EDUCATION: Top of the World

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Science  16 Nov 2001:
Vol. 294, Issue 5546, pp. 1423
DOI: 10.1126/science.294.5546.1423a

To some, the Far North is a treasure trove of minerals and fossil fuels ready to be harvested. Others see their traditional home or a priceless wilderness deserving protection. At Arctic Circle, you can immerse yourself in the history and cultures of the area above the 66th parallel and explore current debates on resource use, land rights, and cultural identity.

Curated by Norman Chance, a retired anthropologist, the site combines original content with links to exhibits, news articles, reports, and essays. Read about European explorers such as Henry Hudson, whose single-minded hunt for the mythical Northwest Passage provoked his crew to mutiny, and hear native views of colonization and its dismal aftereffects. More than a dozen ethnographic accounts introduce you to peoples such as the Cree of Quebec, whose homeland has been transformed by dam-building. Chance also delves into hot controversies. For instance, backgrounders provide multiple perspectives on drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and plans to build part of a national missile defense system in Alaska.

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