The University of Kansas (KU) has several campuses spread across the state.  The KU main campus is located in Lawrence, Kansas with an estimated enrollment of 20,550 undergraduate students and 6,276 graduate students.


Ethnobotany (EVRN  542/ANTH 582)
Course will involve lectures and discussion of Ethnobotany – the mutual relationship between plants and traditional people. Research from both the field of anthropology and botany will be incorporated in this course to study the cultural significance of plant materials. The course has 7 main areas of focus: 1) Methods in Ethnobotanical Study; 2) Traditional Botanical Knowledge – knowledge systems, ethnolinguistics; 3) Edible and Medicinal Plants of North America (focus on North American Indians); 4) Traditional Phytochemistry – how traditional people made use of chemical substances; 5) Understanding Traditional Plant Use and Management; 6) Applied Ethnobotany; 7) Ethnobotany in Sustainable Development (focus on medicinal plant exploration by pharmaceutical companies in Latin America). [from the Catalog]

People and the Rain Forest (ANTH 382)
An analysis of the cultural origin, diversity, and unity of the peoples of the neotropics. Emphasizing the peoples of Amazonia, the course introduces students to topics associated with the economic, political, and cultural dimensions of social life in rain forest communities.

Introduction to Medical Anthropology (ANTH 461/761)
An introduction to the social and cultural practices that contribute to health and disease, including a survey of therapy systems in both Western and non-Western societies (e.g., Native American, African, Western allopathic medicine, etc.). This course should be of special interest to premedical students and majors in the allied health professions.

Environment and Archaeology (ANTH 518)
An investigation of the relationships between the biophysical world and the development of human cultures. Examination of archaeological methods employed in the study of these relationships.

Paleoethnobotany (ANTH 522)
This course discusses the relationship between past human groups and their plant environment, including the use of plants for food, fuel, shelter, and household articles. Topics include a review of the development of paleoethnobotanical research, methods and techniques of data recovery, basics in plant identification, methods of data quantification and interpretation, and current research topics. In addition to selected readings, students will participate with the development of comparative botanical collections and the interpretation of botanical remains recovered from archaeological contexts.

Biology of Human Nutrition (ANTH 542)
Lecture and discussion. A comprehensive introduction to human nutrition, focusing on the anatomical, biochemical, and physiological aspects of nutrition. The essential nutrients and their role in human metabolism are covered in detail, and the course’s systemic approach places a strong emphasis on integration of metabolism. Students also are introduced to human dietary evolution, the concept of nutritional adaptation, and cross-cultural differences in diet and nutritional physiology. Discussion sections focus on applied aspects of human nutrition, including dietary assessment. The course is a prerequisite for ANTH 543, which is recommended as the second course in a sequence on human nutrition.

Anthropology of Food and Nutrition (ANTH 543)
The first half of the course focuses on nutrition through the life cycle, with an emphasis on biological, cultural, and environmental factors that influence human dietary intake and nutrition across the life span. Particular attention is given to the role of nutrition in cross-cultural variation in human growth, development, and aging. The second half of the course examines evolutionary aspects of human nutrition, including the origins and adaptive significance of regional and cultural basis. The development of taste and food preferences, at the level of the individual and population, as well as symbolic aspects of dietary behavior also will be considered.

Contemporary Health Issues in Africa (ANTH 545)
The course examines health and nutrition in African communities, using the methods of biological and medical anthropology. Fundamental to the approach taken in the course is the understanding that the health of human groups depends on interactions between biological and cultural phenomena in a particular ecological context. One topic will be selected per semester, to examine in detail the full array of epidemiological factors contributing to patterns of specific diseases. AIDS, childhood diseases, and reproductive health of African women are among possible topics. Course material will be selected from scholarly and medical publications, as well as coverage in the popular media. The use of a variety of sources will enhance understanding of the biological and cultural issues involved and will help students identify possible bias and misinformation in popular coverage of events such as famine or epidemic in African settings.

