To understand what ecological anthropology is, a definition of anthropology is in order. Anthropology is the study of the origin and development of the human race from the beginning of evolution to the present day. It is divided into four major branches of study – cultural, physical, archaeological and linguistic. Ecological anthropology is a sub-branch of cultural anthropology and as is obvious from the term itself, it is the study of the relationship between the human race and its surrounding environments. Guidelines on how to become an ecological anthropologist are discussed in this article.
- Good grades in high school with a preponderance towards social sciences such as history, sociology, geography and biology are a must.
- Look for a graduate program in anthropology in the schools or universities you are considering applying to.
- Once you’ve secured admission to a graduate program, choose cultural and physical anthropology as your majors.
- Make it a point to look for cultural anthropological projects or internships where you get the opportunity to do fieldwork while working on your bachelor degree.
- Upon completion of the degree, you will need to seek additional qualifications in a ecological anthropology – a master’s degree, but preferably a PhD program is best.
- Look for a job where you can work as a research assistant to understand the depth of ecological anthropology as a separate science.
As an ecological anthropologist, you can expect to find jobs within the fields of academia, government or the corporate industry where the emphasis is on ecological balance, human impact on the environment, developing a sustainable culture and so on.
In addition to your main specialization in ecological anthropology, you will also need to be proficient in computer technology, statistics, research methodologies and some knowledge of a foreign language, especially if you will be actively engaged in fieldwork. Other avenues of employment can be found in museums, trusts, libraries, etc.
Schools offering graduate programs in anthropology
Given below is a list of some of the best schools and colleges offering graduate-level and above education in anthropology.
- Arizona State University – College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- University of Florida - College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
- Ohio State University College of Arts & Sciences
- Northern Kentucky University
- Sanford-Brown Institute
- Michigan State University.
Read up as much information as is available on ecological anthropology, before you decide to embark on a career as an ecological anthropologist.