Anthropology & Earth Science

Anthropology and Earth Science Department
King Hall 103, (218) 477-4217

Chair: Bruce Roberts
Faculty: Russell Colson, Rinita Dalan, Erik Gooding, David Kramar, George Holley, Karl Leonard, Paul Sando, Michael Michlovic (Emeritus)

The Department of Anthropology and Earth Science offers majors in Anthropology, Earth Science Education and Geosciences. Minors are offered in Anthropology and Geosciences. Certificate is offered in Geographic Information Science.

The Anthropology major provides students with an opportunity to understand people in different cultures, places, and times. Students are introduced to the vast range of human cultures, and to the relationship between human beings, their culture, and their environment. At Minnesota State University Moorhead, the major includes an introduction to the four sub-fields of anthropology - cultural anthropology, archaeology, biological anthropology, and linguistics, along with a menu of specialized courses in cultural anthropology and archaeology. The major includes two emphases, or tracks. One is in archaeology, for students wishing to focus on the study of ancient cultures; and the other is in cultural anthropology, for those students interested in the study of contemporary cultures from a cross-cultural and global perspective.  There are specialized learning experiences in the form of field and laboratory courses in archaeology, specialized training in geophysical prospection, cultural tours and field schools in ethnography. The field experiences are offered in summer sessions.

The Geosciences major provides students with an opportunity to understand the earth, including processes that have shaped its past and those that will shape its future, and the relationships among place, landscape, climate, culture, economy, and people. Students can choose one of three emphases: geology, geoarchaeology, or geographical science.

Geology is for those students interested in understanding how the earth works presently and what has happened in earth's ancient past. Students who choose this track will focus on our environment and its processes, stories of earth's past, and the formation and extraction of natural resources of the earth.

Geoarchaeology is for those students interested in understanding what geological evidence and reasoning reveal about past human cultures and activities on earth. Students who choose this track will focus on the geological, chemical, biological, and physical methods for interpreting artifacts, sediments, and environments important in understanding our human past.

Geographical Science is for those students interested in understanding the relationships among place, people, and environment. Specifically, this emphasis focuses on understanding why things occur where they do. Students who choose this track will focus on understanding the distribution of climate, cultures, and landscapes on earth, the reason for those distributions, and the way these interact with and affect humans and our economies. In addition, students will have the opportunity to gain knowledge in the application of Geographic Information Science (GIS) to solve spatial problems related to the real world

A minor in Geosciences is also offered. Students should see an advisor concerning which geoscience courses fit their particular needs or interests.

The Certificate in Geographic Information Sciences provides a focused area of study and basic competency in the theory, technology, and application of Geographic Information Science. Upon completion of the GIS certificate, students will have a broad understanding of the foundations of GIS and spatial analysis, and know how to apply that knowledge to solve spatial problems. In addition to serving our current student population, the certificate program is also intended to serve recent or returning graduates who wish to acquire specialized training to meet current market demands for GIS professionals.

The Earth Science Education major is for those students interested in teaching earth science in grades 9-12, and meets the requirements for licensure in science (grades 5-8). Our Earth Science Education program is particularly strong in providing in-depth coverage of the wide range of earth Science subjects needed for Minnesota licensure, including physical geology, historical geology, meteorology, astronomy and planetary science, oceanography and interaction of people with the land.