The University of California – Riverside is one of the ten campuses of the UC system. It is an outgrowth of the Citrus Experiment Station which was established in 1907. The academic program started in 1954. The current enrollment is over 20,000 students. The campus is located in Riveside, California, about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.


Anthropology Course Catalog

Prehistoric Agriculture (ANTH 110, 4 credits)
A cross-cultural perspective on prehistoric agriculture as resource management, economic system, and political tool. Archaeological methods and theory of reconstructing agricultural systems and their role in prehistoric societies.

Anthropology and the Environment (ANTH 132, 4 credits)
Humans have transformed their environments for millennia, but in the last fifty years we have altered the global environment in ways that have no precedent in human history or in geological time. With the contemporary environmental crisis as its backdrop, this course examines some classic and contemporary anthropological approaches to the environment and environmentalism: cultural ecology, political ecology, environmental history, science studies, poststructuralist cultural studies, and environmental justice. As we review these approaches and their implications for our understanding of human relations to the environment, we will see how anthropologists and people they study alike are engaging with contemporary environmental issues including biodiversity conservation, deforestation, community-based natural resource management, ecotourism, and climate change.

Nutritional Anthropology (ANTH 135, 4 credits)
Food and nutrition in culture; world problems of malnutrition and nutritional improvement and how anthropology can contribute to their solution; explanations of cultural foodways; development and change of human eating patterns.

Biological Approaches to Medical Anthropology (ANTH 158, 4 credits)
Introduces medical anthropology from the biological perspective. Explores topics on evolution, health, and medicine; human biological variation in relation to disease; bioarchaeology; and the history of health. Takes the integrative and multidisciplinary approach.

Political Economy of Health (ANTH 160, 4 credits)
Examines critical medical anthropology. Focuses on the linkages between political economy, health, and healthcare systems in modern societies. Considers the effects of poverty, occupation, and environmental transformation in particular social contexts. Looks at four case studies: the political economy of HIV/AIDS, poverty, famine, and nuclear regulation.

Culture and Medicine (ANTH 162, 4 credits)
Interrelations of health, disease and culture; cross-cultural comparisons of “health,” “disease” and “curing” concepts; effects of cultural behavior on health and illness. Special focus on traditionalsocieties and their belief systems, and on the effects of cultural change (historical and modern) on illness and curing

People and the Environment in Latin America (ANTH 186/LNST 166, 4 credits)
An interdisciplinary course focusing on the study of the relation between human communities and the environment in Latin America. Examines environmental problems and policies.

Graduate Activities

Seminar in Medical Anthropology (ANTH 262, 4 credits)
Surveys major topics in medical anthropology. Examines the theoretical and methodological underpinnings of medical anthropology, including the cultural construction of health and disease, the nature of the therapeutic process, and how social structures contribute to inequality and suffering.

Seminar in Ecological Anthropology (ANTH 263, 4 credits)
Selected topics in method and theory of ecological anthropology, including ethnobiology, food production and consumption, development issues, views of the environment, and questions about therelationship of humans to their environments.

Seminar in Political Ecology (ANTH 277)
The field of political ecology has emerged in geography and anthropology since the 1980s from the intersection of political economy and cultural ecology, but defies characterization in terms of a single discipline or theoretical paradigm (cf. Robbins 2004: 6-7 for a survey of attempts to define political ecology). This course does not attempt a survey or a history of the field. Rather, it focuses on works that exemplify a range of contemporary approaches to, and questions in, political ecology (including works by authors who might not identify themselves as doing political ecology).

Plants and Human Affairs (BPSC 011, 4 credits)
An introduction for nonscience and non-Botany majors to the importance of plants and plant products in the shaping of human affairs and civilization. Covers the origin and practice of agriculture; the utilization of plant products; the latest agricultural advances,
including genetic engineering; and the current agricultural and social issues. Plants and plant products are examined during class demonstrations and exercises.

California’s Cornucopia: Food from the Field to your Table (BPSC 021, 5 credits)
Examines California’s diverse agricultural products. Addresses related contemporary issues such as crop improvement by biotechnology, climate change, pollution, resource use, and nutrition. Also examines how the interplay of geography, history, and culture shapes the cuisine of a region.

Ethnobotany (BPSC 170/ANTH 170, 4 credits)
Introduces students to ethnobotanical research by reviewing selected ethnobotanical studies. Topics covered by lectures include fundamental principles of ethnobotany, the search for new medicines and other products made from plants, the role of humans in plant evolution, and the impact of plants on human cultures. Discussions focus on the past and present role of humans in plant conservation and the search for sustainable management practices in agriculture and forestry. Seminars by invited guests and enrolled students present selected topics in ethnobotany.

Origins of Agriculture and Crop Evolution (BPSC 222, 3 credits)
Analysis of origins of agriculture in the Near East, China, the New World, and Africa. Survey of domestication and evolution of major crop plants and animals.

Introduction to Environmental Economics (ENSC/ECON 006, 4 credits)
An introduction to the basic principles of economics and their application to problems of environmental quality and natural resource utilization. Emphasis is on the failure of markets as a cause of environmental degradation and the role of government in resolving problems of resource scarcity.

Global Change and the Earth System (ENSC 227, 4 credits)
Examines the fundamental principles of earth system science in the context of global change. Emphasizes contemporary research on the relationship between humans and the Earth’s environment. Topics include the earth system prior to human influence; the Anthropocene era (1850 to present); the responses of the Earth’s support machinery to human activities; consequences of global change for human well-being; and pathways towards global sustainability.

The Revolutions in Agricultural Biology (ECON 121F, 2 credits)
Explores the history of biotechnology. Covers the impact on standards of living, the distribution of welfare, and the pace and pattern of economic growth. Topics include the origin of agriculture, the Columbian Exchange, the dwarfing of wheat and rice, hybrid corn, and the adoption of genetically modified crops.


Department of Anthropology
Wendy Ashmore (
Derick A. Fay
Scott L. Fedick
Juliet McMullin
Robin G. Nelson
Eugene Anderson (Emeritus Professor of Anthropology)

Department of Botany and Plants Sciences
Timothy J. Close(
Anthony Huang
Bai-Lian (Larry) Li
Alan McHughen
J Giles Waines (Professor of Genetics and Directory of the Botanic Gardens and Herbarium,

Department of Environmental Sciences
Kenneth A. Baerenklau(
Keith C. Knapp
Kurt Schwabe

Department of Earth Sciences
Richard A. Minnich (
Robert C. Graham