Jan 10-May 04, 2018
Credit: 3 undergraduate
Instructor(s): Nancy Mahoney

Course Description

Please use CRN 34962 to register.

This upper division course provides students an overview of the human/environment interactions from diverse anthropological perspectives. For nearly a century, anthropologists have developed innovative analytical tools to investigate the relationship between humans and their environment. Drawing from classical anthropological texts and some of the newest debates in the field if Environmental Anthropology, the course will consider how diverse populations conceive of the relationship between “nature” and “culture.” Students will learn the meaning and application of conceptual terms such as: Cultural Ecology, Political Ecology, Ethnoecology, Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Paleoenvironment, Anthropocene, Environmental Justice, Sustainability and Resilience. The course also explores scientific methods for studying human impacts on ancient, historical, and contemporary environments, using examples from societies of varying scales and diverse ecosystems. Students will engage with questions concerning population growth, resource distribution, indigenous knowledge systems, industrialized food systems, and the human dimensions of global environmental change. This course is intended for students in anthropology, liberal studies, and other social, natural and environmental science disciplines interested in the complex interactions between culture, socio-economic systems and the natural environment.

This course fulfills the 3 credits of the social science degree requirement in Liberal Studies.

Meeting Place and Times



Nancy Mahoney, MA. Nancy Mahoney has been an Instructor in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology since 2007. She has both a B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology, with a specialization in Archaeology, and has done fieldwork in Cyprus, Morocco, Utah, Arizona, and Montana. She is currently a doctoral candidate in American Studies, and her current research focus is the contested control of both the physical artifacts and interpretations of the past among professional archaeologists, Native descendant communities, collectors, and the general public.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, see the appropriate MSU Online Only Tuition and Fee table below:

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

Required Books/Materials

  • Human Impact on Ancient Environments
    Author: Charles Redman
    Publisher: University of Arizona Press, Tucson.
    Edition: 1999.
    ISBN: 9780816519637
    Price: approx $20

    Available at the MSU bookstore and other online retailers.

Additional reading from book chapters and journal articles will be available electronically as part of the online course content.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

For More Information

For course information: Please contact Nancy Mahoney at

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.