Students studying anthropology and subfields of anthropology at Northern Arizona University are able to take their learning outside the classroom by participating in projects at any of the anthropology labs on campus in Flagstaff.
Anthropology Paleodiet Stable Isotope Laboratory
Location: Building 49
The Paleodiet Laboratory is run by Dr. Corina Kellner and provides a facility for:
- processing archaeological soils, water, plants, fauna, and human bones and teeth for stable isotope analysis
- determining the diet, health, and migration patterns of prehistoric people
Ceramic Analysis Laboratory
Directed by Dr. Kelley Hays-Gilpin, this lab provides a facility for:
- taking on contracts to analyze pottery from salvage and research projects anywhere on the Colorado Plateau
- teaching and training for graduate and undergraduate students
- students taking ANT 552 (Ceramic Analysis)
- housing comparative collections of pottery and samples of clay and other materials from Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah
Location: SBS West (building 70), room 108
The lab provides:
- video/DVD editing and production
- Mac computers and Final Cut Pro video editing software
- Adobe Creative Suite
Faunal Analysis Laboratory
The Faunal Analysis Lab provides a facility for:
- a comparative collection of modern mammal bones from the American southwest
- a teaching and training facility for graduate and undergraduate students
- research in the fauna lab for student projects, both in Anthropology and Quaternary Studies
- a secure place for storage and study of faunal materials on loan from museums around the country
- the Navajo Nation Archaeology Department
Historical Archaeology Laboratory
Directed by Dr. Emily Dale, this lab provides:
- a teaching and training collection for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the historical archaeology of the American Southwest
- research opportunities for student projects in historical archaeology
Lithic Analysis Laboratory
The Lithic Analysis Lab, directed by Dr. Francis E. Smiley, holds lithic comparative collections from northern Arizona, southeastern Utah, and New Mexico. The lab provides facilities for the analysis of prehistoric stone tools and the waste materials from tool manufacture.
The lab has two Wild Leica binocular microscopes for analysis of lithic materials and provides a teaching and training facility for graduate and undergraduate students.
Mesoamerican Archaeology Laboratory
Research in this laboratory focuses on the emergence of social, political and economic complexity among ancient Mesoamerican pre-industrial societies, and the role of the environment in these processes. We study the ancient Maya and their neighbors through site excavation, survey, artifact analysis, iconographic studies, spatial analysis, and archaeometric analyses. The facilities include wet and dry lab areas and computer work stations.
The lab also houses archaeological materials from western Belize collected by the BVAR Project. The collections include ceramics, lithics (chert and obsidian), and faunal remains recovered from excavations at several large Maya cities. Materials span a range of temporal periods from 1200 BC to AD 1000. This lab collaborates with the NAU Lithic Cast Teaching and Research Collection (directed by Dr. Francis Smiley), which represents the largest type collection of Archaic period points from Mesoamerica.
Several ongoing projects offer students opportunities to engage in archaeological analysis and to obtain research skills. Current projects include:
- Foraging-to-farming transition in the eastern Maya lowlands
- Analysis of Early Preclassic (1200-1000 BC) Cunil pottery
- Belize Valley obsidian geochemical sourcing project
- Belize Valley lidar project (in collaboration with Dr. Francis Smiley)
- Belize Valley faunal analysis project (in collaboration with the NAU Department of Anthropology Faunal Analysis Lab, directed by Dr. Chrissina Burke)
- Terminal Classic (AD 900/1000) disintegration of Maya political organization and demographic decline in the Belize River Valley
Medical Anthropology Practice Collaborative (MAPC)
The medical anthropology practice collaborative is a space for ongoing education, research, practice, and engagement. Medical anthropology has served as the foundation for widely used theories and methods used in interdisciplinary health work and continues to provide valuable insights to ongoing health-focused research and practice. Students and partners working with the collaborative engage in theory-driven qualitative and mixed-methods research and practice to explore and understand the root causes of health outcomes. Students aligned with the collaborative have opportunities for volunteer and internship placements working alongside anthropologists in the lab and in the field. The collaborative brings together the expertise and skills of medical anthropologists in the region.
Cultural Medical Anthropology Analysis Lab
Directed by Dr. Emery Eaves
The Cultural Medical Anthropology Analysis Lab (CMAA) offers a space for graduate and undergraduate students in Anthropology, Health Sciences, and other social sciences to gain experience in medical anthropology research and in-depth analysis. The CMAA lab offers students opportunities to work alongside professionals from multiple disciplines to develop research skills and contribute to impactful, engaged health research. Student interns and volunteers have contribute to the research design, gathering primary data, analyzing secondary data, building professional networks, and participating in in-depth qualitative analysis techniques.
The Social Science Community-engagement Lab
Directed by Dr. Lisa J. Hardy
Key faculty partners: Dr. Leah Mundell and Dr. Christy Arazan
The SSCL is a central location for community-engaged research and practice in northern Arizona. Faculty, students, and community partners together develop projects, implement strategies, and disseminate information on community engagement through partnerships with the SSCL. Researchers provide training and resources on best practices for health-focused community engagement in the region including mixed-methods data collection and analysis. Collaborative knowledge dissemination and policy recommendations are also priorities of the lab. Students can sign up for credits to intern with SSCL faculty in local partnering organizations.
Community partners include: Red Feather Development Group, Native Americans for Community Action, The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association, The Sunnyside Longevity Project, Central Arizona Dental Society Foundation, Northern Arizona Volunteer Medical Corp., and others.