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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Denise M. Glover
ANTH 458
Seattle Campus

Ethnobiology: Plants, Animals, and People

Culturally mediated relationships between human and natural environment studied in a comparative and evolutionary framework. How do peoples in diverse cultures recognize and name plants and animals and understand their relationship with nature? How is this traditional ecological knowledge applied in people's daily lives? Prerequisite: either BIO A 201, ARCHY 205, or one 200-level ANTH course.

Class description

This course is an introduction to the inter-disciplinary field of ethnobiology—the study of knowledge of and beliefs about the natural world among human groups (ethnos). Formed out of the studies of ethnoscience in the discipline of anthropology, ethnobiology includes a variety of subject matters and theoretical approaches. We will discuss topics relevant to the field, including classification of natural kinds, subsistence, sustainability, resource management, and biopiracy, and will obtain an understanding of historical developments within the field. The course includes a lab component, where we will engage in hands-on exploration of important methodological techniques in ethnobiology, as well as several on-campus fieldtrips.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

A combination of lecture, discussion, and hands-on lab work.

Recommended preparation

Background in anthropology desirable, but not required.

Class assignments and grading

Writing (critical reading notes, term paper), mid-term exam, project (poster)


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Denise M. Glover
Date: 02/24/2008