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Viewing: ANT 475 / ANT 575 : Environmental Archaeology

Last approved: Sat, 14 Jan 2017 09:01:57 GMT

Last edit: Thu, 06 Oct 2016 13:05:04 GMT

Change Type
ANT (Anthropology)
Dual-Level Course
Cross-listed Course
Environmental Archaeology
Environmental Archeology
College of Humanities and Social Sciences
Sociology (16SOC)
Term Offering
Fall and Spring
Offered Upon Demand
Spring 2016
Previously taught as Special Topics?
Course Delivery
Face-to-Face (On Campus)

Grading Method
Graded with S/U option
Contact Hours
(Per Week)
Component TypeContact Hours
Course Attribute(s)

If your course includes any of the following competencies, check all that apply.
University Competencies

Course Is Repeatable for Credit
John Millhauser
Assistant Professor

Open when course_delivery = campus OR course_delivery = blended OR course_delivery = flip
Enrollment ComponentPer SemesterPer SectionMultiple Sections?Comments
Open when course_delivery = distance OR course_delivery = online OR course_delivery = remote
Prerequisites:ANT 253 and one 300-level anthropology course

Is the course required or an elective for a Curriculum?
Archaeological investigation of human-environmental interactions and human impacts on ancient environments. Focuses on the causes of environmental change (climate, human activity) and the implications for understanding human nature, predicting future problems, and addressing current crises. Topics include reconstructing paleoclimate, the extinction of megafuana, anthropogenic landscapes, environmental degradation and the collapse of ancient states, sustainability and the Anthropocene.

Title change -- to bring the course in line with ANT575 (graduate section taught in tandem)

Pre-requisites -- to bring the course in line with other 400-level anthropology classes

Catalog description -- to reflect the content of the course as taught by the current instructor, who will be the only instructor for the foreseeable future.


Is this a GEP Course?
GEP Categories

Humanities Open when gep_category = HUM
Each course in the Humanities category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Mathematical Sciences Open when gep_category = MATH
Each course in the Mathematial Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Natural Sciences Open when gep_category = NATSCI
Each course in the Natural Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:




Social Sciences Open when gep_category = SOCSCI
Each course in the Social Sciences category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Interdisciplinary Perspectives Open when gep_category = INTERDISC
Each course in the Interdisciplinary Perspectives category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Visual & Performing Arts Open when gep_category = VPA
Each course in the Visual and Performing Arts category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:






Health and Exercise Studies Open when gep_category = HES
Each course in the Health and Exercise Studies category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:








Global Knowledge Open when gep_category = GLOBAL
Each course in the Global Knowledge category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve objective #1 plus at least one of objectives 2, 3, and 4:


Please complete at least 1 of the following student objectives.






US Diversity Open when gep_category = USDIV
Each course in the US Diversity category of the General Education Program will provide instruction and guidance that help students to achieve at least 2 of the following objectives:
Please complete at least 2 of the following student objectives.








Requisites and Scheduling
a. If seats are restricted, describe the restrictions being applied.

b. Is this restriction listed in the course catalog description for the course?

List all course pre-requisites, co-requisites, and restrictive statements (ex: Jr standing; Chemistry majors only). If none, state none.

List any discipline specific background or skills that a student is expected to have prior to taking this course. If none, state none. (ex: ability to analyze historical text; prepare a lesson plan)

Additional Information
Complete the following 3 questions or attach a syllabus that includes this information. If a 400-level or dual level course, a syllabus is required.
Title and author of any required text or publications.

Major topics to be covered and required readings including laboratory and studio topics.

List any required field trips, out of class activities, and/or guest speakers.

This course will be taught every other year as a regular offering in the anthropology curriculum, focused on archaeology students

This course will introduce you to the ways in which archaeologists conceptualize past environmental change, how they study it, and how they build convincing arguments about human-environmental interactions. We will build a foundation of key concepts and methods before exploring individual cases from the question of what caused the extinction of megafauna at the end of the Pleistocene period, to the question of whether human-caused environmental degradation was the culprit behind the collapse of states and civilizations. Because studying humans in their environment is a holistic practice, we will draw on the works of historians, geographers, paleobotanists, geologists, paleontologists, and ecologists as well as anthropologists and archaeologists.

Student Learning Outcomes

Students in this course will learn how to:

- Explain the methods and data archaeologists use study past environmental change

- Build convincing arguments about human impacts on ancient environments

- Differentiate the drivers of environmental change from local to global scales

- Show how the natural world of the present day is a product of long-term human activity

- Identify stakeholders, and what is at stake for them, in the context of climate change

Evaluation MethodWeighting/Points for EachDetails
Participation10This is a discussion-based class. Participating in discussions will make class more rewarding for everyone. I do not expect that everyone will be comfortable participating in the same way, so I make sure to create different contexts for discussions in small groups and as a class. I also recognize that everyone has bad days, but aim to be an active and polite contributor on most days. You may find it helpful to bring notes on the readings with you. These could include a summary of the main points (argument, data, methods, significance), connections you see with other course topics, questions, and criticisms. With these in hand, you’ll be ready to jump in for each topic. Failure to attend and participate will affect your grade after two absences or two meetings in which you do not participate. One percentage point will be subtracted for each day missed or without participation after the first two.
Written Assignment30During most weeks, I will assign one to three readings for annotation (more for graduate students). I will post these readings on Moodle as well as the nota bene website (an online tool to annotate readings). For each reading, you are required to post at least two thoughtful comments or questions and respond to (or answer) at least one post by another student. These annotations will be due by the morning of the day they are assigned (typically on Wednesdays) to allow me time to read them before class. Undergraduates are expected to post at least two original comments and one response to another student. Annotations will be graded on a a scale of excellent, satisfactory, or poor depending on the evidence of synthetic thinking (making connections within and among papers) and original and critical thought. Graduate students are expected to post at least four original comments and two responses to other students. Graduate student annotations for additional readings will be due on Friday by 5pm.
presentation10Students will present their ongoing research over two days (length of presentation to be determined by class size). The presentation is not the last word on your research, as the final paper is due two weeks later, but they should be polished and present a complete statement of your question and findings.
Project10Students will read rough drafts of two of their peers and provide written and in person feedback. I will provide a format for presenting feedback later in the semester.
Major Paper40The majority of your grade will be based on an original research project about human impacts on the environment (15-20 pages for undergrads, 20-25 for grads). I will provide more details about the paper in class. While writing your paper, you will go through several stages that are not graded (writing a topic statement, creating a preliminary bibliography, and writing a rough draft). Failure to complete these on time, or turning in sub-standard or incomplete work will cut your final grade for the paper by 5% for each assignment.
Additional Requirements for Graduate Students:
Graduate student have additional readings (+50 to 100 pp per week) and additional weekly annotations.
Graduate student final paper is five pages longer than undergraduates' paper.

ABGS Reviewer Comments:
- Is the designation of seminar is correct? Should this be lecture based on the format? UPDATED
- It will be great if the instructor can provide more information to clarify the discussion based on students readings. The main concern is that undergraduate students will read less articles than the graduate students hence the students in the class will not have the same level of "information" to facilitate smooth discussions/exchange of comments.
dtcase (Tue, 23 Feb 2016 21:02:18 GMT): Rollback: To finalize changes
n51ls801 (Fri, 08 Apr 2016 14:35:16 GMT): The Syllabus Tool was used to generate the syllabus and it was reasonably assumed by its author that this would yield a syllabus that conforms to the current syllabus regulation.
Key: 310