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Anth 260  syllabus fall 2012 essentials of biological anthropology  (queens college)
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  • 1. Anthropology 260: Essentials of Biological Anthropology Fall 2012 Lecture: M,W 9:25 – 10:40 in PH 311 Instructor: Frances Forrest OFFICE: Powdermaker Hall 314C PHONE: (718) 997-2889 EMAIL: francesforrest@gmail.com OFFICE HOURS: Monday and Wednesday 12:30-1:30 P.M. Course overview: This course provides students with a detailed understanding of the field of biological anthropology. The primary goal of this course is to present how modern humans evolved. To accomplish this objective, it is necessary to (1) know how the evolutionary process works in general, (2) assess the evolutionary forces shaping the behavior and morphology of our closest living relatives, the monkeys and apes, (3) consider fossil evidence that documents the evolutionary history of our own lineage, the hominins; and (4) evaluate how these forces may influence humans today. The emphasis throughout the course will be on the processes involved in the evolution of the human species. These processes provide the key to understanding why we are the way we are. Required textbook: The Human Species: An Introduction to Biological Anthropology, 9th edition, by John Relethford. McGraw Hill, 2010. Course structure: Students are expected to attend lectures. Lectures will highlight material form the reading, but will not necessarily cover everything from the textbook. You are expected to have completed the assigned reading before lecture, so that you can make sense of the material presented in class. Lectures may include material that is not in the textbook, you are responsible for all material presented in lecture and covered in the assigned reading. Course Requirements: 1. EXAMS: Three exams of mixed format, including short answer and multiple choice. The exams ARE NOT cumulative, except for subject matter held in common between different portions of the class. The dates of the exams are provided on the syllabus, the first two will be held during class time while the last will be held during finals week. 2. ASSIGNMENTS: There will be eight assignments throughout the semester: some will be take- home assignments and others will be in-class assignments that use the departmental cast collection. Each assignment will be worth 4% of your grade, totaling 32% for all eight. Assignments will be handed out in class and due dates will be announced at that time. Points will be deducted for late assignments. 3. CLASS PARTICIPATION: Given this is a small class, I expect people to keep up with the reading and to be ready to participate in discussion. Class participation contributes 10 percent of your grade! Learning at its best is not simply passive note taking by students; it is a process of exploration shared by both the instructor and the class. Do not be afraid to ask questions!
  • 2. GRADING: Course grades will be calculated as follows: (1) Assignments: 4% each, totaling 32% for 8 assignments (2) Exam 1: 19% (3) Exam 2: 19% (4) Final exam: 20% (5) Effort, improvement, & class participation: 10% Date Topic Readings 8/27/2012 Introduction; The scientific method Chap 1 8/29/2012 Molecular Genetics Chap. 2: 33-41, 55-60 9/3/2012 Labor Day- NO CLASS 9/5/2012 Molecular Genetics (continued) (assignment #1) Chap. 2: 33-41, 55-60 9/10/2012 Cell Division, Inheritance Chap. 2: 41-55 9/12/2012 Cell Division, Inheritance (assignment #2) Chap. 2: 40-52 9/17/2012 Rosh Hashana-NO CLASS 9/19/2012 Population Genetics 1 Chap. 3: 61-67 9/24/2012 Population Genetics 2 Chap. 3: 61-67 9/26/2012 Yom Kippur-NO CLASS 10/1/2012 Forces of Evolution Chap. 3: 67-84 10/3/2012 Forces of Evolution (continued) (assignment #3) Chap. 3: 67-84 10/8/2012 Columbus Day-NO CLASS 10/10/2012 Exam 1 10/15/2012 Human variation & the "race" concept Chap. 14 10/17/2012 Human Microevolution Chap. 15 10/22/2012 Human Adaptation (Assignment #4) Chap. 16 10/24/2012 Classification and Origin of Species Chap. 4 10/29/2012 Introduction to Primates Chap. 5 10/31/2012 Primate Biology & Behavior Chap. 6 11/5/2012 Primates (continued) (assignment #5) Chap. 6 11/7/2012 EXAM 2 11/12/2012 Paleoanthropology; Primate Origins Chap. 8-9 11/14/2012 The Human Species Chap. 7 11/19/2012 The First Hominids Chap. 10 11/21/2012 The First Hominids (continued) Chap. 10 11/26/2012 The First Hominids (continued) (assignment #6) Chap. 10 11/28/2012 Evolution of Genus Homo Chap. 11 12/3/2012 Evolution of Genus Homo (continued) (assignment #7) Chap. 12 12/5/2012 Origin of Modern Humans Chap. 13 12/10/2012 Human Biology & Culture Change (assignment #8) Chap. 17 and Epilogue 12/19/2012 Exam 3: 8:30 AM-10:30 AM