BIO A 201 A: Principles of Biological Anthropology

Meeting Time: 
MWF 11:30am - 12:50pm
AND 223
Andi Duncan
Andrea E. Duncan

Syllabus Description:

As of spring 2021, we do expect to be back on campus and holding classes in person in autumn quarter.   This course will be delivered directly, synchronously, and as scheduled.  

Autumn 2021 meetings times are MWF for lecture and Tuesdays for lab sections.  Students are expected to be in attendance, present and prepared at all of our scheduled meeting times.

Changes and updates to UW in-person teaching policy as we get closer to autumn could potentially impact these plans but at present, students should expect the above to be in effect.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to biological anthropology. During the quarter, we will explore the processes and mechanisms of evolution and the “human story.” We will learn about evolutionary and genetic processes and the role they have played in shaping the biological and behavioral adaptations of the Primate Order – humans, nonhuman primates, and our ancestors. We will consider what it means to be human and how we “fit” into the larger natural world, examining past, present, and future human variation, the complex interactions of biology, behavior, and our environments. In addition, we will examine the ways in which we are currently trying to better understand ourselves, and our history.

You should leave this course with an understanding of the following:

  • Evolutionary theory and population genetics – how organisms change and adapt over time

  • Nonhuman primate diversity, ecology and behavior for its intrinsic value and as models and predictors of human behavior 

  • Paleoanthropology and how the fossil record shows the evolution of small protoprimates into hominins, their morphology and behavior and the path that finally leads to appearance and spread of modern humans

  • The variation and selective factors that shape the morphology and behavior of modern human populations

Catalog Description: 
Evolution and adaptation of the human species. Evidence from fossil record and living populations of monkeys, apes, and humans. Interrelationships between human physical and cultural variation and environment; role of natural selection in shaping our evolutionary past, present, and future. Offered: AWSpS.
GE Requirements: 
Natural World (NW)
Last updated: 
September 16, 2021 - 7:21pm