritage, languages, and arts. Crowell has led or contributed to earlier exhibitions including Crossroads of Continents: Cultures of Siberia and Alaska; Looking Both Ways: Heritage and Identity of the Alutiiq People; and Gifts of the Ancestors: Ancient Ivories of Bering Strait. Hedirectsarchaeological research around the Gulf of Alaska from the Katmai coast to Glacier Bay, and currently leads National Science Foundation-funded research on the human and environmental history of Yakutat Bay. Crowell has a Doctorate in anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley and he is an affiliate faculty member of the University of Alaska.

Research Interests

  • Cultural Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • Oral History
  • Museum Anthropology
  • Alaska
  • Northwest Coast