Teaching

Courses Currently Taught

ANTH 222: Introduction to Ecological & Evolutionary Anthropology w/ lab (Fall)

An introductory course in Ecological and Evolutionary Anthropology is an opportunity for students to learn basic concepts and methods for the interdisciplinary study of:

  1. the evolution of human physiology and human behavior;
  2. the relationship between hominids and non-hominid primates; and
  3. the study of relationships between a population of humans (historic, contemporary, or future) and their biophysical environment.

Students will explore the evolution of the human species and the nature of contemporary human variation.  Course learning begins with the principles of ecology, evolutionary theory, and genetics to establish a framework for the study of human evolutionary biology.  Fossil evidence for human evolution will then be considered, including comparisons with non-human primate ecology and evolution, to reconstruct prehistoric lifeways.  Finally, discussion turns to modern human variation, paying particular attention how adaptation to environmental stressors like climate, nutrition, disease, and culture have shaped our species – and continue to do so.

ANTH 452/652: Anthropology and Climate Change (Fall)

Human activities now influence ongoing global climatic change, and the outcome remains uncertain for communities and cultures around the world. This interaction between humans and climate provides a rich area of study for anthropologists in an interdisciplinary context. Course readings and discussions use social-ecological/complex adaptive systems theory, via a historical ecology framework, to analyze 6 contemporary and historic case studies.  The goal is to understand the impacts of global climate change on communities, analyze how climate interacts with other sources of vulnerability and stress, and assess opportunities and barriers to successful responses and adaptation. Case studies will include: Shishmaref, Alaska; India’s El Niño famines in the Victorian Era; Katrina urban damage; sea level rise in the Pacific Islands; Classic Maya droughts, and Neandertal extinction (case studies may change depending on year).  The chosen case studies bridge the archaeological and sociocultural, with plenty of room to discuss the impacts of climate on environment, livelihoods, cultural organization and institutions, and health and well-being.

ANTH 266: Changing Climate, Changing Culture (Spring)

Climatic changes have helped shape hominid evolution, contributed to the rise and fall of complex societies, and affected socio-ecological systems. Human activities now influence ongoing climatic change, and the outcome remains uncertain for communities and cultures around the world. This interaction between humans and climate provides a rich area of study for anthropologists in an interdisciplinary context. In this course, we will explore past, present, and future interactions between humans and climate. Discussions, classroom and take-home activities, and case study analyses provide students a foundation for appreciating the role of anthropology in understanding, responding to, and preparing for climate change.  Students in this course will read broadly to understand climatic influences on human-environment interactions and anthropological contributions to the study of climate change.  They will develop their knowledge of methods used to study social aspects of climate change and explore how findings may be applied to improve the sustainability of communities in an uncertain future.

(syllabi available through UMD Anthropology website)

ANTH 468/688: Researching Environment and Culture

How do humans shape their surrounding environment?  How does the environment shape human communities and culture?  In this applied and project-oriented course, students use ethnographic and mixed methods to research a locally-based, environmental sustainability issue.  Classroom time will be split between seminar discussions of theory, anthropological methods, and relevant case studies, and ‘lab’ work focused on project development, data analysis, and report write up.  Students are expected to spend additional time outside class conducting interviews, collecting data, text analysis, writing, and cataloging recordings for public access.

ANTH 498O:  Advanced Field Training in Ethnography: Teaching Anthropology (random)

College educators employ a range of theories, tools and techniques in the classroom and online to support and encourage student learning.  Many of these same theories, tools and techniques are also used in professional situations to inform and educate peers, colleagues, and the general public.  While this course will focus on teaching anthropology in a university classroom, discussion, readings, guest speakers, and short assignments/activities will provide students opportunities to develop practical and pedagogical skills for classroom instruction and beyond.

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Previously Taught Courses

University of Maryland, Dept. of Anthropology

  • ANTH 220 Introduction to Biological Anthropology w/ Lab
  • ANTH 468O/688O Researching Environment and Culture
  • ANTH 489/689 Anthropology and Climate Change

American Public University, Dept. of Science & Technology 

  • SCIN 100/101 Introduction to Biology/Introduction to Biology Lab
  • SCIN 190/191 Introduction to Environmental Science/Environmental Science Lab
  • SCIN 118/119 Human Ecology/Human Ecology Lab

University of Georgia, Dept. of Anthropology

  • ANTH 1102 Introduction to Anthropology
 
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