Chie Sakakibara received her Ph.D. in Geography from the University of Oklahoma (OU) in 2007. She is a cultural geographer interested in global indigenous studies and human-animal interactions. Prior to her Ph.D., she has completed her degrees in Native American Studies (B.A., 2000) and Art History (M.A., 2002) at OU. Her current research focuses on global warming and its influence on traditional human relationships with the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) in the Alaskan Arctic. During her fieldwork among the Iñupiaq people in Barrow and Point Hope, Alaska (2004-7), she was adopted by several whaling families and experienced their subsistence activities including whaling. Chie’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) Geography and Regional Science Program and by the Arctic Social Sciences Program. She also works closely with institutions such as the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium (BASC), the North Slope Borough Department of Wildlife Management, the Center for Ethnomusicology at Columbia University, and the Arctic Studies Center at Smithsonian Institution. In the past, Chie has given several invited lectures at various institutions: the Center for Ethnomusicology at CU, Tokyo University of Science (Japan), Nagoya University (Japan), Nagoya City University (Japan), the Barrow Arctic Science Consortium and Ilisagvik College (Barrow, Alaska). In addition to her research, she collaborates with the Center for Ethnomusicology for their Iñupiaq music heritage repatriation project led by Prof. Aaron A. Fox. Chie has served on the faculty in the Native American Studies Program at OU. Her article titled “Drowning Home: Iñupiaq Storytelling and Climate Change in Point Hope, Alaska” (2008) appears in The Geographical Review (Volume 98, Number 4).
Dr. Sakakibara is currently (2015-) Assistant Professor of Geography at Oberlin College, Oberlin, Ohio.