Anthropologist, Curator of Arctic and Northern Ethnology

Anthropologist Dr. Igor Krupnik in a blue shirt sitting at his desk in front of a keyboard. Papers are on the wall behind.
Dr. Igor Krupnik studies the cultures of Arctic peoples, mainly in Alaska and Siberia. Photo by Levon Abrahamian.

Dr. Igor Krupnik is Head of the Ethnology Division of the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. He is also Curator of the Arctic and Northern Ethnology collections at the Museum, and in this role he is in charge of more than 30,000 ethnological objects from Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Siberia, and the Northwest Coast.

His primary research fields include modern cultures, ecological knowledge, and cultural heritage of the Arctic people, primarily in Alaska and Siberia; history of Arctic science and indigenous studies; and the impact of modern climate change on Arctic residents.

Igor has been coordinator of several international projects and he has done extensive research and knowledge documentation in communities in Alaska, the Bering Sea region, and along the Russian Arctic coast. For his role in building bridges among social and natural scientists, and polar indigenous people he was awarded a medal from the International Arctic Science Committee in 2012.

Since joining the Smithsonian in 1991, Igor has published more than 20 books, edited volumes and exhibit catalogs; guest-edited several special journal issues, and produced numerous papers in anthropological journals and collected volumes. Recently, he was co-editor of the book "Our Ice, Snow and Winds (Nashi l’dy, snega i vetry). Indigenous and Academic Knowledge about Sea Ice and Climate Change in Eastern Chukotka," published in Russian in 2013 by the Russian Heritage Institute.