Intro to physical anthropology spring Session 1/15/15 5/10/15

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Spring Session
1/15/15 - 5/10/15
Arvin HS

Thu 6:00-9:00pm

CRN 32452
Dana Heins-Gelder, MA
Bakersfield College


Have you ever wondered why humans vary in the way that we do? Or what that variation tells us about a person, a group of people, or humanity as a whole? Physical Anthropology—the study of how humans evolved—answers these questions.
This course will trace the origins of humanity from very early primates through extinct hominids to arrive at modern people. Students in this course will learn the basics of evolutionary theory and genetics, investigate the hominin fossil record, study contemporary nonhuman primates, and apply this knowledge to an understanding of modern human diversity.

Course Catalogue Description

Study of human biology through time. Examines the biological development of the hominin lineage with consideration of cultural developments. Topics include biology and genetics, evolutionary processes and speciation, nonhuman primates, examination of the hominin lineage through fossils and molecular data, technological developments, and human diversity. Recommended Reading Level 5 and English Level 5


Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and illustrate all segments of the human lineage, be able to arrange and organize species through definable traits, and be able to compare and contrast prevailing models explaining human dispersals.

  2. Summarize and distinguish theoretical orientations, evaluate and diagram anthropological data, illustrate evolutionary processes, and outline biological processes.

  1. Differentiate between biological and cultural developments, contrast and interpret paleoanthropological data, and integrate data on living non-human primates with the fossil record

Things to Remember

Instructor Information:


Office: Arvin HS

Office Hours: Thursday 4:50-5:50pm

Chatroom Office Hours:

Wednesday 6pm - 7pm
Textbook: Introduction to Physical Anthropology by Jurmain, Kilgore, Trevathan, and Ciochon, 14th edition.
Additional readings are posted on InsideBC


There will be at least 10 pages of written work in this class.

Article Discussion


50 points

Quizzes (2)

10% each





Thought Paper





















59% and below


Attendance and Participation:

This is an information rich class! To be successful in this class you should plan to attend all lectures and take in-depth notes. If you can't attend, arrange to receive class notes from a class mate. I reserve the option to drop students who've missed the equivalent of 2 weeks of classes.

Participation in class refers to attentive listening and active engagement during lecture and class activities. You are expected to complete assigned readings each week and come prepared to discuss the readings in class.
Midterm and Final (40%):

There will be one midterm and a final exam; questions from the exams derive from both lecture reading materials. Both exams will be multiple choice, fill-in, and short essay. Exams are not cumulative, except concerning material relevant throughout the course. Bring an AS100 (Acu-Scan 100 with essay space) and a working #2 pencil. No electronic devices of any kind are permitted to be on or visible during an exam.

Make-up exams will only be given with the prior approval of the instructor or in cases of verifiable, documented emergencies. If you know in advance that you will miss an exam contact me immediately. It is your responsibility to check the final exam schedule and make the necessary arrangements to be present at that time.

Quizzes (20%):

There will be two quizzes, refer to the following class schedule for dates and material covered. Quizzes are open-notes - so take comprehensive and detailed notes! Bring an AS100 (Acu-Scan 100 with essay space) and a working #2 pencil. No electronic devices of any kind are permitted to be open during a quiz.

Make-up quizzes will only be given with the prior approval of the instructor or in cases of verifiable, documented emergencies. If you know in advance that you will miss a quiz, contact me immediately.
Article Summary (5%):

In addition to the textbook readings, there are short articles related to the week's topic. These can be found on InsideBC. Select one article on which you will lead a five to ten minute discussion. You will present an overview of the article for the class where you summarize the major points and prepare two questions to encourage class discussion. A sign-up sheet will be circulated.

Assignments (20%):

There are five required written assignments designed to enhance your success in this course. Detailed descriptions of all assignments are passed out in class & available online at InsideBC one week prior to the due date. No late assignments are accepted, except in the case of documented emergencies - refer to list of approved exceptions in the section titled IMPORTANT POINTS.

All written assignments (except worksheets) must be typed in the following format: 12 point, Times New Roman, double-spaced (no space between paragraphs), and have 1" margins.
Thought Paper (15%):

Mid-way though the course you will be presented with three sets of articles, each discussing current topics within the field of physical anthropology. Choose one of the three sets to read and then compose a thought piece, or interpretive essay, based on the readings, textbook, and lectures. Additionally, you must incorporate one additional and relevant reading of your choosing from an approved source. Detailed instructions and article sets will be passed out in class and posted on InsideBC following the mid-term exam. Refer to the class schedule for due dates.
All thought papers must be five pages, typed in 12 point Times New Roman font, double-spaces (no space between paragraphs), with 1" margins. All sources must be properly cited and formatted in the bibliography in American Physical Anthropology format.

