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James "Jim" Magdanz
Originally from Nebraska, James "Jim" Magdanz came to Alaska in the late 1970s as a photojournalist, and has spent the next 40 years life living in and studying small Iñupiaq communities in Arctic Alaska. From 1981 to 2012, Jim worked for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game's Division of Subsistence as a Subsistence Resource Specialist. Living in Nome and Kotzebue, Jim collected subsistence harvest information, and documented traditional and customary hunting, fishing and trapping and Native traditional knowledge. He is the author of numerous reports about subsistence activities and Iñupiat culture in the northwestern region of Alaska. Eventually, Jim became interested in the sharing networks that are an essential part of Alaska subsistence practices. Iñupiat produced and distributed wild foods within multi-household, extended family structures very similar to those of their ancestors, despite profound social and economic changes over the last century. This developed into a continuing interest in network analysis as a method to understand rural economies, and became the basis for his Ph.D in natural resources and sustainability that he earned in 2020 from the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Having been one of the earliest field researchers in the Division of Subsistence, Jim has a great interest in the organization's history and promoting broader understanding of the Division's legacy and Alaska's subsistence management system overall.