Norton's Pew Fellowship was awarded to help Native Americans of northern Alaska share their own practical knowledge about conserving Arctic marine resources. His fellowship followed an unusual course, which he describes in the following paragraphs.
"In the early 1990s I applied for a Pew Fellowship to enable Iñupiat Eskimos to showcase their stewardship over such resources as the bowhead whale. My goal was to help prepare Iñupiat college students for museum careers through museology courses at the University of Alaska. At the time, an Iñupiat Heritage Center was being planned for Barrow, Alaska. This promised to be one of several similar centers offering career openings for suitably prepared students. My Pew Fellowship enabled my college to hire a replacement instructor during 1996 and 1997. During this time I pursued a sabbatical assignment with the Arctic Institute of North America at the University of Calgary, to analyze northern Canadian and Russian museums and heritage centers.
Upon returning from my sabbatical, I was stunned to learn that administrators of my college had decided to retain the replacement instructor, rather than renew my teaching contract, and to abandon museology courses altogether. Perhaps no other ongoing project has been so abruptly unhorsed by a Pew Fellow's home institution. My experience at least indicates, however, that the Pew Fellows' Program was supportive. Managers reacted to my institutional upheaval by affording me the flexibility and extra time to repair as much damage as possible.
My unfinished Pew-supported objectives led me to seek further grant support from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the National Science Foundation. With their help, most of my original goals were eventually accomplished, although they necessarily took the form of published analyses rather than a stream of former students following brilliant career tracks in museums and heritage institutions. In hindsight, the early support I received from Pew stimulated and catalyzed ideas that led to interdisciplinary work more recently by an extended nexus of colleagues in Alaska, Canada and Russia. Collective contributions by this network achieved more significant insights than my work alone ever could have."
David Norton strives to enhance stewardship of the biological and cultural resources of rural Native communities in North America, in particular, the Inupiat Eskimos. To accomplish this, he focused from 1990-1998 on developing natural science courses tailored to meeting the diverse needs of rural Alaskan college students. Norton also developed museum studies and curator training programs for Native Alaskan students.
His background includes more than 30 years in teaching, research and administrative positions with academic, government and private organizations in Alaska. Prior to joining the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium as the senior scientific staff member overseeing research addressing ecosystem health-human health connections, Norton was a professor of Natural Sciences at the Arctic Sivunmun Ilisagvik College in Barrow, Alaska. He continues to teach as an adjunct professor with the University of Alaska System.
Ph.D., University of Alaska
1973: Zoophysiology, Alaska, USA
Master of Science, University of Alaska
1970: Zoology, Alaska, USA
Bachelor of Arts, Harvard University
1967: Biology, Massachusetts, USA
KEY LEADERSHIP POSITIONS
North Slope Borough
1983-Present: Science Advisory Committee, Member
Trustees for Alaska
Arctic Institute of North America
Arctic Institute of North America
KEY AWARDS & HONORS
1994: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment