2018-19 Catalogs

Geography-Anthropology Overview

Professors: Savage (Chair), Bampton, Edney, Pavri, Swanson; Associate Professor: Hamilton; Lecturers: Dobres, Lockridge; Affiliated Faculty: Kim; Professors Emeriti: Crader, Davis, Hodges, Tizon; Director of USM-GIS: Valentine; Social Justice Community Outreach Organizer: Demaine; Administrative Specialist: Witham.

The department fuses Geography’s and Anthropology’s common interests in both applied field work and in the relationship between human populations and their environments, both natural and built. The combined program explores global issues through community engagement. Students learn the methodologies and “ways of knowing” of each discipline and integrate them in an interdisciplinary framework to foster their appreciation of their humanistic and scientific responsibilities as global citizens.

Our long history of and strong commitment to environmental and social knowledge, applied learning, and experiential education positions our students well for internships, graduate programs, and the workforce. Undergraduates are involved in our community-engaged teaching and research activities.

As a department, we share the following broad academic values and goals for our students:

  • an appreciation of cultural or ethnic diversity and a knowledge of global geography;
  • an understanding of the relationship between people and the environment, today and in the past, and the dialectical relationship between society and nature;
  • an understanding of human evolution as both a biological and cultural process;
  • a knowledge and appreciation of the connections between Maine, New England and the world;
  • a responsiveness to local and regional concerns including heritage, present issues and future prospects for the region;
  • an ability to use research methods to solve complex questions;
  • a knowledge of the theory and practice of qualitative research techniques;
  • cartographic knowledge and skills and geospatial technologies;
  • an ability to formulate good research questions and to think critically; and
  • an ability to apply the skills of our training to real-world problem solving.

The Geography-Anthropology program offers the following: Bachelor of Arts in Geography-Anthropology with tracks in (a) Sustainable Cultures & Communities, (b) Cultural & Natural Heritage Management, and (c) Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Geospatial Analysis; Bachelor of Arts in Geography-Anthropology, elementary education (K-8); Bachelor of Arts in Geography-Anthropology, secondary education, social studies,  (7-12); minor in anthropology; minor in archaeology; minor in geography; minor in planning and GIS, minor in Social Justice; Certificate in Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS); and Certificate of Graduate Study in Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Our interdisciplinary degree allows specialization in any one of three tracks:

  1. Sustainable Cultures & Communities
  2. Cultural & Natural Heritage Management
  3. Applied Geographic Information Systems (GIS) & Geospatial Analysis

Along with the graduate Master’s in Policy, Planning and Management program, the Geography-Anthropology program offers an accelerated admission, undergraduate-graduate program resulting in a Bachelor of Arts in Geography-Anthropology and a Masters in Policy, Planning and Management in an accelerated time-frame.

Along with the University of Maine Law School, the Geography-Anthropology program offers an accelerated admission, undergraduate-graduate program resulting in a Bachelor of Arts in Geography-Anthropology and Juris Doctorate in an accelerated time-frame.

Minors offered by the Geography-Anthropology program are intended for those students with a major other than Geography-Anthropology who wish to broaden their educational experience in a formally designated program of study. Each course of study emphasizes common interests in the relationship between human populations and their natural and built environments. Faculty, serving as both experts in the classroom and the community, engage in cutting-edge research and analysis that directly influences our broader understanding of past and current human interactions with the environment. No more than one course from the Geography-Anthropology major may be applied to a minor.

The Geography-Anthropology program resides within the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service. The Muskie School of Public Service is an education, research, and public service school dedicated to educating leaders, informing policy and practice, and strengthening civic life. The School combines the expertise of nationally recognized research programs with undergraduate programs in Geography-Anthropology and tourism and hospitality and graduate programs in policy, planning and management, public health, with a doctoral program in public policy.

Specialized laboratories provide high-tech, hands-on learning environments. The labs serve not only as research facilities, but also as teaching facilities, allowing for student-faculty research collaborations. Opportunities are available for independent student research projects, and work-study positions in most of our laboratories.

Our facilities include:

Archaeology Laboratory

The Archaeology Laboratory located in 317 Bailey Hall provides facilities for research in archaeology and related areas. Various research collections are available, primarily from Maine, Alaska, and the Caribbean. The Archaeology Laboratory also houses collections of materials excavated by USM and a small library including books, journals, slides, and maps.

Environmental Archaeology Laboratory

The Environmental Archaeology Laboratory located in 318 Bailey Hall provides resources for research and teaching in archaeology and related areas. Current collections include a comparative faunal collection specializing in fish, birds, and shellfish of the Gulf of Maine and the Caribbean. The laboratory also houses comparative and excavated plant remains from the and a small library including books, journals, slides, and maps.

Biological-Zooarchaeology Laboratory

The Biological-Zooarchaeology Laboratory located in 316 Bailey Hall provides facilities for research and teaching in biological anthropology, zooarchaeology, human osteology, and human evolution. Current collections include casts of nonhuman primates and fossil hominids, and a comparative faunal collection specializing in mammals, birds, and fish reptiles of the Northeast.

Qualitative Research Laboratory

The Qualitative Research Laboratory is housed in 315 Bailey Hall and is dedicated to qualitative analysis, training, and instruction, including the use of digital media.

Map Collections

A regional map collection is housed in 318 Bailey Hall. Holdings include Maine maps, topographic maps, and various world regional maps.

GIS Laboratories

The USM Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Laboratories, located in 302 and 304 Bailey Hall (Gorham) and 128 Wishcamper (Portland), provide dedicated for access to USM GIS resources and activities. The GIS Laboratories include a variety of data resources, geographic information system, remote sensing, and global positioning systems software, high resolution and large format scanners, high precision survey gear, and large format color printing.