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Anthropology headlines in CAS News

  • 10 CAS undergrads receive Carson, Auvil research awards

    Ten students in the College of Arts & Sciences are among 27 WSU undergraduates at Pullman and Vancouver to receive two types of awards from the Office of Undergraduate Research, part of WSU Undergraduate Education.

    Students in anthropology, biological sciences, chemistry, environmental studies, and history received Carson and Auvil awards. They will work with faculty mentors throughout the 2017-18 academic year on research, scholarly, and creative projects that advance or create new knowledge in their specific fields.

    “Awards are typically $1,000 and help to ease financial stress, so students can focus more on their research,” said Shelley Pressley, director of the Office of Undergraduate Research.

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  • Prehistoric turkey DNA used to track ancient Pueblo migration

    In the mid-to-late 1200s, some 30,000 ancestral pueblo farmers left their homes in southwestern Colorado’s Mesa Verde region and never returned.

    Where these people went and why they left are two of American archeology’s longest-standing mysteries.

    A new study co-led by archaeologists Tim Kohler, of Washington State University, and Brian Kemp, formerly at WSU, now at the University of Oklahoma, provides the first genetic evidence suggesting that many of Mesa Verde’s ancient farmers moved to the northern Rio Grande area in New Mexico, a region currently inhabited by the Tewa people.

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  • African farmers’ kids conquer the marshmallow test

    Children of Nso farmers in Cameroon know how to master the marshmallow test, which has tempted away the self-control of Western kids for decades. In a direct comparison on this delayed gratification task, Cameroonian youngsters leave middle-class German children in the dust when challenged to resist a reachable treat while waiting for another goodie, a new study finds.

    While Nso values and parenting techniques generally characterize small-scale farming populations, especially in Africa, hunter-gatherers are another story, says anthropologist Barry Hewlett of Washington State University in Vancouver. Traditional hunter-gatherer groups value individual freedom and consider everyone to be relatively equal, regardless of age. Parents usually don’t … » More …

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  • Is the Moon House an American Stonehenge?

    Imagine that you live in isolation on a beautiful mesa with a small band of subsistence farmers. Your territory is rugged and difficult to traverse, with steep slopes, deep canyons, and sandstone cliffs, and is strewn with boulders, hoodoos, balanced rocks, and other obstacles. Even the flat places are uneven and covered with piñon, cedar, shrub oak, yucca, cactus, and scrubby dessert plants.

    Such was life for the ancestral Puebloan people, often called the Anasazi, who inhabited southeastern Utah. Their cliff-dwelling stage lasted between 1150 and 1300. During this span, they built and decorated a complex on a plateau called Cedar Mesa. In the 1960s, … » More …

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  • Graduate students win NSF research fellowships

    Three Washington State University College of Arts and Sciences students have been chosen for National Science Foundation graduate research fellowships. The prestigious awards have trained generations of American scientists and engineers, including Nobel laureates.

    The College of Arts and Sciences’ honorees are:

    Avery Anne Lane, an anthropology student from Tucson, Ariz., who is working on a master’s in Courtney Meehan’s biocultural anthropology lab.

    Shawn Trojahn, a biology master’s student from Virginia Beach, Va., who is looking at the global decline in biodiversity in the vulnerable mangrove forest, a habitat affected by logging and water pollution.

    Lindsey Marie Lavaysse, a psychology master’s student from San Francisco, … » More …

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