College of Behavioral & Social Sciences

BA in Anthropology

Program Highlights

Selected student awards & accomplishments

  • Graduate students in Anthropology
    • Martha Diaz was selected to be Graduate Speaker at May 2017 Graduation. She was featured in the Chico Statements Spring 2017(opens in new window) issue on her work interning at the Colibri Center and Pima County Medical Examiners Office.

    • Derek Boyd was selected as the 2016-2017 CSU, Chico Outstanding Thesis Winner(opens in new window)

    • Lowell Thomas was the winner of the 2016 BSS Outstanding Master’s Thesis.

    • Karen Gardner was awarded the prize for the Outstanding Thesis at the university in May 2014.

    • Tamara Maxey was a recipient of the Graduate Equity Fellowship Program (2016-2018), and was awarded a Student Research and Creativity Grant for her research on 9/11 Memorials.  She was also the director of the documentary video Stories in Thread, which was NETA selected and is PBS aired.

    • Tamara Maxey and Dayne Gradone Discussed ALVA film "Stories in Thread: Hmong Textiles" with Robert Handa on NBC Bay Area Asian Pacific America(opens in new window), April 2017.

    • Kelsie Mae Hart was a recipient of the Graduate Equity Fellowship Program (2016-2018).

    • Jacquelyn Coon was selected for the competitive Smithsonian museum internships at the National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C (2015) and the National Zoological Park in Washington, D.C (2016).  She was also editor of the Stories in Thread video documentary, NETA selected and PBS aired.

    • Jacquelyn Coon andDominique Herrera developed "From Chico to China: Travels of Valene Smith", a Traveling Exhibit for the SFAA (Society for Applied Anthropology) conference in 2016.

    • Josh Nowakowski and Ariel Peasley were selected to curate UNESCO World Heritage Site Nelson Dockyard Museum with Professor Georgia Fox, summer 2017. 

    • Alexander Ryll was co-author with Professor David Eaton of Chico’s South Campus Neighborhood: Character and Potential.  This data-intensive field research report, developed with the students of Anthropology 113 spring term 2016, was submitted to the CSU Chico Institute for Sustainable Development in August 2016 and is incorporated in a larger collaborative report to the Chico City Council.   In Dec 2016-Jan 2017 he completed five weeks of original field research in northern Morocco and Ceuta, Spain.  He gave presentations on this research in several BSS classes and in the BSS Student Research Symposium spring 2017, and is conducting more ethnographic field research there for his thesis in cultural anthropology on migration and refugees fall 2017. 

    • Dayne Gradone (who has a CSU Chico Anthropology BA and as an undergraduate was an All-American in cross-country) was a recipient of the 2017-18 Lt. Robert Merton Rawlins award July 2017, and was awarded a Graduate Equity Fellowship (2017-2018).  He completed one month of original field research in and around Iten, Kenya, summer 2016, and travelled in India summer 2017.  He is conducting ethnographic field research for his master’s thesis in cultural anthropology in Kenya fall 2017.

    • Anna Christine Kamanzi (also a CSU Chico undergraduate BA) won a US Fulbright Research Award 2013-14 (the first ever awarded to a CSU Chico student) for a year of independent research in Rwanda, central Africa.  In fieldwork in Kigali and in several rural settings, she explored the life situations and changing status of  Potters (Twa), a stigmatized minority, and their paths to integration in a post-genocide national society.  Now a doctoral student at UC Irvine in cultural anthropology and fully-funded for six years, she has given numerous classroom and professional presentations in Chico and elsewhere, including in Chico in the Anthropology Forum and in the World Exploration Series at the Valene Smith Museum of Anthropology, at the Southwestern Anthropological Association meetings, and at several meetings of the African Studies Association and of the American Anthropological Association (AAA).  Her field research photographs won awards in the 2014 AAA photo competition, and were published in the official AAA calendar in 2015.  While at Chico she also directed an ALVA film documentary, Bound to Tradition, on local native American practices.

    • Sarah Hall traveled in 2016 to Bogota, Colombia, to examine and inventory human remains from a 19th-century cemetery(opens in new window), working with Claudia Rojas-Sepúlveda of the Universidad Nacional de Colombia.

    • Valeria Sgheiza excavated delicate 17th-century skeletons of British soldiers on the beaches of Antigua in the West Indies in 2016.  There she participated in Chico State’s Forensic Field School in Antigua(opens in new window), directed by Professor Georgia Fox, and worked with Professor Matthew Brown of Farmingdale State College in New York on bioarchaeological excavations at Galleon Beach.

    • Kristen Broehl, Vanessa Reeves, Valerie Sgheiza each won a Student Research and Creativity Award in 2017.

