TAC International Film Festival 2021 Keynote Speaker:
the Amelia Earhart Project
TAC Festival 2021 Keynote Address:
“Behind the Scenes of “Expedition Amelia,” the National
Geographic Documentary on the 2019 Search”
Dr. Jaime Lynn Bach (Ph.D., Anthropology, U. Montana) is an anthropologist and archaeologist who has played a key role in the search for Amelia Earhart. She took part in the 2017 and 2019 National Geographic expeditions to search for evidence of Earhart’s presence on the island of Nikumaroro and at other islands in that region of the Pacific Ocean. Dr. Bach currently works as an archaeologist at SEARCH, a global archaeology consulting firm that has completed more than 4,000 projects across 47 US states and 32 countries. At SEARCH, she is responsible for field investigations, archaeological monitoring, documentation, and report production.
After her undergraduate years at the University of San Diego, Dr. Bach received two graduate degrees from the University of Montana: a master’s degree in Anthropology in 2010 and a Ph.D. in Anthropology in 2017. Her dissertation, Perceptions of Environmental Change: Nikutoru, Tabiteuea Maiaki, Kiribati, used traditional ecological knowledge to assess environmental change on an outer island in the country of Kiribati. Dr. Bach’s research interests include traditional cultural properties, traditional ecological knowledge, and the impacts of climate change on sites and societies. When not volunteering as a wilderness first responder, feeding the homeless, or conducting water quality monitoring, Jaime practices mounted archery and hula dancing and is a certified master scuba diver.
In 2005 and 2006, she served in the Peace Corps in the island nation of Kiribati and is fluent in the local language of Kiribati. Since then, she has returned multiple times conducting research and visiting her friends and family on the islands.
Since 2007, Dr. Bach’s involvement in the search for Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, who disappeared in 1937 during the ill-fated attempt to fly around the world, has centered on the cultural context of the Pacific and relations between the project and the people of Kiribati. She has participated in three expeditions to Nikumaroro and serves on the research team as a cultural specialist and government liaison, often coordinating between the field teams and host country nationals.