Courses taught by Tom Shaw
Shaw is not teaching anthro in the Fall of 2010
Department of Anthropology
Stevenson Hall 2054
1801 East Cotati Ave
Rohnert Park, CA 94928-3609
707- 664-3920 fax
of Arts in Human Development
Of all the human sciences, anthropology is the broadest.
Anthropologists study how human beings have come to be as they are, a physically
distinct species, communicating through language, adapted to every habitat
on earth, and living an amazing variety of lives. As anthropologists have
become increasingly engaged with the world of the 1990s, they have led in
the development of a global focus on how culturally different peoples interact
and how humans change their customary ways of life.
Anthropology consists of four (some would say five) subdisciplines:
- Biological Anthropology deals with the evolution of
the human body, mind, and behavior as inferred through study of fossils
and comparisons with behavior of other primate species.
- Archaeology examines our past ways of life through
the interpretation of material remains, written records, and oral traditions.
- Cultural Anthropology explores the diversity of existing
human ways of life, how they work, how they change, and how they interrelate
in the modern world.
- Linguistic Anthropology examines the structure and
diversity of language and related human communication systems.
- In addition, Applied Anthropology emphasizes how the
theories, techniques and methods of anthropology can be employed to
facilitate stability or change and solve problems in real world situations,
which for this faculty includes preserving Native American and early
Californian cultural heritages, aiding indigenous specialists to collaborate
in the planning of development, encouraging ethnographic understanding
of schooling in its cultural context, and consulting on local community
Through training in anthropology students learn of many
different cultures throughout the world, how they developed, the significance
of their differences, and how they change. Students are thus equipped
with a broad perspective for viewing both themselves and others.
Inevitably, students of anthropology face being asked
what they can do with their degree. For professional anthropologists,
many of whom are not academics lodged in universities and research institutions,
opportunities for employment in government, in the business world, in
education, and in social service are surprisingly diverse. For example:
Cultural anthropologists helped the government of Venezuela
to plan an entire new city in a previously little-occupied region. Working
for Xerox, cultural anthropologists assist in product development by studying
the problems office workers encounter when working with new equipment.
Uncovering prehistoric cultivation systems, archaeologists have suggested
how techniques from the past may be re-employed in the present to achieve
sustainable agricultural systems. Archaeologists are employed by a host
of federal and state agencies charged with locating and preserving sites
that contain information about our own prehistoric and historic past.
Biological anthropologists work in a variety of settings, including medical
schools (as anatomists) and medical research facilities (as medical geneticists
and physiologists), in crime laboratories (as forensic anthropologists
and expert witnesses), in industrial and military facilities (as designers
of appropriate environments), and in zoos and nature conservancies (as
keepers and students of primates).
Linguistic anthropologists are active in the design of curricula for teaching
national languages to immigrants and indigenous populations. In Japan,
where female speakers are expected to use complex terms of subservience
and respect, linguistic anthropologists have studied how female scientists
manipulate their language to achieve clear communication in technical
At a more general level, students of anthropology acquire skill in the
formulation of both theoretical and practical questions regarding human
life, in collecting and organizing data on many levels of human behavior,
and in constructing appropriate interpretations and generalizations based
on well-thought-out procedures. The combination of knowledge about human
ways of life, and training in analytic skills provides training valuable
in virtually all fields of endeavor that deal with human society and culture.
This perspective is invaluable in preparing students for careers either
in research professions or in vocations involving human services or planned
change. Some of these are: cultural resources management, environmental
planning, nursing, teaching, public health administration, business, public
relations, law, community development, and international service.
The bachelor of arts in anthropology provides a balanced
grounding in the theoretical approaches and the body of knowledge central
to the discipline of anthropology. The general major may be modified through
a special emphasis in the anthropology major, which provides students
with an opportunity to design an individualized course of study emphasizing
a particular subfield of anthropology. The minor in anthropology recognizes
basic training in anthropology as an adjunct to a major in other subjects.
The department also offers a master of arts degree in
cultural resources management, which involves the identification, evaluation,
and preservation of cultural resources, as mandated by cultural resources
legislation and guided by scientific standards within the planning process.
The primary objective of the master's program in cultural resources management
is to produce professionals competent in the methods and techniques appropriate
for filling cultural resources management and related positions, and to
provide the theoretical background necessary for research design, data
collection and analysis.