    • Ashlyn Weaver and Jennifer Rogerson-Jennings each won an SFAC Association for Sustainability grant in 2017.

    • Jennifer Rogerson-Jennings won a Graduate Conference grant in 2017.

    • Vanessa Reeves won the Student Paper Award at the Eagle Lake Zooarchaeology Conference in 2017.

    • The Annual Chico Forensics Conference in mid-autumn continues as usual through the organizational efforts of AGSA, the Anthropology Graduate Student Association.  The most recent event was held in November 2017.

    • At the Society for California Archaeology Meetings in 2015 in Redding, California, fifteen then-current and recent graduate students participated in the session “Current Graduate Student Research at California State University, Chico” (eleven presentations and three posters).

  • Undergraduate students in Anthropology
    • Ivan Senock conducted original field study on the effects of the fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico in June 2016, and four weeks of original field research on migration and refugees in northern Morocco and Ceuta, Spain, Dec 2016-Jan 2017.  He gave research presentations in several BSS classes and in the BSS Student Research Symposium spring 2017 and was a teaching assistant in Anthropology 435, Medical Anthropology, in spring 2017.  He is now enrolled in the MA program in Cultural Anthropology at CSU Sacramento, beginning fall 2017. 

    • Clara Bergamini was awarded a CSU Chico Research and Creativity Grant award (2016) for fieldwork on Japanese evacuees from the 2011 Tohoku nuclear disaster.  She presented at the 2016 BSS student research symposium on "The Human Cost of Fukushima's Fallout" and in 2017 on "Academic Tourism".

    • David Linville, a double major in Anthropology and Political Science, received the CSU Chico Advisory Board 2017 Outstanding Student Service Award.  He was accepted into the doctoral program in Anthropology at the University of New Mexico and began his studies there in fall 2017.

    • Katherine Greyer was a presenter at the BSS student symposium in 2017 on "Holding the line at home: A look at the impact of wildland firefighters on partners.”

    • Audrey Armstrong won a CSU Student Research and Creativity Award for independent research on Afghani Jews in Jerusalem, Israel, summer 2017.

    • Christina Quigley has been working with Mountain Maidu groups locally on traditional craft, land claims, and land restoration. Together also with staff of Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, she prepared a CSU Chico Meriam Library exhibition that opened in October 2017 entitled “We've Been Here, We Will Always Be Here: Traditional and Contemporary Native American Art.”

Undergraduates of Anthropology 113, Human Cultural Diversity

In spring 2016, students conducted original field research on street design and experience in Chico’s South Campus neighborhood under supervision of Professor David Eaton and graduate student Alexander Ryll.  Extensive data from this was analyzed in Chico’s South Campus Neighborhood: Character and Potential, a field research report on existing conditions prepared with support from the CSU Chico Institute for Sustainable Development, August 2016, for submission to the Chico City Council.

In fall 2016, spring 2017, and fall 2017, more original research was conducted, with the additional help of graduate student Tamara Maxey, and again with support from the CSU Chico Institute for Sustainable Development, toward a field research report on possible city initiatives to be finalized for submission to the Chico City Council. 

Isaura Godinez received the highest score university-wide on the Spring 2013 administration of the CLA exam.  Isaura came to us in 2010 as a transfer student, receiving the James O. Haehn Scholarship.  She then received the Joanne Adams Memorial Scholarship and the 2013 Anthropology Outstanding Student.  She graduated summa cum laude and is conducting her PhD studies at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.

As an example of other recent student achievements, please see this compilation of selected publications and presentations by current and former students, provided by Professor Bartelink:

Selected faculty & staff accomplishments

Jeannette Methvin-Terry joined the department as our Coordinator in July 2013 when Stephanie Rose was promoted to the Dean’s office as Analyst of the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences.  Jeannette came to the department with a BA in Psychology, a MA in Management, and a strong background in Human Resources. Since joining us she has mastered every imaginable aspect of administering our complex program, and supervises our capable part-time student staff as well.

Professor Emerita Dr. Antoinette Martinez was inducted into the Hall of Honor May 2017 by the CSU Chico Emeritus and Retired Faculty and Staff Association.

Adrienne Scott (Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology) and Amy Huberland (Northeast Information Center) each received their 15-year CSU Chico pin at the 46th Annual Staff Awards Luncheon in May 2017. 

Adrienne Scott was selected as student speaker for the May 2015 Master’s Commencement (receiving her MA in Education). Her thesis, Museum-in-the-Classroom: How a Museum/School Partnership Can Enhance Social Studies Instruction explores how to make K-12 students aware of the interpretive qualities of the past. She also received the 2016 Superintendent’s Award for Excellence in Museum Education for her Museum-in-the-Classroom work.

