Department Chair & Faculty Advisor, Cultural Anthropology
Dr. Erin Hayes
Faculty Advisor, Physical Anthropology
Dr. Brian Pierson
Faculty Advisor, Geography/GIS
Adrian Youhanna, GISP
Faculty Advisor, Meteorology
Jason Finley, Ph.D., CCM, GISP
A Brief History of Anthropology at Pierce College
The first class in anthropology at Pierce College was taught in 1956 by Richard "Doc" Tullar, one of the founding faculty members of the college. Doc taught zoology, but he had an interest in physical anthropology. Physical Anthropology and Cultural Anthropology were added to the catalog.
The Anthropology Curriculum
Anthropology is a broad interdisciplinary field that studies the origin and diversity of our human experience in both the modern and ancient world. At Pierce College, we offer courses in all four sub-fields of Anthropology: Cultural Anthropology, Physical Anthropology, Linguistic Anthropology, and Archaeology.
Physical Anthropology involves investigating our origins and biological diversity. Physical Anthropology (Anthropology 101-Human Biological Evolution and the Anthropology 111, Lab) are the courses that receive the greatest enrollment because they fulfill the general education requirement in the biological sciences. Over the years we have developed an anthropology collection consisting of human and primate skeletal material, fossil casts, archaeological material, and much more to use in teaching these classes. The other courses that fit into this category are Anthropology 118, The Fundamentals of Forensic Anthropology and Anthropology 119, Introduction to Forensic Anthropology.
Archaeology is the study of human prehistory, which covers most of our species time on the planet. How is it that just 20,000 years ago all humans lived in small mobile hunter-gatherer groups, but today the majority of us live in large urban societies? Archaeologists recover evidence of ancient societies in order to answer such questions. Our archaeology program consists of three courses, Anthropology 105 (Prehistoric Peoples), Anthropology 106 (Introduction to Archaeology), which includes a lab component, and Anthropology 113 (Field Archaeology).
Cultural Anthropology involves the study of human cultural diversity in our contemporary world. The largest field is cultural anthropology that fulfills both social science and humanities general education requirements. The courses that fall into this category are Anthropology 102 (Human Ways of Life: Cultural Anthropology), Anthropology 109 (Gender, Sex and Culture), Anthropology 121 (Anthropology of Religion, Magic, and Witchcraft), Anthropology 132 (Native Peoples of North America), and Anthropology 141 (Culture, Illness and Healing).
Linguistic Anthropology seeks to understand the deep connections between language and culture. Research in this subfield covers a broad range of subjects, such as understanding the ancestral ties between modern languages, deciphering ancient writing systems, and how language shapes the way in which people view the world. Courses Offered:Anthropology 161: Introduction to Language and Linguistics
Anthropology is an active participant in the PACE program. Anthropology 101 and 102 are routinely offered. Anthropology 101, 102, and 121 are frequently given as honors classes. We are also active in the Oasis/Encore program participating in the faculty lecture series each semester.
The anthropology program at Pierce College continues to be robust one and one of the largest community college anthropology programs in the nation. The faculty is very active in the community college anthropology community, and frequently attends on a regular basis annual meetings of the American Anthropology Association and the Society for Anthropology in Community Colleges.