Ecological Anthropology addresses the ways in which the world's cultures have adapted to and organized their environments across time and space. From the forest clearance practices of the pre-colonial Maya to the carbon footprint of local Sarasotans, students in this track learn to trace out the thick inter-dependencies among social practices, cultural values, and the bio-physical world. Within this track, the sub-field of environmental justice has drawn considerable interest among students who have in recent years turned their attention to the racial, class, gender, and international dimensions of both past and present environmental practices.
Faculty advisors include but are not limited to:
Anthony Andrews (Anthropology): Dr. Andrews, a specialist in the prehispanic and historic archaeology of the Maya area, regularly teaches introductory courses in archaeology and biological anthropology, as well as more specialized courses in Ecological Anthropology (with Prof. Dean), Method and Theory in Archaeology, Ancient Mesoamerica, History and Culture of Mesoamerica, Andean Prehistory, and Early Cultures of the Old World, all of which have ecological components.
Erin Dean (Anthropology): Dr. Dean, an Africanist and specialist in environmental anthropology, conducts research on community-based conservation in Tanzania and Zanzibar, and is widely interested in the relationships between human communities and the environment in the US and abroad. She teaches a wide range of courses that focus on or deal with environmental issues, including Introduction to Cultural Anthropology, Ethnography: Theory and Practice, Ecological Anthropology (with Prof. Andrews), Development in an Anthropological Context, Contemporary Anthropology of Africa, East African Anthropology, Conservation and Indigenous Knowledge, and the Anthropology of Food.