Applied Anthropology and Geography

The Applied Anthropology and Geography major combines rigorous academic preparation with practical skills in GIS, archaeology and forensic anthropology. Uniting the fields is the importance placed on spatial data; broadly defined to include cultural and physical landscapes, regions, single locales and the human body.

Our program provides practical training in archeological, geographic and forensic anthropological field research. The physical anthropology program includes the Forensic Investigation Research Station.  Geography courses provide experience using social science principles in GIS. The archeology program provides knowledge of regional prehistory and cultural resource/heritage management.

The incorporation of GIS into the program sets our students apart from traditionally-trained, anthropology undergraduates. Additionally, the combination of cultural resource management with GIS prepares graduates for work managing federal or state lands and at private cultural resource management companies. Should you aspire to graduate education, our program will also prepare you for deepening your studies. 

We offer a B.A. in Applied Geography and Anthropology, minors in Archaeology and Forensic Anthropology, and a certificate in Cultural Resource Management

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Career Opportunities

The Applied Anthropology and Geography major is more than another liberal arts major. It is designed to be interdisciplinary AND skill-based, meaning our graduates will leave the program with the ability to reason through a number of perspectives and have the skills to operationalize them. In particular, expertise in GIS sets the student up for a broad variety of jobs in the public and private sectors. The biological/ forensic anthropology component has been used by graduates in their work as coroners and in law enforcement, as well as those who go on to graduate school. The archaeology component is designed explicitly to give students the backgrounds they need to become federal resource managers.

Faculty

All full-time faculty hold PhDs and are active scholars and researchers, bringing their work into the classroom, and bringing the students outside the classroom into active research projects.

MELISSA CONNOR, PH.D. BA, MA, University of Wisconsin-Madison; PH.D University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Professor, Forensic Anthropology and Director, Forensic Investigation Research Station. Interests: The Role of Exhumations in Transitional Justice Situations; Measuring Post-Mortem Interval in Desiccated Remains; Pedagogy combining STEM and Social Science fields.

TAMMY PARECE, PH.D. Instructor of Geography.  Manages the Geography Education and Outreach Program at CMU (GEO-PRO).  Ph.D. in Geospatial and Environmental Analysis (Virginia Tech); MS and BS from Virginia Commonwealth University.  Research Interests:  Geography Education, Urban Agriculture, Outreach to K-12 in geography and geospatial technologies. 

JOHN SEEBACH, PH.D., Southern Methodist University, 2011 Associate Professor of Archaeology. Research Interests: Western Slope Prehistory and the Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers, Public Archaeology in collaboration with Native American Nations, Cultural Landscapes.

Purdy Mesa

Get Involved

  • We have two active clubs: the Anthropology Club and the Forensic Science Club.
  • The summer archaeology field school gives students the hands-on opportunity to participate in research projects exploring the outstanding archaeology of the region.
  • An internship at the Forensic Investigation Research Station give select undergraduate students a highly unusual opportunity to work with both the remains of the recent dead and modern osteological material.
  • Internships in Geography provide hands-on experience in applied GIS.

 

Graduates of this major will be able to do the following:

Students will demonstrate effective communication both orally and in writing by being precise, including factual, well-cited details, organizing their facts appropriately, and using non-judgmental language through professional documentation and/or oral presentations (communication fluency).

Students will apply basic research methodology sufficient to evaluate research in their field. This will include knowing the difference between qualitative and quantitative methods, understanding descriptive statistics, and basic analytical statistics (quantitative fluency).

Students will demonstrate the tools to be life-long learners, at a minimum this will include being able to evaluate information presented from other students oral presentations, to material found on the internet, and scholarly journal articles (critical thinking).

Students will demonstrate a set of tools appropriate to their sub-discipline (specialized knowledge):

  1. Archaeology students will have a basic set of field archaeological skills
  2. Forensic Anthropology students will be able to macerate remains and conduct a basic osteological analysis.
  3. All students will be able to create maps in a geographical information system program and do basic spatial analysis.

 

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