Anthropology

Anthropology is the study of human behavior. The discipline is holistic, cross-cultural and explores what it means to be human. You will consider such fascinating questions as how peoples’ behaviors change over time, how people move about the world and how the human species has evolved over millions of years.

What Will You Learn? What Skills Will You Acquire?

At Western, you will build a broad geographical and temporal perspective of human biological and cultural adaptations. This includes an understanding of cultural diversity in our own society, in our world at large and in the past.

Beyond the Classroom

Western students have multiple opportunities for field research and access to state-of-the-art technology. You are encouraged (in many required courses) to develop your own creative and relevant research projects to design, implement and present your results - giving you hands-on opportunities that at many other schools are only available to graduate students.

Your courses will incorporate such programs as the latest Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Total Station survey and mapping, and scanning electron microscopy.

One of the most extraordinary aspects of studying anthropology at Western is our access to the unique archaeology of the Gunnison Valley. Western State Colorado University has conducted field schools on the Tenderfoot Mountain Site since 1991. Tenderfoot, near the campus, is home to structures that date to the earliest Archaic and maybe to late Paleo-Indian periods, which began about 8,000 years ago. (See more about Archaeology Studies at Western.)

After Graduation

With their degrees in anthropology, Western students have continued on to graduate schools and have pursued careers in industry and government research.

Next Steps

If you're interested in Western's Anthropology program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family. 

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Courses

 ANTH 107 - INTRODUCTION TO GENERAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3 credits)

A general introduction to anthropology. All three sub-fields of modern anthropology: cultural anthropology (archaeology and ethnography), physical anthropology, and linguistics are covered.

 ANTH 218 - PHYSICAL ANTHROPOLOGY WITH LABORATORY (4 credits)

An examination of biological variation in modern human populations and biological evolution of humans as shown by the fossil record. Prerequisite: ANTH 107.

 ANTH 219 - ARCHAEOLOGY WITH LABORATORY (4 credits)

A study of the methods and theory of modern archaeology. The emphasis is on how archaeologists understand the past. A general chronology of world prehistory is presented. Prerequisite: ANTH 107.

 ANTH 230 - CULTURAL ANTHROPOLOGY (4 credits)

An exploration of ethnographic theory and methods, and a cross-cultural and comparative examination of societies studied by ethnographers. Prerequisite: ANTH 107.

 ANTH 265 - ANTHROPOLOGICAL WRITING AND STATISTICS (3 credits)

An introduction to the skills employed in the field of anthropology, using data sets and techniques from anthropological research. Prerequisites: ANTH 107, ENG 102, and MATH 140.

 ANTH 319 - PALEOLITHIC ARCHAEOLOGY (3 credits)

An in-depth study of the early development of culture-bearing humans. The evolution of Paleolithic lifeways are traced, from early pebble tool cultures, through the peopling of the Old World by Homo erectus, to the coexistence of Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon in Europe, and finally to the advent of specialized hunters during the Upper Paleolithic. The course covers Paleolithic culture history as well as methods. Artifact analysis is included. Prerequisite: ANTH 218 or ANTH 219.

 ANTH 320 - CULTURAL ECOLOGY (3 credits)

An examination of key perspectives, theories, and methods in the study of ecological anthropology. Students learn about the use and definition of the environment by groups from different cultural backgrounds, and build a comparative perspective in so doing. The focus is on contemporary groups, but archaeological examples are used as comparison and to build time-depth in our understanding of cultural ecology. Prerequisite: ANTH 107 or instructor permission.

 ANTH 322 - ANALYSIS OF MATERIAL CULTURE (4 credits)

A LABORATORY course training students in analytical methods in anthropology. Students are responsible for a major project in which they carry out all phases of anthropological research, including research design, background research, hypothesis, analysis, and presentation of results. Materials studied include lithics, fauna, ceramics, and botanical remains. An excellent preparation for (or follow-up to) the Archaeological Field School. Prerequisite: ANTH 219.

 ANTH 333 - ARCHAEOLOGY OF COLORADO (3 credits)

A detailed look at the archaeological sequences of Colorado with an emphasis on western Colorado. Time periods from Paleo-Indian to Historic are described. This course is a recommended preparatory course for the Archaeological Field School in Colorado or the Archaeological Field Trip. Prerequisite: ANTH 219.

 ANTH 344 - INDIANS OF NORTH AMERICA (3 credits)

A detailed look at the native people found in North America and their relationships to each other and the non-native settlers of North America. Several case studies are examined in depth. Prerequisite: ANTH 107 or instructor permission.

 ANTH 355 - MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY (3 credits)

An examination of medical systems from various cultural groups, focusing on beliefs, methods of healing, health practitioners, and medical pluralism. Prerequisite: ANTH 107.

 ANTH 369 - ANTHROPOLOGY FIELD TRIP (1 credits)

A field study of archaeological and ethnographic cultures in the western United States. Students camp and tour ancient sites, modern Native American towns, and anthropological museums. This course may be taken for a maximum of six credits.

 ANTH 392 - INDEPENDENT STUDY ( 1-6 credits)

framework of instruction. Prerequisite: admission to the Teacher Education Program.

 ANTH 397 - SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1-6 credits)

Special topics (1-6 credit hours, to be determined by faculty, department and student)

 ANTH 465 - RESEARCH SEMINAR IN ANTHROPOLOGY (3 credits)

A study of the history and intellectual growth of anthropology is paired with individual work on student projects, which employ theory and methods discussed in class. Students present their work to the college community. Prerequisite: ANTH 265 and senior standing; or instructor permission.

 ANTH 467 - ETHNOGRAPHY FIELD SCHOOL (4 credits)

A field experience in cultural anthropology in which students are immersed in the culture, traditions, and lifeways of a group of people, learning methods of inquiry and anthropological perspectives through hands-on experiences. This course may be taken for a maximum of eight credits. Prerequisite: ANTH 230 or instructor permission.

 ANTH 469 - ARCHAEOLOGY FIELD SCHOOL (4 credits)

A field-experience course in which students learn and perform proper field techniques. Some Laboratory work may be involved. This course is offered during the summer session and may be taken for a maximum of eight credits. Prerequisites: ANTH 219 or instructor permission.

 ANTH 497 - SPECIAL TOPICS ( 1-6 credits)

Special topics (1-6 credit hours, to be determined by faculty, department and student)

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Lecturer in Anthropology
B.A., University of Texas at Austin; M.A., Washington State University; Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin.
Phone: (970) 943-2222
Office Location: Hurst Hall 031A
Professor of Anthropology
B.A., University of Colorado; , M.A., Ph.D., University of Minnesota.
Phone: (970) 943-2062
Office Location: Hurst Hall 31C
Professor of Anthropology
B.A., M.A., University of Colorado; Ph.D., University of New Mexico.
Phone: (970) 943-2073
Office Location: Hurst Hall 25B