Museum Anthropologist, Anthropology,
Arctic Studies Center, Smithsonian Institution
Biography: Born and raised in Concord, Massachusetts, Stephen Loring spent his childhood walking plowed fields in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau who instilled a decidedly 19th-century antiquarian appreciation of Native Americans, arrowheads, turtles, and possibly extinct species of birds. A keen interest in the northern wilderness and a profound appreciation of the people who lived there, led him from Maine to Quebec, and finally to Labrador. Since 1971, nearly without exception, he has spent several months every year in northern Labrador conducting archaeological and ethnohistorical research with Innu and Inuit community interests. He received a PhD from the University of Massachusetts in 1990. He has been the director of the Northern Studies Program at Middlebury College, a lecturer at the University of South Carolina and an adjunct professor of anthropology at American University. Since 1991 he has been the Museum Anthropologist and Arctic Archaeologist with the Arctic Studies Center at the Smithsonian Institution where he oversees the program's commitment to northern Indigenous communities. He has explored the shores of the nearly-forgotten Champlain Sea and has walked numerous ancient beach lines and eskers in Labrador, being passionate about all matters pertaining to the Pleistocene. He has conducted archaeological and paleo-environmental research in New England, Quebec, Labrador, Arkansas, Peru, Argentina and in the Aleutian Islands. He is fond of adverse conditions, preferring his weather to be windy and wet. He has been down in caves and up on mountains, he has slept in fossil beds and eagle nests and prefers sunsets without any buildings in the way. There is almost nothing he wouldn't do for cloudberries or Ramah chert.