I grew up in the Pacific Northwest with dreams of becoming a Jedi knight, starship captain, or archaeologist. Since only one of these is a “real job,” I became an archaeologist. Archaeology is a subfield of anthropology. Anthropology combines the best aspects of many of my interests: the rigorous discipline of science, a big picture perspective (global, past, present, and future), yet a focus on the human species and our interconnectedness with the rest of the natural world.
Long story short, I graduated from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) with a Ph.D. in anthropology in 2009. My doctoral field research was with Aka and Bofi forest foragers (historically called “pygmies”) of the Central African Republic. I spent months observing these amazing people as they hunted, butchered, shared, and cooked rainforest species. When they were done with the animal bones, I analyzed them in a lab and applied the results to interpreting bones from prehistoric archaeological sites.
For me, teaching anthropology is “living the dream” because I get to continuously explore the field that I love, and have fascinating discussions with students. Ask my former students, I can relate anything to anthropology and they keep me learning with good, thought-provoking questions. Anthropology is serious business, but nothing is more fun than helping students develop a greater appreciation for the wonders of being human.
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