Ecological and Environmental Anthropology
The focus within the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia is ecological and environmental anthropology, which crosscuts the four traditional subfields. The decision to focus the program in this way was taken by the faculty in the late 1980s and over the course of the last 20 years. By taking this decision the Department has achieved high national and international visibility, and is now widely acknowledged as one of the best programs in ecological and environmental anthropology in the United States.
In the department, we do not make the distinction between basic and applied research and development that is the tradition in academia, but instead seek to train students within the program in the context of ongoing, real-world interdisciplinary projects addressing real-life issues. Faculty and students are engaged in active projects throughout the world, including Mexico, Central and South America, the Pacific Islands, South-East Asia, East Africa, Western Europe, Canada, Southern Appalachia, and Georgia. Their commitment is to the value of systematic fieldwork and methodological, intellectual, and academic rigor in the pursuit of anthropology.
The mission of the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgia is to pursue and disseminate anthropological knowledge of human behavior, human biology, and human-environment interaction. The Department of Anthropology does not merely apply to the study of humans the insights gained in other fields from the study of non-human organisms, but theoretically and methodologically advances understanding of the culture-bearing human species with its complex behavioral patterning. It thus contributes to a key institutional strength of the University of Georgia, which are the number of departments and programs that emphasize an ecological and environmental approach to their subject matter.