Anna Kerttula de Echave

National Science Foundation
Arctic Social Science Program Web Site:
Anna Kerttula de Echave is a lifelong Alaskan, an anthropologist and is the Program Director of the Arctic Social Sciences Program at the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF). Her research has spanned three decades of fieldwork in the Arctic, during which she has covered a diverse range of research topics from land use patterns and subsistence economies to identity, household organization, and domestic violence. Her host populations have been equally diverse including the Yup’ik, Denai’ina, and the Siberian Yupik and Chukchi of Russia. She has also participated in archaeological research projects investigating prehistoric Athabaskan and Pacific Inuit sites. Her early research in the former Soviet Union culminated in the book, “Antler on the Sea: the Yupik and Chukchi of the Russian Far East,” published by Cornell University Press in 2000. Over the last 14 years at NSF, under Anna’s guidance, the Arctic Social Sciences program has set standards for community participation in scientific research and currently the ASSP portfolio includes archaeology, ethnology, theoretical linguistics and language vitality documentation, community based participatory research, social psychology, social history, human geography, sociology, political science, economics, decolonizing methodology, indigenous science and knowledge, and interdisciplinary research. As Program Director, Anna has focused on ways to create partnerships between Arctic communities and academic researchers; from encouraging and funding Arctic Native researchers and organizations to a multitude of educational programs that give rural Arctic students science experience and promote their interests in the sciences. In 2012, Anna served as the US Embassy Science Fellow to the US Embassy in Iceland. And in 2014 and 2016 taught a course on Arctic peoples for the Polar Law Program at the University of Akureyri, Iceland. Anna became a member of the Social, Economic and Cultural Expert Group of the Sustainable Working Group of the Arctic Council during the Canadian Chairmanship and will continue as a member and the Co-Chair, along with Co Chair Liza Mack, for the duration of the U.S. Chairmanship.