Laboratories & Field Schools
TAPS Field School
The Archaeology Teaching Laboratory is committed to hands-on student training in archaeological methods.
Archaeology is very much about the study of ancient objects and in the
Archaeology Teaching Laboratory undergraduate and graduate student can
gain first hand experience and training in artifact analysis. The Archaeology
Teaching Laboratory houses archaeological teaching collections as well
as historic, prehistoric, zooarchaeological collections from Northwesterns
many field archaeology projects in the US and abroad. A series of specialized
hands-on archaeological methods courses are taught in the lab using
these collections. The laboratories facilities and collections are also
available to graduate and advanced undergraduate students to pursue
original research projects involving archaeological data. In adjoining
facilities the archaeology graduate students have funded and developed
a computing facility including a scanner, digitizer, printer, and computer
equipped to analyze large archaeological data sets which may be difficult
to analyze on home computers.
The Geographic Information Systems Laboratory is for the visualization, storage and analysis of spatial data. The GIS laboratory, housed in 1810 Hinman Ave is available for use between 8:30 and 5:00 pm. The laboratory specializes in acquisition and analysis of geospatial data for the social sciences and the humanities. It is open to researchers in Northwestern community. Researchers affiliated with the lab are affiliated in a range of projects related.
The Chan Project Archaeology Laboratory is a specialized digital archaeology facility designed to bring the foreign archaeological experience back into the Northwestern laboratory and classroom. The lab is used by advanced undergraduate and graduate students to develop their own original research projects and publications based on field research undertaken at the ancient Maya farming village named Chan in Belize. Specialized archaeology classes (390 and 490-level) are also taught in the lab. The lab has two computer stations equipped with archaeological drawing (Cadd, Surfer, Adobe), geographical information systems (ArcView), statistical (SPSS), and web design (Dreamweaver) software. The lab also houses state-of-the-art digital archaeology survey instruments: a Topcon Laser Theodolite and a Garmin Global Positioning System Receiver. Each year space is available in the lab for a number of student researchers. The lab also offers each year an undergraduate work-study position to help maintain the general research and teaching aspects of the lab.
The Laboratory for Human Biology Research is committed to collaborative, population-based research into the biological and cultural factors that shape human biology and health in a range of international settings. A primary goal of the laboratory is the development of minimally invasive, field-friendly methods for assessing biomarkers of health and development that can be used to facilitate research in remote fields settings. This facility is unique among anthropology programs, and provides special opportunities for graduate and undergraduate students to engage in cutting-edge human biology research.
The Laboratory is located within the Department of Anthropology and is comprised of 1,500 square feet of Biosafety Level 2 certified wet-lab space. The laboratory contains equipment to support immunoassay analysis of human blood, saliva, and urine, as well as the assessment of body composition, energy expenditure, and cardiovascular function.
The Laboratory supports research in energetics and metabolism, exercise and fitness, stress and human health, growth and development, body composition, and ecological immunology. The laboratorys facilities are available to graduate and advanced undergraduate students who would like to pursue their own research interests under the supervision of the lab directors. In addition, the Laboratory offers a two-course sequence in Human Biology Research which provides students with hands-on experience with a range of methods for assessing human adaptation, development, and health.
Linguistic anthropology examines the dynamic relationship between language and culture. The Linguistic Anthropology Laboratory is designed to facilitate research and teaching on social interaction and performance. When not in use for training students and workshop purposes, the laboratory is a designated quiet space for the transcription and analysis of audio data. Students working in the linguistic anthropology concentration have access to this quiet space as well as its recording and transcribing equipment and computers.
The Ethnographic Field School is a joint program of the Department of Anthropology and the Center for Cultural Understanding and Change, The Field Museum. Through the Ethnographic Field School (EFS), students learn ethnographic field methods and conduct a research study in one of the many ethnic communities in the greater Chicago area.
EFS has a long history. Stemming back over 30 years, the Ethnographic Field Studies Program was first established in the southwestern United States, by Dr. Oswald Werner, Professor Emeritus, Department of Anthropology, Northwestern University. Professor Werner realized the potential of Ethnographic Field Studies for offering early career experience in field research through volunteer service in another cultural setting. In September, 1998, Dr. Madelyn Iris was appointed director, following Dr. Werner's retirement. In 2006 the program relocated to Chicago, and collaboration with the Field Museum was established.
EFS offers students field work experience with an emphasis on applied anthropology, and immerses them in a local community through volunteer service and work with local sponsors at a community based organization in the greater Chicago area. Placements are individually negotiated to meet each student's interests. EFS is an eight week full-time program. Students may enroll for one, two, or three course credits. All students will meet once a week for class work in field methods, project design, data collection strategies, and data analysis techniques.
In their field placements, students work alone or occasionally in pairs to conduct their own research projects, as planned in advance with Professor Iris and her staff. New opportunities for student projects open up continually, and areas of research depend entirely on students’ individual interests. Those in pre-law, pre-med, nursing, economics, political science, history, geography, sociology, psychology, religious studies, or even engineering, can benefit a great deal from this program, as it opens up a variety of opportunities in which to use academic knowledge and apply it in the field to help solve human problems. The Ethnographic Field Studies Program gives students the chance to conduct field research and to make a difference in other people's lives.
The following are examples of some of the areas in which students have volunteered and done field research:
Numerous other possibilities are available and can be tailored to individual interests and needs
For further information, contact Madelyn Iris, EFS director, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Permission of the Instructor is required prior to enrollment.
Northwestern is collaborating with Washington University in St Louis to provide a training program in
field archaeology for undergraduate students. Students can participate in a 6-week summer field school at
Cahokia, Illinois, the largest native American site in the US. Students enroll in the Washington University
program and credit is transferable to Northwestern. The primary aim of this field school is to provide
hands-on training in excavation methods and research design. Students have their own tool kits, and the
responsibilities of excavating a specific area of the site and recording their own field observations.
A staff of field supervisors works with the student excavators to help them perfect techniques. Students can
find further information on the Cahokia program at http://www.artsci.wustl.edu/~archae/cahokia.htm.
The Northwestern contact for this program is Dr. James Brown
Research Opportunities in Archaeology
Tsimane Amazonian Panel Study
The Tsimane Amazonian Panel Study (TAPS) aims to assess the effects of trade opening or market exposure on well-being and on the use of natural resources in the tsimane, an indigenious lowland population in Bolivia. It does so by conducting a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary, long-term program of research, training, and development. Research draws on an eclectic mix of theories and insights from economics, evolutionary biology, and cultural anthropology. Research reflects a sense of problem, and a respect for empirical facts. Research and initiatives draw on a long-term understanding of the people and their needs and combines with rigorous methods for evaluating interventions. Training opportunities extend to all students from any nationality and disciplines -- and indigenous peoples.
For more information visit the TAPS wep page.