Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Subsistence Harvest Diversity in Alaskan Food Sharing Networks Public Deposited

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  • Two striking characteristics of human beings are the diversity of resources that we use to sustain our lives and the extent to which we engage in coordinated, collective efforts to obtain and consume these resources. Together, these two characteristics are the foundation of human subsistence patterns. In many remote Alaskan villages, these features manifest through social networks of food sharing in which a small number of households harvest the bulk of the resources consumed by the local community. For subsistence researchers in Alaska, the productivity of these households is understood to be crucial to the food security of populations that depend on subsistence resources of the bulk of their nutrition. While the diversity of resources that these communities use is acknowledged, it has not been analytically investigated. This thesis applies the quantitative methods of social network analysis and multivariate statistics to a dataset containing information on food sharing connections, resource harvest levels and their species composition, and household demographic characteristics in 8 Alaskan villages on the Middle Kuskokwim River. The goal of this analysis is to better understand the diversity of species that are used in these villages and to test whether a household’s position within a food sharing network is related to the diversity of their harvest.
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