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Undergraduate Courses at Brooklyn College, CUNY

ANTH 1200: Human Origins

Human Origins is an introduction to biological anthropology and provides students with an understanding of how our species evolved. This course aims to teach students about the evolutionary history, ecology, and behavior of humans and other primates, while also providing information on a range of topics including the history of evolutionary thought, basic genetics, and elementary skeletal anatomy. Students also examine and interpret exhibits during a required trip to the American Museum of Natural History and document the behavior of our living non-human primate relatives during a required trip to a New York City zoo of their choice.

ANTH 3010: Special Topics: After the Dinosaurs: Earliest Primate Radiations

Like many other evolutionary radiations, the history of primates was greatly influenced by phenomena such as climate change and extinctions. This course provides students with a background in evolution, paleontology, and extinction, with emphasis on events that are important in the early evolutionary history of primates. Students also learn about the effects of extinction and global warming on mammals and the implications of how climate change can seriously impact our lives and future on Earth.

This course is based in Montana, North Dakota, Wyoming, and/or Colorado and provides students with paleontological field experience that helps them understand how primates and other mammals responded following the demise of the dinosaurs. Students are trained in excavation, screen-washing, and fossil preparation techniques. They have numerous opportunities to collect fossils including those of extinct mammals, dinosaurs, turtles, fish, crocodilians, and even fossil plants, which ultimately paint a picture of the environment of our earliest primate relatives in North America.

ANTH 3235: Primate Evolution: The Fossil Record

This course traces primate evolutionary history from their first appearance in the fossil record to all the primate groups that are still living on Earth today. Students learn about past primate diversity and paleobiology with comparisons to the present, and have numerous opportunities in the classroom to examine casts of fossils and bones of extant primates. Hypotheses of evolutionary relationships among primates and adaptive scenarios for primate evolution are evaluated in light of molecular, morphological, and other available evidence.

ANTH 3240: Osteology

This course focuses on characteristics of the human skeleton with examples of how it can be used in studies of functional morphology, paleodemography, and paleopathology. This course provides students with a background in human skeletal morphology, general aspects of bone biology, and techniques for sexing and aging skeletal material. Students have many opportunities in the classroom to examine real human skeletons, as well as casts and models, in order to familiarize themselves with the identification of human bones and important bony landmarks.

ANTH 3250: Paleoanthropology

Paleoanthropology is an introduction to the hominin fossil record and focuses on what we know about millions of years of our own evolutionary history. This course is designed to familiarize students with the fossil evidence for human evolution by means of lectures, examination of hominin fossil casts, and examination of modern human bones. This class allows students to analyze fossil data to evaluate hypotheses of evolutionary relationships among hominins, as well as hypotheses relating to the behavior of our human ancestors.

ANTH 4000: Senior Seminar

This course is specifically designed for senior undergraduate students who are majoring in Anthropology. Students conduct research and complete a senior thesis on a topic in one of the four subfields of Anthropology. This course aims to provide students with research and technical writing support.

ANTH 5660 & 5661: Independent Research 1 & 2 and ANTH 5688: Independent Study

These courses are designed to provide students with independent study and or research experience on an approved topic supervised by a faculty member.

Graduate Courses at The Graduate Center, CUNY

ANTH 79000: Evolutionary Morphology (NYCEP Core Course)

This course is primarily an introduction to primate skeletal morphology from an evolutionary perspective. It consists of lectures, discussions, and many opportunities for students to examine skeletal elements of extant primates as well as fossil casts. The first half of the semester focuses on aspects of cranial, dental, postcranial, and some soft tissue anatomy of extant primates, with background on primate systematics, adaptation, and evolution. The second half of the semester surveys the morphological diversity within groups of extant primates while broadly tracing 66 million years of euarchontan evolutionary history from the oldest known plesiadapiform, Purgatorius. Reviews of primate systematics bridge neontological and paleontological aspects of this course, and students learn how primate comparative morphology is used in functional, behavioral, and phylogenetic analyses.

ANTH 89904: Independent Study / Research Physical Anthropology (NYCEP Internship)

NYCEP PhD students are required to complete two internships. One internship is to be taken with a NYCEP faculty member outside the student’s primary institution. The other internship is to be taken with a NYCEP faculty member who specializes in an area other than the student’s focus. Students are also expected to undertake an equivalent tutorial with their own advisor, usually not for credit.

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