BIO A 201 A: Principles of Biological Anthropology

Meeting Time: 
MWThF 9:30am - 10:20am
* *
Andi Duncan
Andrea E. Duncan

Syllabus Description:

Spring 2021: Remote Instruction

Instructor: Andrea Duncan (

Course Structure 

Two synchronous sessions weekly: Tuesdays and Thursdays:
  • Lectures presented asynchronously as recorded videos via Canvas.  These post twice weekly, on Mondays & Thursdays. 
  • We meet as a whole class, live via Zoom, every Thursday, 9:30-10:20am.  
  • Lab sections are held live via Zoom every Tuesday.

All students are expected to attend their registered lab at the scheduled time (labs are not interchangeable):

        • Lab AB   9:30-10:20
        • Lab AC  10:30-11:20
        • Lab AD  11:30-12:20

There are no meetings in-person or on campus for this quarter.

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 a basic understanding of evolutionary theory, genetics, primate ecology and behavior, paleontology, human evolution, behavior and variation.


  • Weekly online lecture assignments.
  • Lab assingments (most but not every week).
  • Supplementary film assignments
  • Two online exams - midterm & final


How Humans Evolved (9th Ed.) by Robert Boyd and Joan Silk

W.W. Norton, 2021, ISBN 9780393427967 (paperback)/ 9780393533088 (ePub)

You have several options to access the material:

    • e-books from publisher (W.W. Norton)
    • University Bookstore (206.634.3400)
    • Amazon offers the 9th as well, but seems to be more costly than other sources

 Please note that older editions are significantly different and not substitutes for the newest edition.

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: 
March 7, 2021 - 9:52pm