Anthropology in Barbados
Spend six weeks in Barbados exploring the major subfields of anthropology. You will have the chance to work on an archaeological site, learn about Barbados' cultural heritage from an applied anthropology perspective, and study local vervet monkey troops.
- Work on an archeology field excavation
- Camp overnight and observe vervet monkeys
- Participate in group excursions
- Understand how archaeology and anthropology data can be used to answer questions about human behavior
- Explore the ways in which island cultures have been shaped by human colonization, the introduction of non-native species, European colonialism, and other factors
The program is divided into three two-week sections:
Section 1: ANTH 488 - Caribbean Cultural Heritage, taught by Professor Phil Scher. During this section, you will live on the South Coast of Barbados and participate in excursions around the island. You will also have the opportunity to experience the Crop Over festival, a traditional celebration of the end of the sugar cane harvest season. This will be a unique and immersive experience that allows you to fully immerse yourself in the history and culture of Barbados.
Section 2: ANTH 488 - Archaeology in Barbados, taught by Professor Scott Fitzpatrick. In this section, you will have the chance to participate in an excavation based in Mole Town on the east coast of Barbados. The dig will take place at the property of WIRRED, our partner organization on the island. In addition to the excavation, there will also be a single day-long excursion.
Section 3: ANTH 488 - Primate Behavior, taught by Professor Alexana Hickmott. During the final portion of the program, you will have the opportunity to observe and study primates in a hands-on and immersive way. You will camp for five nights at a field location and conduct observations at three different locations in total. You will learn about the various methods used by primatologists to study and understand the behavior of primates, and receive training in data analysis and basic statistical techniques to help you ask and answer research questions about the adaptive nature of certain behaviors and the ecological factors that shape them.
Classes are held Monday-Friday, and weekends are free for you to explore Barbados.
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This program offers three courses (12 credits) that can be applied toward a minor or major in anthropology. These credit count as upper-division Anthropology elective credits. This program is suitable for students interested in pursuing a career in any subfield of anthropology and/or attending graduate school, as it provides valuable field and lab experience.
Program Structure: The program is divided into three two-week sections:
Section 1: ANTH 488 - Caribbean Cultural Heritage, taught by Professor Phil Scher
Section 2: ANTH 488 - Archaeology in Barbados, taught by Professor Scott Fitzpatrick
Section 3: ANTH 488 - Primate Behavior, taught by Professor Alexana Hickmott
Classes are held Monday-Friday, and weekends are free for you to explore Barbados.
UO students: please refer to the UO Course Equivalency Process and the UO Office of the Registrar Course Equivalency Database.
Non-UO students: Actual credit awarded is determined by the relevant department at your university in consultation with the study abroad office. Check with your study abroad advisor for more information.
This program has a rolling admission application process: GEO staff (and the program faculty leader, if applicable) will complete a review of the application materials of complete applications in the order that they are submitted (“first come, first serve”). Decisions about acceptance will be made shortly after you submit a complete application. There are some programs that fill fast, some even before the deadline. Students are encouraged to complete applications and commit to programs early.
Acceptance is based on a holistic review of your application. This includes a review of your GPA, transcripts (including courses taken and in-progress), any additional requirements or prerequisites (see section "Additional Requirements"), and the short statement. Some programs require a letter of recommendation from a faculty that is not the program's faculty leader. If a letter of recommendation is required, you will find more information in your GEO application portal.
Dr. Phil Scher, Professor of Anthropology and Folklore, Divisional Dean of the College of Arts and Science. His research area is the Caribbean and Caribbean diaspora, with primary research interests in the politics of heritage and cultural identity, popular and public culture, tourism and transnationalism. He began his research career in the Caribbean in 1993 in Trinidad and Tobago where he researched the Trinidad Carnival and its relationship to cultural identity, migration, and tourism. He has a longstanding interest in the folklore and expressive cultural practices of the Caribbean.
Dr. Fitzpatrick specializes in the archaeology of island and coastal regions, particularly in the Pacific and Caribbean. Much of his research focuses on colonization events, seafaring strategies, adaptations to smaller islands, exchange systems, chronometric techniques, and human impacts on ancient environments. He has active field projects in Palau and several islands in the Caribbean, including the Grenadines and Nevis.
Dr. Alexana J. Hickmott is a biological anthropologist and primatologist specializing in behavioral ecology and molecular anthropology. Her research is focused on the evolution of primate diets and the co-evolution of primate gut microbiomes. Her research includes projects with aging marmosets, vervet monkeys, and bonobo gut microbiomes.
Dr. Francis White, Professor & Department Head of Anthropology. As a biological anthropologist and behavioral ecologist, Dr. White’s research interests examine the evolution of human sociality using comparative studies of non-human primates. Her research focuses on the complex interplay between ecology, female sociality, and sex-based social and mating strategies in the evolution of social systems. Dr. White conducts research with bonobos in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and free-ranging lemurs on St. Catherine’s Island, GA. She directs the UO Primate Osteology Lab which houses the UO Primate Osteology Collection along with the Primate Data Lab.
Jehroum Wood, Director of Research & Development: Jehroum is an Environmental Management professional. His whole approach is about finding solutions that strengthen people, the planet, and our pockets. From spatial planning to video production; he applies a natural science lens to assessing problems and creating sustainable solutions for various local, regional, and international organizations. He has also worked on communication & capacity building projects of various scales with specific focus on training and education in environmental and natural resource management.
Meike Joseph graduated from the UWI Cave Hill Campus with a Bachelor of Science degree in Ecology. During her time at UWI she completed a research project on Remnant Wetlands on the West Coast of Barbados. This fueled her passion to work on mangrove restoration throughout the island and has also motivated her to work towards more regenerative practices for Barbados. She also developed a love for beekeeping and has since been working with the Walkers Reserve Apiary Programme (WRAP). Meike also has over 10 years of experience within the tourism industry, which has greatly increased her communication skills as well as tour and camp managing skills. Her love for the environment motivates her to find ways in which she can improve environmental awareness, protection and sustainability in Barbados.
You will be placed in shared student housing with 2-4 students per room. The housing on the south coast will be in a hotel, and you will stay in university housing in Mole Town. The program also includes 5-7 nights of camping. Our partners in Barbados will provide basic camping supplies such as a tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad.
The program fee covers most meals (breakfast, lunch, and some dinners) but does not include meals during the weekends.
GEO programs are under continuous review during this period of global uncertainty and limited travel. All program details outlined on this page, including program cost, are subject to change if global or location-specific conditions require modifications to program structure.
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