Fall Course Guide


Courses in Biological Anthropology (Division 318)

Fall Term, 1998 (September 8-December 21, 1998)

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161. Introduction to Biological Anthropology. (4). (NS). (BS).
The course explores the evolutionary basis for human variability. For this purpose, the course will deal with a review of principles of human evolution, fossil evidence, relationship among human and non-human primates in behavioral and morphological characteristics, human inter-population differences, and environmental factors that account for these differences. The course includes three midterm exams, lab and review session, and final exam. (Frisancho)
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168. First Year Seminar in Primate Field Studies. Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (NS). (BS).
A seminar designed for first-year students. Students will be introduced to science as a mode of inquiry by applying Darwin's theory of natural selection to the behavior of non-human primates. Emphasis will be given to long-term field studies of primates in the wild. One three-hour discussion/lecture. Class participation, weekly writing assignments, and a term paper required. (Mitani)
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368/Psych. 437. Primate Social Behavior I. (4). (NS). (BS).
An introductory course that will familiarize students with the primate order. The major focus of the course will be the behavior of prosimians, monkeys, and apes in the wild. Special attention will be given to primate ecology and long-term field studies. Social organization, kinship systems, sexual behavior, vocal communication, competition, and other topics will be described and analyzed from the perspective of modern evolutionary theory. This course can be taken on its own, and serves as an introduction to Anthropology 369 (Primate Social Relationships) and 568 (Primate Behavioral Ecology). Three lecture hours, and one discussion weekly. Two midterms, a term paper, and a final exam. WL:1 (Mitani)
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398. Honors in Biological Anthropology. Senior standing and permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit twice.
Seniors who choose to enter the Honors program undertake a senior project under the supervision of a member of the faculty. Most often this takes the form of an original paper of greater scope than is possible in an ordinary term paper, and it gives the student experience in conducting and writing up his or her own research. Students who are interested in joining the senior Honors program should consult with the departmental Honors advisor for biological anthropology. Previous participation in the college Honors program is not a prerequisite for joining the senior Honors program.
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452. Population Genetics and Anthropology. One course in anthropology or biology. No credit granted to those who have completed Biology 490. (4). (Excl).
This course covers the basics of population genetics, with special reference to evolutionary questions and questions relating to anthropology. Core concepts of population genetics will be emphasized, including: selection, drift, Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium, neutrality, heterogeneity, genetic distance, gene flow, founder effects, and bottlenecks. Regular homework assignments will require students to calculate these various measures from real and simulated data. Final projects will involve population genetic analyses of data to test hypotheses using real and simulated data. There will be midterm and final exams involving quantitative and qualitative questions about population genetics and evolution. (Merriwether)
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467. Human Behavioral Ecology. Two of: Anthro. 161, 368, Biol. 152, 154, 404, 494. (3). (Excl). (BS).
This course considers the anthropological significance of recent advances in natural selection theory. Particular topics include: cooperation, reciprocity, inclusive fitness, sexual selection, mating systems, and parental investment. Students will read the primary scientific literature to learn how anthropologists test evolutionary hypotheses in varied geographic and cultural contexts (for example, Ache hunter-gatherers of Paraguay, Dogon agriculturalists of Mali, Kipsigi pastoralists of Kenya, 19th-century Europeans, and contemporary North Americans). Natural selection theory will also be used to probe the field of human reproductive ecology, with emphasis on the demographic transition, historical demography, the evolution of menstruation, and female fecundity. In addition to exams, students will write a term paper in which they hone their ability to discriminate among alternative view points using both qualitative and quantitative data. A strong background in the natural sciences is assumed, including any two of the following courses: Anthropology 161, 368; Biology 152, 154, 404, 494. (Strassmann)
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471. Undergraduate Reading and Research in Anthropology. Permission of instructor. (1-3). (Excl). A maximum of three credits of independent reading may be included in a concentration plan in anthropology. (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of six credits.
Laboratory training and work in the techniques used in various aspects of research in biological anthropology.
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562. Human Nature. Biol. Anthro. 467 and permission of instructor. (2). (Excl).
This is an advanced seminar in evolutionary psychology. Topics include: human social relationships, morality, religion, and the emotions. Students will read provocative books, such as Robert Wright's The Moral Animal (or other books of current interest), as well as original scientific articles. Students will be encouraged to discuss the subject matter in relation to their own experiences. This is a fast paced course intended for students who have already read any two of the following texts: The Selfish Gene (R. Dawkins), The Biology of Moral Systems (R.D. Alexander), Introduction to Behavioral Ecology (J.R. Krebs and N.B. Davies), or Sex, Evolution, and Behavior (M. Daly and M. Wilson). Related books may be substituted for the above. Grading will be based on class participation and an in-depth research paper. (Strassmann)
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563. Mechanisms of Human Adaptation. Senior standing. (3). (Excl). (BS).
The course is addressed at evaluating the physiological response and adaptations that enable humans to survive environmental extremes such as those found under stressful conditions of heat, cold, solar radiation, high altitude, undernutrition, overnutrition, and Westernization of dietary habits. Because this course is addressed to students of several disciplines and to facilitate understanding of the mechanisms of human adaptation to the environmental stress, the discussion of the major topics is preceded by sections outlining initial responses observed in laboratory animals. Emphasis is given to the short adaptive mechanisms that enable an organism to acclimate itself to a given environmental stress. Subsequently, the long-term adaptive mechanisms that enable humans to acclimatize themselves to natural, stressful environmental conditions are discussed. Throughout the course, emphasis is given to the effects of environmental stresses and the adaptive responses that an organism makes during its growth and development and their implications for understanding the origins of population differences in biological traits. The method of instruction is lecture and some discussion. The course also involves practice with field laboratory techniques. (Frisancho)
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565. Evolution of Genus Homo. Anthro. 365 or 466. Primarily for students concentrating in biological anthropology or vertebrate evolution. (4). (Excl). (BS).
Evolution of Homo sapiens from its Australopithecine ancestor, and the appearance of modern humans and their races are the focus of this course. Topics include the hunter/gather adaptation and the late Pliocene origin of Homo sapiens, habitation of the world and the origin of races; the "Eve" theory of modern human origins; the fate of the European Neanderthals. Three hours of lecture, two hours of scheduled laboratory, and a third unscheduled hour required weekly. There is a midterm, final, and term paper. Cost:2 WL:4 (Wolpoff)
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Courses in Cultural Anthropology (Division 319)

Courses are arranged by groups:

Introductory Courses,
Ethnology-Regional Courses,
Ethnology-Topical Courses,
Linguistic Anthropology,
Archaeology, and
Museum and Reading and Research Courses.

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