Exploring Human Bio
This course is an exploration of human biology from a biocultural and evolutionary perspective. The class will provide you with a better understanding of what it means to be human, how humans came to exhibit such a wide range variation, and what biological anthropology can contribute to your understanding of the world. In this class students will learn to integrate the theory and methods used in human biology research through lectures, assignments, and lab sessions. This course will explore topics including human genetics, growth and development, nutrition, disease, and reproduction. We will also use the course as an opportunity to introduce you to the important contributions of biological anthropologists to the study of race, inequality, sex and gender, and health among others.
Every Other Term
Course usually offered in spring term
Quantitative Data Analysis
This course is a requirement for the Biological Anthropology major and will provide a foundation in the methods, theory, and topics of Biological Anthropology, preparing students to take more advanced coursework in the subject.
• Understand evolutionary theory and natural selection as they apply to humans.
• Consider human biology and anatomy and identify those sources of variability in contemporary human populations.
• Actively participate in academic discussions and debates regarding the biology, health, and variability of contemporary human populations.
• Learn and practice methods used in the anthropological study of human biology.
• Integrate the theory and methods of biological anthropology through laboratory activities and write-ups.
• Enhance computational and quantitative abilities through the analysis of human biology data.
• Evaluate scientific studies and their presentation through critical engagement with scientific scholarship.
• Develop an appreciation for human variation and human diversity.
• Think creatively about anthropology and how it relates to other disciplines.
Students will be required to complete one “stepped” research paper (8-10 pages) over the last quarter of the class. The stepped description refers to the fact that the students will complete small steps towards the paper (i.e., statement of topic, annotated bibliography, prospectus) that will assure they are working on it in advance of the deadline and to assure that all students are familiar with the formal steps of research and paper production. Students will be provided a number of possible topics for their paper, but also have the option of selecting a topic of their interest not included in the list with instructor approval.
There will be a midterm exam and a final exam, both of which will include multiple choice and matching questions as well as short and long answer questions. Each will cover half of the course materials for the semester (i.e. both are non-cumulative.)
Students will complete weekly writing assignments in conjunction with their lab sections. These lab write-ups will typically require statistical analyses that students will conduct and write up in the form of short reports. Weekly lab write-ups may also take the form of response papers to articles of relevance to the week’s topical discussion. The length of these write-ups will vary based on the assignment, but all are intended to begin to familiarize students with multiple forms of scientific writing.
Participation in lab activities and discussion.