Our Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology (ALVA) was awarded the 44th northern California Emmy Award(opens in new window) for 2014-2015 for Historic/Cultural-Program/Special films for ‘Impact! The Shipwreck of  The Frolic’. This is the story of a nineteenth-century opium clipper wrecked off the California coast, made with the participation and guidance of Drs. Fox and Brazeal and with cinematography by department BA alumnus Matthew Ritenour.

The ALVA Film “A Walk Through Time” was awarded an Historic/Cultural: Program/Special Emmy (PDF) at the 2017 46th Annual Northern California Area Gala in June 2017(opens in new window).

ALVA was featured on NBC Bay Area ‘Asian Pacific America’(opens in new window) with Robert Handa as well as Action News.(opens in new window)

ALVA produced Mr. Tanimoto’s Journey in 2017. The film is about Mr. Jim Tanimoto, born in Gridley, the last living member of a group of men from Block 42 at Tule Lake WWII internment camp who protested against the loss of their constitutional rights, and were subjected to harsh threats and additional imprisonment as a result.

Dr. Brian Brazeal produced and directed the 2016 film Illusions in Stone about his research in emerald mining and trade worldwide. His 2017 film The Wealth of Sinners follows on these topics and is now in distribution.

Dr. Jesse Dizard developed and directed a number of films including California Indian Voices, Someone You Know, Water Stories: The Hidden Depths of California’s Water Wars, and Treading Water. He recently launched research for another film about California’s water entitled Never Enough, about the LA Aqueduct and the Owens Valley from the perspective of Shoshoni Paiute people of the region.

Dr. Jesse Dizard conducted research in 2017 on the Tule Lake World War II internment center interviewing survivors and photographing remains of the camp. He also served as president of the Southwestern Anthropological Association in 2012-13.

Dr. Colleen Milligan was awarded the 2015 Myles Tracy Outstanding Student Organization Advisor Award.

Dr. David Eaton was awarded the 2015 Paul Persons Award for contributions to sustainability on campus.

Dr. Jesse Dizard was awarded the 2016 Paul Maslin Environmental Stewardship Award.

Dr. Eric Bartelink received the 2016 CSU Chico Research Impact Award.

Dr. Eric Bartelink and Dr. Brian Brazeal were both awarded CSU Chico 2016-2017 Professional Achievement Honors.

Dr. Colleen Milligan was selected as 2016 Outstanding Research Mentor.

Dr. Brian Brazeal was selected as 2017 Outstanding Research Mentor.

Dr. David Eaton served as an external reviewer fall 2017 for the Anthropology department at San Francisco State University.

Dr. Eric Bartelink published Forensic Anthropology: Current Methods and Practice, with Angi Christensen and Nick Passalacqua, in 2014 through Academic/ Elsevier Press. He followed this with Essentials of Physical Anthropology in 2016, and Introduction to Physical Anthropology in 2017.

Dr. Georgia Fox published The Archaeology of Smoking and Tobacco in 2015 with the University Press of Florida. They have also been the principal investigator and director of Betty’s Hope Archaeological Project and Summer Field School, Antigua, West Indies, from 2007. She won the Outstanding Field School of 2013 Award by the American Anthropological Association and the Register of Professional Archaeologists.

Dr. Georgia Fox was selected as a 2014-15 Lantis Endowed University Chair ($40,000 award to advance his research and student centered projects).

Dr. Eric Bartelink was selected as a 2017-18 Lantis Endowed University Chair ($40,000 award to advance his research and student centered projects).

C-SPAN(opens in new window) featured Dr. Jesse Dizard regarding the history of the Nome Cult Trail, March 8, 2017.

C-SPAN(opens in new window) featured Dr. William Nitzky regarding the Hmong Reflections: Stories of our Own exhibit at the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology March 7, 2017.

Professor Emerita Valene L. Smith was featured in Inside Chico State(opens in new window) for her donated gift expanding the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, Feb 14, 2017.

Lisa Westwood was quoted in the Aug 2017 National Geographic magazine(opens in new window) “New Moon Race Endangers Historic Space Artifacts.” She was also mentioned in USA Today(opens in new window), July 18, 2017 “Professor says that Apollo 11 moon-landing site should be named a National Historic Landmark.” 

Dr. Eric Bartelink was quoted in the LA Times(opens in new window) June 24, 2017 “Scientists make water bottles the old-fashioned way to see if they were toxic to early Californians.”

Amy Huberland was featured in the Chico Enterprise-Record(opens in new window) on proposed changes to Chico’s north side Esplanade.

