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Athabasca University

Dr. Laurie Milne




  • Ph.D. Archaeology (Simon Fraser)
  • M.A. Archaeology (Calgary)
  • B.A. (First Class Honours) Archaeology (Calgary)


Welcome to my AU web page! I decided to become an archaeologist at the age of 12 after spending several weeks   with relatives visiting archaeological sites in central Alberta.  When I returned home my mother suggested that we check blowouts west of Bowden for artifacts and thus began a childhood passion for avocational archaeology.   In the fall of 1964  I  registered in the Honors Archaeology program at the University of Alberta at Calgary and was among the first cohort of students in the newly created Department of Archaeology.  I received my  B.A Honors in archaeology in 1968 and my M.A. in archaeology in 1972.  I commenced teaching at Medicine Hat College in February 1971 and  continued as a fulltime instructor until  June 2012 when I retired.  I continued to teach  part-time  until April 2015.     In the interim I enjoyed three sabbaticals and one leave-of absence during which I completed my Ph.D. in archaeology from Simon Fraser University.  I have taught more than 25 different anthropology, sociology, geography and native studies courses for the University of Lethbridge, the University of Alberta,  and Medicine Hat College .  In addition, I have instructed archaeological fieldschools for Medicine Hat College and Brandon and Lakehead Universities, and also served as an adjunct professor at Brandon University.  Fieldwork has taken me to the Northwest Territories, British Columbia, Alberta, Montana, Manitoba, Ontario,  and New Brunswick. 

My interest in   distance education course delivery began  at Washington State University in 1974  and soon after I wrote my first two distance education courses for Medicine Hat College:  Introduction to Cultural Anthropology and Introduction to Physical Anthropology.   In 2000 I became a tutor for Athabasca University and   currently tutor courses in archaeology, native studies, and  prehistory. I was also SME for  3  AU courses: Anthropology 272 (Introduction to Archaeology), Anthropology 320 (Ancient Civilizations),  and Anthropology 394 (Urban Anthropology) and served as Acting Coordinator of Anthropology for over 3 years.

Teaching in a community college forced me to expand my academic background and led to a fascination with interdisciplinary research.  This approach saw me draw together information from    grassland ecology, ethnohistory, prehistoric archaeology, sociology and geography as I crafted my dissertation, entitled Coping With Uncertainty: Cultural Responses to Resource Fluctuations in the Northern Plains (1993).  Throughout my career   my passion has been   teaching, both in the classroom and through distance education.

I have been a member of the Society for American Archaeology, the Canadian Archaeological Association, the Plains Anthropological Society, the Rupertsland Research Centre, and the Alberta Archaeological Society for decades.  I regularly attend their annual conferences as well as those of the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges, the Society for Applied Anthropology, and the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology.  I  serve as  a  regular  book reviewer for the Canadian Journal of Archaeology and have also published reviews in   the Canadian Journal of Native Studies, the Journal of Anthropological  Research, and Plains Anthropologist.     My most recent publication is the chapter, “Life is Risky…”: Historical Documents and Reconstructing Subsistence Resource Structure, Resource Stress, and Food Procurement Patterns in the Early Historic Northern Plains”  which appeared in  the edited volume,  Minds Across the Forty-Ninth: Richard G. Forbis: Plains Archaeologist and Prehistorian (2012) .

My personal interests include golf, gardening, reading, hiking, travel and my family. Tabbies Oscar and Oliver and Finn, the pug, are my constant companions in my home office!

Updated January 27 2014 by Student & Academic Services

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