Field Concepts and Methods in Geoarchaeology (ANTH 619)
A field course taught during the three week summer session. Involves all-day excursions to different regions in order to introduce students to a variety of archaeological landscapes and environments. Focuses on the application of geoscientific concepts and methods in archaeological field investigations, emphasizing natural processes such as erosion, deposition, weathering, and biological and human activity that create and modify the archaeological record, and on soil-stratigraphic and geophysical approaches to landscape and site investigations.

Women, Health, and Healing in Latin America (ANTH 665)
This seminar uses a life-cycle approach to examine women’s health (physical, mental, and spiritual) and their roles as healers. Special consideration is given to the effects of development programs on well-being, access to health care, and changing roles for women as healers. Cases will be drawn from a variety of Latin American contexts. (Same as WGSS 665 and LAA 665.) Prerequisite: 6 hours of coursework in anthropology and/or women’s studies and/or Latin American studies.

Culture and Human Biology (ANTH 680)
A lecture course concerned with the relationship between culture and biological systems; the prohibition of incest; socialization and aggression in ethnological studies; disease and therapy; and other alterations of mind and body states.

Anthropology and the Health Sciences (ANTH 684)
Ecology of human health; cultural and social factors in the etiology of human diseases; social and cultural variables involved in health practices, programs, the organization of healing systems and the diagnostic process; the consequences of health innovations and medicotechnical apparatus.

Cultural Ecology (ANTH 695)
Investigation of the interrelations between sociocultural systems and the natural environment, including a survey of major theories and descriptive studies.

Advanced Medical Anthropology (ANTH 876)
This course provides advanced training in selected aspects of medical anthropology; the topic for a particular semester will reflect the current interests of the instructor. It is expected that the course content will alternate between theoretical and applied emphases.

Topics in Cultural Geography: Environmental Policy (GEOG 379)
An investigation of special topics in Cultural Geography. May include coursework under headings of culture theory, material culture, language, foodways, or religion. May be repeated if topic differs.

Topics in Cultural Geography: Environment and Society (GEOG 379/ENVR 420)
An investigation of special topics in Cultural Geography. May include coursework under headings of culture theory, material culture, language, foodways, or religion. May be repeated if topic differs.

Environmental Issues of Sustainability and Unsustainability (GEOG 395)
This regional geography course examines contemporary environmental issues of a particular region of the world based on the expertise of the professor. Course emphasis is on the interaction of natural, socio-economic, and cultural factors of development that give rise to environmental problems. Students learn how local, national, and international government and non-governmental stakeholders address environmental problems.

Seminar in Cartography (GEOG 911)
Study of selected topics in cartography. Can be repeated for different topics.

Topics in Cultural Geography: Environmental Issues in Latin America (GEOG 571)
An investigation of special topics in cultural geography. May include specific course work under the headings of cultural theory and methodology, material culture, foodways, religion, and similar topics.

Environmental Geopolitics (GEOG 371/ENVR 371)
This course examines how human relationships with the biophysical world are politicized. Examines key contributions to debates surrounding environmental security, resource conflicts, and related issues, as well as geopolitical assumptions on which these debates build.

Geography of American Foodways (GEOG 579)
An interdisciplinary approach to food that explores the diversity of eating habits across the United States and the role of food as in indicator of cultural identity and change. Current regional and ethnic food consumption patterns are stressed. Topics include multiculturalism and regional identity, the symbiotic relationship between restaurant food and home cooking, the recent interest in farmers’ markets and organic foods, and the importance of the food industry and the popular press in setting trends.

Other Links

Kansas Biological Survey
Environmental Studies 
Global Indigenous Nations Studies Program
University of Kansas Field Camp
Native American Science Curriculum
Native Medicinal Plant Research Program
Winnebago Ethnobotany and Botanical Resources Project, 2006-2008
Pharmacy Garden at the KU School of Pharmacy


Kelly Kindscher (Environmental Studies);
Mary Adair (Biodiversity Institute);
Barbara Timmermann (Medicinal Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy);
Jane W. Gibson (Department of Anthropology);
Raymond Pierotti (Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology);
J. Christopher Brown (Department of Geography);
Jay T. Johnson (Department of Geography);
William Charles Johnson (Geography);
Shannon O’Lear (Geography);
Margaret Pearce (Geography);
William I. Woods (Geography);