KRCR News(opens in new window) featured the Human Identification Lab and the Anthropology Forensic Archaeology Field Recovery Methods Class.

Dr. Bartelink was quoted in the New York Times(opens in new window) article “What Dead Pigs Can’t Teach Us About CSI”. 

Dr. Matt O’Brien was featured in CSU Chico News(opens in new window) October 2014 regarding his Reindeer-Herder Research in Mongolia.

Action News(opens in new window) interviewed Dr. Colleen Milligan in May 2017 regarding the National Department of Justice $900,000 grant to research water transport of human remains in the Sacramento River. 

Faculty, staff and two grad students were featured in an article “Bones Abroad”(opens in new window) in Inside Chico State in February 2017.

Recent faculty appointments

In 2014 Dr. Matt O’Brien was hired as an archaeologist with specialization in western north America.  He received his Ph. D from the University of New Mexico in 2013 where he worked primarily on hunter-gatherer archaeology of the American Southwest, the Great Plains, and the Rocky Mountains spanning Paleoindian to Contact Periods.  In addition to ongoing fieldwork in Wyoming, Dr. O’Brien is also co-founder of the Dukha Ethnoarchaeological Project (DEP) studying the spatial patterning of behavior of Mongolian reindeer herders. Dr. O’Brien and his colleagues secured a National Science Foundation Grant to support this research in Mongolia for several years, with active field research continuing through fall 2017. 

In 2014 the Human ID lab welcomed MA alumna Alexandra (Alex) Perrone as our new lab supervisor. 

In 2015 Dr. Ariane Bélanger-Vincent began teaching classes as a lecturer in cultural anthropology in our department.  She received her PhD in anthropology from the University of Laval in 2016.  Her dissertation examines the UN’s adoption of a ‘responsibility to protect’ populations within sovereign nations from genocide and other human rights crimes and atrocities.

In 2015 Dr. Will Nitzky was hired as a cultural anthropologist with specialization in museum studies.  His PhD from Arizona State University addresses ethnic minorities in China and draws on his years of teaching and research experience in that country.

In 2016 Dr. Carly Whelan was hired as an archaeologist with specialization in native California.  Her PhD from UC Davis theorizes long-term changes in gathering and hunting among peoples of the central Sierra.

In 2017 MA alumna Dr. Ashley Kendell was hired as a tenure-track physical anthropologist with specialization in forensic database and research design.  She comes from a position at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC following her doctoral studies at Michigan State University.

Selected faculty and staff kudos

Honors that have been given to our faculty include Outstanding Teacher, Professional Achievement Honors, Outstanding Research Mentor, the Paul Persons Sustainability Award, the BSS Faculty Colloquium Speaker, and the Lantis Endowed University Chair Award.

In 2013 Dr. Eric Bartelink, Department of Anthropology, was selected as the year’s honored scholar and keynote speaker for the BSS Faculty Colloquium Series. 

Since arriving at CSU Chico in 2008 Dr. Brian Brazeal has succeeded in attracting hundreds of thousands of dollars in NSF and other external funding to create facilities for student research and support for student film projects. Our program for teaching and research in visual anthropology at CSU, Chico and ALVA, the Advanced Laboratory for Visual Anthropology, are both unique and innovative. We have the only laboratory that teaches students to produce films of such rigor and professionalism that they can screen on broadcast television. 

Dr. Colleen “coach” Milligan has accrued kudos for the Chico State Rowing Club she began in 2011 for CSU Chico. 

Lisa Westwood has championed heritage resources through her diligent work to protect Tranquility Base, the site of the first NASA lunar Landing, as a Cultural Heritage Site.

Eric Bartelink has served on the Scientific Working Group for Forensic Anthropology and as elected President of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology.

Beth Shook was nominated for Outstanding Lecturer 2014 for both BSS and at the university level.

Advanced Laboratory of Visual Anthropology

Faculty, staff and students continue to produce high-quality anthropological films, including student videos each spring made in Anthropology 443 (Visual Anthropology).  Dr. Brian Brazeal collected footage on three continents on the international gem trade, realized in 2016 as Illusions in Stone and followed in 2017 with The Wealth of Sinners.  Dan Bruns is actively film-making across the state and beyond, including a documentary with Pomo native Californians shot mostly near Clear Lake.  Jesse Dizard's timely pieces on water politics in California, beginning with Treading Water in 2015, continue with his latest research on the LA Aqueduct and the Owens Valley from Shoshoni Paiute perspectives.  Matthew Ritenhour partnered with Georgia Fox, the Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology, and archaeologist Tom Layton to produce ‘Impact!  The Shipwreck of The Frolic’, the story of how an opium clipper touched the lives of Native Americans, Gold Rush Era settlers, and merchants from mainland China. 