In-Class Surveys and Polls

Bring your phone to class! You'll use your phones in class to express your opinions, show what you've learned, make educated guesses about anthropological topics, and for attendance. If you don't have a smartphone, there will be an alternative method offered. Tablets or laptops may be used in place of a phone.

Take the following steps to make your phone ready:

  1. Download the free Socrative-Student app to your smartphone at the following website:

  1. Or visit to run the app from a browser.

  1. When you start the app, you'll be prompted for the Room Name, enter c67ceb1c and click Join Room.

  1. At the prompt enter your name as follows: First Last-Initial (for example Dana H)

  2. When classroom activities are started, instructions appear on your smartphone/tablet/laptop in the Socrative app.

Obviously, using your phone for unapproved activities is not permitted.

Text Reminders (optional)

Register to receive text messages of class information to your phone for assignments due, quizzes, or tips for success in this class by texting ' @2015sprb1 to 81010. You can opt-out of messages at anytime by replying, 'unsubscribe @2015springb1'.

Note that NOT receiving a text notice is not a valid excuse for missing an assignment, test, or quiz.

Late Assignments & Missed Exams or Quizzes

Missed Exams, Quizzes, and Late assignments are not accepted after the due date. Exceptions will only be made under the following circumstances: 1) authorized absences from the Administration (i.e., sports events, medical leave, bereavement), 2) illness supported by documentation from family physician or Student Health official, 3) special arrangements made with the instructor.

Academic Integrity

College Policy on Academic Integrity:

Plagiarism: Plagiarism is defined as the act of using the ideas or work of another person or persons as if they were one's own, without giving credit to the source. Acknowledgement of an original author or source must be made through appropriate references, i.e., quotation marks, footnotes, or commentary. A student who is in doubt about the extent of acceptable paraphrasing should consult the instructor. Both quoted and paraphrased materials must be given proper citations.

Cheating: Cheating is defined as the act of obtaining, or attempting to obtain, or aiding another to obtain academic credit for work by the use of any dishonest, deceptive, or fraudulent means. Examples of cheating during an examination include, but are not limited to, the following: copying, either in part or in whole, from another’s test or examination; discussion of answers or ideas relating to the answers on an examination or test unless such discussion is specifically authorized by the instructor; giving or receiving copies of an examination without the permission of the instructor; using or displaying notes, “cheat sheets,” or other information or devices inappropriate to the prescribed test conditions, as when a test of competence includes a test of unassisted recall of information, skill, or procedure; allowing someone other than the officially enrolled student to represent the same. Also included is plagiarism as defined and altering or interfering with the grading procedures. It is often appropriate for students to study together or to work in teams on projects. However, such students should be careful to avoid the use of unauthorized assistance, and to avoid any implication of cheating, by such means as sitting apart from one another in examinations, presenting the work in a manner, which clearly indicates the effort of each individual, or such other method as is appropriate to the particular course.

Campus Resources

If you have or encounter any personal issues that you believe might affect your performance in the course, please bring them to my attention as soon as possible. Together we can design a solution that will help you be successful in the course or I may refer you to the appropriate service for help. Below are a few campus resources of which you'll want to take advantage:

Student Educational Plans (SEP): The Counseling Center ( works with students to create a list the courses you'll need to complete your certificate, degree or transfer program.  This list of courses or SEP can be broken into semester units so you'll will know exactly what courses to register for each semester.

Writing Assistance: Bakersfield College Writing Center, Student Services Building, room 133, phone: 661-395-4735,
Student Success Lab (online resources for improving grammar and math skills): Student Services Building, room 143
Tutoring Center: Student Services Building, room 203, phone: 661-395-4430
Research Assistance: The library offers numerous workshops to help you navigate the in's and out's of research strategies, citation, and information search. To take advantage of this invaluable resource, visit the following website:

Students requesting classroom accommodations must first register with the Disabled Students Program and Services (DSPS). They will assist in determining reasonable accommodations as well as coordinating the approved accommodations. Phone: 661-395-4334,

Habits of Mind

We want you to succeed in this class and at BC.  Success takes energy, planning, and strategies for both the expected challenges in school as well as the unexpected twists life can take. Many of you will face obstacles that threaten your academic goals this semester. Many of these challenges may seem beyond your control. They are not. You may not always be able to control what happens in your life, but you can determine your reaction, your planning, and your priorities. What determines success is not circumstance, but habit.

