The University of Missouri- Columbia (MU) was founded in 1839 and was the first public university west of the Mississippi River and the first public university in the Louisiana Purchase territory. MU is located in Columbia, Missouri.  This institution is has a current enrollment of about 23,869 undergraduate students and 7,445 graduate students.


People, Plants, and the Environment (PS 1125)
Explore the interdependent relationships that exist between humans, plants, and the environment we live in. Topics that will be investigated range from the historical connection between population growth and advances in plant sciences, to the impact today’s society is exerting on production agriculture and the global ecosystem. In addition, current issues such as land use, water quality, climatic changes, and biotechnology will be evaluated for viability, sustainability, human health issues, and environmental impacts.

Horticulture Ecology (PS 2075)
This is an introductory plant science course designed to expose students to the discipline of horticulture. Fundamentals of general plant anatomy and physiology will be explored, as well as the influence environmental factors have on the growth and development of plants. Attention will be placed on the impact home gardeners’ have on the environment through plant selections and use of fertilizer and chemicals. Lawn care, vegetable gardening and caring for trees and shrubs will be specifically emphasized. All topics will be presented with the novice gardener in mind.

Plants and People in Native America (ANTHRO 3680)
Explores the present and past interactions between people and the plant world, covering use of plants as foods, medicines, and in rituals, and reviewing the origin of major food plants.

Ecological and Environmental Anthropology (ANTHRO 4320/7320)
Cultural anthropological approaches to human-environment interaction; cultural adaptations to diverse environments; theoretical developments and current issues; cultural, social, and historical contexts of natural resource use.

Graduate Seminar in Environmental Discourses (SOCIOL 9350)
This seminar explores human cultural interactions with nature: how we understand ourselves in relation to space, how we interact with and learn about nature, and how we use nature. Readings will include exemplary texts from sociology, geography and anthropology, science studies and cultural studies. Graduate Standing required.

Other Links

Phytolith Database
This Web site presents data collected by Dr. Deborah M. Pearsall and students at the University of Missouri’s Paleoethnobotany Laboratory during the Phytoliths in the Flora of Ecuadorproject. The lab operates as part of the American Archaeology Division, which is under the direction of Dr. Michael J. O’Brien.




Deborah Pearsall (Anthropology, Director of Undergraduate studies) (