Anthropology classes I teach at Vassar College

Anth 120 – Human Origins (Syllabus-Spring 2019)
Anth 211 – Virtual Anthropology (“Intensive” offered 2019–2020)
Anth 232 – Race and Human Variation (Syllabus-Spring 2019)
Anth 232 – Primate Behavioral Ecology (Syllabus – Fall 2019)
Anth 235 – Central Asian Prehistory (Syllabus-Fall 2017)
Anth 305 – A New Human Species (Syllabus-Spring 2017)
Anth 305 – Human Evolutionary Developmental Biology (Syllabus-Fall 2017)
ENST 187 – Prehistoric Perspective on Climate Change (Syllabus-Fall 2017)

Other links:

Anth 235 student-written wiki: Central Asian Prehistoric Sites
Anthropology Department website

Biological anthropology lab activities20150922_194319

Lab activities create hands-on opportunities for students to learn about data collection, hypothesis testing, and other concepts. Below are links to posts describing labs I developed for different courses at Nazarbayev University, and which you can use in your own classes if you wish. Included also is the link to the materials from the R workshop from the 2016 American Association of Physical Anthropologists conference.

Estimating students’ brain sizes

Sexual size dimorphism

Estimating Miocene ape body mass

Do toe bones make Ardipithecus a biped?

Primate limb proportions

Determining fossil species

Estimating hominin brain size

Chimpanzee developmental osteology

Materials from the R workshop (AAPA 2016)


10 thoughts on “Teaching

  1. Pingback: A new year of bioanthro lab activities | Lawn Chair Anthropology

  2. Pingback: Gracile & robust Australopithecus | Lawn Chair Anthropology

  3. Pingback: Bioanthro lab activity: Sexual dimorphism | Lawn Chair Anthropology

  4. Pingback: Bioanthro lab activity: Hominin brain size | Lawn Chair Anthropology

  5. Pingback: Updated bioanthro syllabi | Lawn Chair Anthropology

  6. Hi Dr. Cofran,

    If you don’t mind my asking, for your Bioanthro lab activity: Primate proportions, it looks as though you are having your students use the raw MeshLab measurement and then creating indices with that. Am I interpreting that correctly? Or are you converting the raw unit measurement into mm? Apologies if this was made apparent somewhere in the documents you have uploaded, I was just curious as I am crafting something that uses similar techniques that I hope to also convert into a classroom activity. Thanks so much for any information you can give!

    Jessica Skinner

    • Hi Jessica,
      I’ll need to review this exercise (it’s syllabus time!) but I think that the measurements are already in mm. I could be wrong. Either way, if you’re making indices they will become dimensionless so it shouldn’t matter (although students may get suspicious if a marmoset has a smaller humerus than a macaque). I hope this helps!

  7. Hi Zach,

    Thanks so much for your response! I feel you, it is definitely that time again. This was a big help as I am working with some skeletal material, and most of the measurements I am conducting are dimensionless, but I was playing around with MeshLab and testing some of its capabilities and had a brainwave for using it in Lab. Here’s to a successful semester for you!


  8. Pingback: #AAPA2017 – Modularity & evolution of the human canine | Lawn Chair Anthropology

  9. Pingback: New anthropology syllabi for 2017 | Lawn Chair Anthropology

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