People who succeed in life don’t do so because they face no challenges, rather they overcome the destructive things in their lives because they empower themselves with good habits.
Bakersfield College and the Habits of Mind Initiative, It’s POSSIBLE at BC, worked to create many tools intended to help you develop the empowering habits that will enable you to overcome the challenges you face. They are free and available to you; ask for help, and do the work. Refuse to quit. Ultimately, only you can change your life. We’re trying to empower you to do so:

  • Visit the Habits of Mind website

  • Download the app for Habits of Mind at Bakersfield College for power in your palm.

  • Ask for help, do the work, and refuse to quit.

Success takes energy, planning, and strategies for both the expected challenges in school as well as the unexpected twists life can take.

In Class

To facilitate a positive learning experience for everyone, please refrain from the following disruptive activities: having side conversations during lecture, eating, reading newspapers or non-course-related materials, perusing the internet on your laptop, checking email, using cell phones for non-class activities or text messaging during class, or wearing headphones.



Martin Luther King Day, School Holiday (Monday)


First Day of Instruction


Last Day for a Refund


Last Day to Drop without Receiving a 'W'


Last Day to Add


Lincoln Day, School Holiday (Friday)


Washington Day, School Holiday (Monday)


Last Day to Withdraw with a 'W'

3/30/2015 - 04/04/2015

Spring Break

5/9 - 5/15/2015

Final Exam Week


End of Semester


All Scheduled Lectures/Exams/Quizzes/Due Dates Subject to Change


Topic & Activities



Introduction to Anthropology

Ch 1 Introduction to Physical Anthropology (22 pages)

How to Take Anthropology Tests (Salzman & Rice 2004) - Optional

Due: Evolution survey by Friday


History of Evolutionary Theory & Natural Selection

Ch 2 The Development of Evolutionary Theory (24 pages)

The Top 10 Consequences of Having Evolved (Dunn 2010)

Syllabus Quiz: How well do you know this class?!


Basic Biology: Cells, DNA, Protein Synthesis

Ch 3 The Biological Basis of Life (29 pages)

The Sex and the Y Chromosome (Dalke 2003)


History of Genetics

Ch 4 Heredity and Evolution (30 pages)

PTC and Bitter Taste

Pick a Fight (Adams 2014)


Variation and Adaptation in Humans today

Ch 14 Modern Human Biology: Patterns of Variation (24 pages)

Ch 15 Modern Human Biology: Patterns of Adaptation (Stop reading when you reach the section titled Infectious Diseases)

The History of the Idea of Race (Smedley 2007)
Film: Race: The Power of an Illusion (The Difference Between Us)



Who are the Primates?

Ch 6 Survey of the Living Primates (40 pages)

Ch 7 Primate Behavior (42 pages)

Combing the Primate Record (Martin 2003)
Film: Life in the Trees


Primate Behavior and Sociality

Ch 6 Survey of the Living Primates (40 pages)

Ch 7 Primate Behavior (42 pages)

One for All (de Waal 2014)


Evolutionary Relationships, Classification and Speciation

Ch 5 Macroevolution: Processes of Vertebrate and Mammalian Evolution (28 pages)

Additional Reading on InsideBC



Primate Ancestors

Ch 8 Overview of Fossil Primates (38 pages)

Bone Crunching Debunks ‘First Monkey’ Ida Fossil Hype (Keim 2009)


Dating & Bipedal Locomotion

Ch 9 Paleoanthropology: Reconstructing Early Hominin Behavior & Ecology (22 pages)

Additional Reading on InsideBC


The Family Tree: Early Hominins

Ch 10 Hominin Origins in Africa (30 pages)

Additional Reading on InsideBC


Out of Africa

Ch 11 The First Dispersal of the Genus Homo: Homo erectus and Contemporaries (24 pages)

Additional Reading on InsideBC



Neanderthals and Other Humans

Ch 12 Premodern Humans (32 pages)

Additional Reading on InsideBC

Film: Decoding Neanderthals


Modern Humans

Ch 13 The Origin & Dispersal of Modern Humans (26 pages)

Additional Reading on InsideBC


Biosocial Connection & Course Wrap-up

Ch 16 Legacies of Human Evolutionary History and the Human Life Course (28 pages)

Ch 17 The Human Disconnection (14 pages)

Additional Reading on InsideBC

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