Anthropology & the Environment

Some of the most pressing issues of our time concern the complex relationships between people and the environment, and UTSA’s Department of Anthropology is committed to understanding them. From Texas to Africa to the Island Pacific, our program is generating essential knowledge about a changing planet. Our faculty members direct extensive research projects, and they publish regularly in top-ranking journals. Our graduate students have a proven record of securing prestigious grants for field research. Our recent Ph.D.s have attained prominent postdoctoral fellowships, tenure-track professorships, and applied positions outside the academy, and they have won national awards for their dissertations. We are part of an emerging research university with an ambitious vision focused on environmental issues, and we share its mission of producing knowledge that is intellectually innovative and practically relevant.

As a social and biological science, anthropology embraces a broad view of humanity according to the methods and topics of its four subfields:

  • Cultural Anthropology - The study of people as social and cultural beings, whether in small-scale societies or complex global organizations
  • Linguistic Anthropology - The study of language use and linguistic diversity in social life
  • Archaeology - The study of social and cultural life through material remains, from a long-term historical perspective
  • Biological anthropology - The study of human and nonhuman primate evolution, the biology and diversity of living human populations, and the behavior and ecology of non-human primates
The UTSA Department of Anthropology offers a major and minor at the undergraduate level and MA and Ph.D. degrees at the graduate level. We support our graduate students with fellowships, scholarships, hourly appointments, and research and travel grants.

Our doctoral program couples a focus on environmental anthropology with a broad education across anthropology’s sub-fields. It provides advanced training in political and cultural ecology, environmental and landscape archaeology, science and technology studies, medical anthropology, primate behavior, evolution, ecology, and conservation, evolutionary medicine, human biology, and global health.

Faculty research specialties include:

  • Archaeology of the Maya lowlands and Andean South America
  • Archaeology of Texas, the American Southwest, and Northwest Mexico; primate behavioral ecology in Southeast Asia
  • Primate conservation ecology and genetics in Africa and Madagascar
  • Ethnoprimatology in the Caribbean, South Africa, and Asia
  • Resource management practices and human-animal relations in the Island Pacific
  • Environmental politics, resource extraction, water scarcity, and ecological contamination in North and South America
  • Coastal political ecology and the making of environmental markets in Belize and the United States
  • Cultural anthropology of Texas and the Plains
  • Ethnography and applied anthropology of Mexico and the United States
  • Medical anthropology of the US-Mexico border region and the Circumpolar North
  • Evolutionary physiology and ecological immunology; and conservation medicine/One Health issues

  • Read about our department members' recent accomplishments in our 2020 - 2021 Round-Up Report →
  • Find more information about the careers and placement of our Ph.D. Graduates →

Have an inquiry about our program?

We appreciate your interest in the Department of Anthropology and extend our warmest welcome to you from the Department.