Study Abroad, Field School, & Research
Anthropology Program Resources
Anthropology Teaching and Research Laboratory
The WCU Anthropology program has a fully functional laboratory facility used for teaching archaeology and biological anthropology courses, as well as for faculty and student research projects, processing field specimens, and conducting artifact specimen and collections management. The laboratory is equipped with wet lab capabilities, PC and MAC computer stations, Leica projecting stereo and light microscopes, Leica binocular light and stereomicroscopes for student use, computer USB microscopes, artifact reference collections, two portable flotation tanks, fossil hominin casts, human and non-human primate skeletal casts, anthropometric equipment, and instruments used to study molecular variation.
Food and Sustainable Heritage Ethnographic Field School
In partnership with the Umbra Institute, this field school examines the ways in which sustainable food systems are employed, in discourse and practice, as markers of cultural identity in central Italy. Interdisciplinary in nature, the department also collaborates with nutrition professors for a holistic understanding of the role of food in Italian society. Located in the beautiful, historic city of Perugia, students are trained in qualitative, ethnographic methods while observing, talking, and even interning with organic local producers at markets, agritourism sites, and vineyards in the surrounding Umbrian countryside—renowned for its cured meats and cheeses, hearty wines, and year-round truffle production. Students also enjoy hands-on cooking lessons, gelato-making, cheese-making and bread-making workshops. For more information, see the webpage (www.umbra.org/wcu) or contact Dr. Di Giovine.
Students study human biological variation, evolutionary theory and genetics. The major areas of study within this subfield include primatology (non-human primate studies), paleoanthropology (the fossil and genetic record of human evolution), and human biology (the biological variation among living human populations, including physical variation, health, nutrition, reproduction, child growth and development, among other characteristics)
Research in Latin America
How do large groups of people and entire communities develop a common understanding of their social situation and articulate this understanding through action in strikes, riots, uprisings, or cultural and social movements? Students interested in these questions have recently had the opportunity to travel and participate in faculty research exploring local histories and twentieth century patterns of collective, social action in an industrial city in Colombia. As the project expands, students will continue to have opportunities to engage in field research activities in Colombia, including archival research, and conducting interviews and collecting life histories. For more information contact Dr. Arredondo.
Gishwati Primate Project
In conjunction with the WCU Department of Psychology, the anthropology program hosts a primatology field school at West Chester University’s own field station in Gishwati National Park, Rwanda. Students come face-to-face with non-human primates as they aid faculty in their study of chimpanzees and golden monkeys. They also travel to a nearby national park that is home to mountain gorillas and tour Rwanda, learning about its rich culture and difficult past. Tourism, heritage and museum students can also participate in a long-term research project with primatologists and cultural anthropologists examining the biological and psychological impact of visitors on great apes in the park. Students may also engage in primate studies more locally at the Philadelphia Zoo. For more information, contact Dr. Chancellor.
Archaeology Field School
Students may learn how to do archaeology by joining a vibrant faculty-lead student research team that works on real archaeological projects throughout the Middle Atlantic region. Students participate in all aspects of field research while taking a practical and multi-disciplinary approach to studying the human and environmental past. Current and on-going research focuses on eastern Native American heritage and climate change impacts to heritage sites and stakeholder communities. Projects are often conducted in cooperation with regional heritage and preservation organizations, thus also exposing students to applied elements of research. For more information contact Dr. Wholey.