Ecology and Archaeology: A Survey of Methods

Spring 2021
Sophomore - Senior
Class Size: 50
16 Credits per quarter
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This one-quarter program aims to introduce students to research methodologies in archaeology and ecology. Students for whom this is their first experience with archaeology or ecology will learn the basics of both fields and about methods that cross both disciplines, but students with advanced skills in either ecology or archaeology will have opportunities to do advanced work in either area. Students will gain a broad introduction to the discipline of archaeology, including a history of the field and the evolution of theory and methods within it. Students will also gain an overview of the discipline of ecology and its development over time, with an introduction to traditional ecological knowledge and a focus on current research in ecology. Faculty will provide a survey of methodologies in both disciplines, from site selection and sampling/surveying strategies, to sample collection and preservation methods, to chemical and microscopic methods, to mapping and remote sensing methods, and scientific writing strategies in both disciplines.

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, field experiences will be limited to those activities students can do on their own and remotely. To be successful in this program, students should have a laptop (mac or PC) with reliable internet connection and a working microphone and camera. The work in the program will be a mix of asynchronous (meaning you can complete it at your own pace on your own schedule) and synchronous (videoconferencing, online workshops). There will be about eight hours of synchronous scheduled video conferencing with a full-time complement of asynchronous work each week: readings, video lectures, workshops, quizzes, workshop assignments, and homework. Video conferencing will be used for archaeology lectures, ecology workshops, to build an online learning community, and to provide opportunities for students to ask faculty questions and work together on problem-solving. If students find themselves unable to participate in the synchronous meetings due to technology, living situations, care-giving obligations, economic disruption, health risk, or illness, they can work with faculty to pursue alternate options to earn related credit.

One aim of this program is expose students to the types of methods they might employ in graduate school or professional work in these two fields. This program will prepare students to better understand methodologies in both archaeology and ecology and explore similarities and differences between the two fields.



If students are interested in upper division credit in Ecological Methods, they need to have taken 2 quarters of General Chemistry and 2 quarters of General Biology as prerequisites. In addition, they will be asked to propose and complete an independent peer-reviewed literature-based research project.

Spring 2021 Registration

Course Reference Numbers

So - Sr (16): 30238

Academic details

Preparatory For

Ecology and Archaeology

Maximum Enrollment
Class Standing
Upper Division Science Credit

Upper division science credit in ecology (8 credits) may be available to students who have completed prerequisite coursework (at least two quarters of General Chemistry and two quarters of General Biology) and who coordinate with the faculty to complete an independent research project. Students seeking to earn upper division science credit must contact the faculty to discuss options at the start of the quarter.


Time Offered
Schedule Evergreen link
see Schedule Evergreen for detailed schedule

First Meeting