ALVA now has agreements made and in the works for nationwide distribution, video streaming and broadcasts on PBS affiliates all over California.  Our visual anthropology program continues to grow and thrive.

The Valene L. Smith Museum of Anthropology

Dr. Georgia Fox, working with Anthropology 467 students, created the Valene L Smith Museum of Anthropology exhibit ‘Into the Blue: Maritime Navigation and the Archaeology of Shipwrecks,’ on display from December 2013 until July 2014.  She followed this in 2014-15 with ‘Leaping Lemurs and Mysterious Crimes: On the Trail of Physical Anthropology.’  With the retirement of Dr. Stacey Schaefer, Dr. Fox is now Director of the Valene L Smith Museum of Anthropology and the department’s Museum Studies Program. 

Dr. Will Nitzky, working with Anthropology 467 students and with Hmong elders and consultants in the Chico area, created the Valene L Smith Museum of Anthropology exhibitions “Hmong Reflections:  Stories of Our Own”, on display from Dec 2016 to July 2017.  In fall 2017, he supervised preparation for the upcoming exhibition “Imprisoned at Home”, opening January 2018, about Japanese-American internment camps in California during the second world war.

Department Traditions

Our department faculty and staff, both active and retired, continue our long-standing tradition of gathering for dinner Friday evening after every monthly faculty meeting.  We also continue to honor our 40+ year tradition of offering the Anthropology Forum every week – open to all in the university and community – which strengthens our opportunities for public and community relations.

Student organizations AGSA (Anthropology Graduate Student Assocation) and CAS (Chico Anthropological Society; for undergraduates) continue to make vital contributions to departmental life through the academic year.  Each year AGSA sponsors a student research competition with prizes for the best papers.  Each year students also raise funds for and organize a major forensics conference in the fall that brings top researchers to Chico to present and discuss their research.  They also frequently participate in national and regional conferences in the field.


Student Learning Fee funds from the University and help from the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences have allowed us to make improvements in the following areas: 

  • 2010-2011.  Human Identification Laboratory Curation Project-Eric Bartelink-$18,500
  • 2011-2012.  BSS Hands-on Archaeology-Kevin Dalton-$15,000 
  • 2012-2013.  BSS Hands-on Forensic Science-Colleen Milligan-$4,500
  • 2013-2014.  BSS Handheld XRF Unit-Kevin Dalton-$15,000
  • 2014-2015.  BSS Student Digital Film Production-Jesse Dizard-$17,095.  BSS Virtual Science in Action-Kevin Dalton-$4,000
  • 2015-2017.  Forensic sciences supplies ($5,000).  3D printer ($10,000).  Digital microscope ($18,000).  Drones for photography and film-making ($8,000).  New iMac Pro computers for visual anthropology editing (($6,000). XRF spectrophotometer ($30,000) and associated pump.  Support for two students to analyze collections ($6,000).  

Human Identification Laboratory

The Human ID lab continues to be a busy place with both forensic casework and outdoor scene recoveries. The Human ID Lab continues to experienced heavy caseloads, with more than a hundred cases in 2017, breaking the previous record high of seventy for 2016.  We are fortunate to have an extraordinary team of graduate students and undergraduate interns to help, and Alexandra (Alex) Perrone as the new lab supervisor.

The Northeast Information Center (NEIC) is alive and well.  We have been operating out of our “new” location at 6th and Main for over four years now.  In 2015 we dropped maintenance of the hard copy base maps for Butte, Glenn, and Sutter counties, which are fully digitized.  The NEIC also has worked through several Data Sharing agreements with Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. As part of these agreements, the agencies have helped fund GIS conversion and in return, the NEIC is providing completed digital data back to the agencies.

The Archaeology Laboratory

The Archaeology Laboratory continues to be a center of activity in our department.  Between Dr. O’Brien’s Laboratory Methods in Archaeology and Dr. Fox’s Museum Collection Management class take place there, and the lab hosts search candidate job talks and pizza lunches, Chico Anthropological Society events, and of course students diligently studying bones, artifacts, or working on their theses.

Since 2011 the Lab has added state-of-the-art technical equipment to its suite of field and laboratory tools, including a portable X-ray fluorescence (pXRF) spectrometer.  This nondestructive method of elemental analysis is used to identify the character of the chemical elements in a given sample and is widely used by anthropology students across subdisciplines.  In addition to the pXRF, the Lab has added two 3D scanners. Recent advances have made this technology more cost affordable, faster, and more accurate than ever, and these are also widely used across the department.