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Anthropological research is conducted through the Department of Anthropology, the Donald E. Crabtree Laboratory for Archaeological Science, and the Center for Archaeology, Materials and Applied Spectroscopy (CAMAS). The department has close ties with the Idaho Museum of Natural History on  campus. We have prominent interdisciplinary connections with the departments of Biology, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Geosciences, History, and the Kasiska Division of Health Sciences.

Several laboratory facilities are maintained by the Department of Anthropology. These include the Donald E. Crabtree Laboratory for Archaeological Science, the joint Anthropology and Biological Sciences Ancient DNA Extraction Laboratory, and Bioanthropology Research Laboratory; as well as dedicated bioanthropology and archaeology classrooms with student research space, and wet chemistry capability.

Research opportunities in all areas of interest to our faculty are regularly provided to anthropology undergraduate and graduate students. We award two Teaching Assistantships, one in Anthropology and one in American Indian Studies each year. Research Assistantships have been regularly provided to graduate students for some faculty research activities. Check with us on the projected availability. Lectureships are available to advanced graduate students, and opportunities to assist professors in teaching while receiving university credits are available to a wide variety of undergrads and grads. Students interested in biomedical and medical anthropology are eligible to apply for Kasiska scholarships that are awarded regularly to anthropology students.

Anthropologists from ISU are involved in primary research and applications of anthropological method and theory in a wide variety of geographic settings that range from the Aleutian Islands to South America and the Intermountain West to Easter Island, as well as long-standing research programs in the Great Basin. Our diverse academic and applied research programs address issues such as fisheries management, peopling of the New World, language survival, the effects of catastrophic environmental change on society, forensic anthropology, and Hispanic healthcare. During most years we offer multiple opportunities for field schools and anthropological laboratory research.

Anthropology Fieldwork Opportunities

ISU's Department of Anthropology offers many opportunities for students at all levels to gain hands-on, specialized experience in anthropological field and laboratory methods. Some of these opportunities are held abroad, in locations like the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, the Sacred Valley in Peru, and the Polynesian Pacific. Other opportunities take place in the mountains and deserts of the Intermountain West, rural health cooperatives, and anthropology laboratories on the ISU campus.

Click on the links below to get more information about the current field opportunities in the Department of Anthropology at ISU:

Field Projects (Abroad & Non-local)

  • Alaska Fisheries Projects
  • Medical Anthropology research in the Sacred Valley, Peru

Field Projects (Intermountain West)

  • Hispanic Health Projects
  • Prehistoric Ecology Preservation of the Snake River Plain

Laboratory Internships in Archaeological Science

To apply for Graduate Teaching Assistantships please fill out this form:

Graduate Teaching Assistantship Application

Priority Deadline is April 5th. Please submit to Christine Cento-Ownby,, or the Department of Anthropology Office, 155 Graveley Hall, along with current CV and any other supporting materials. Please note: you must be a classified student fully admitted to the ISU Anthropology Graduate Program to be eligible.


2018 Archaeology Field School: Olsen Mammoth Excavation

The 2018 Field School finished on June 8th and worked towards recovering a Columbian Mammoth (Mammuthus columbi) from a site in Kimberly, Idaho. The mammoth has been radiocarbon dated to between 15,500 and 14,500 years old. Please click the link below for more information about the project and visit either our:

Facebook page: or

YouTube page:

for photos and videos. Please contact Dr. Charles Speer at if you are interested in attending next years field school!

2016 Archaeology Field School: Paleoindian Archaeology in the Sweet Ola Valley

This video shows the area we are exploring for Paleoindian sites from 9,000 to 18,000 years ago in the Sweet-Ola Valley. In the first slides you'll see details of the area we investigated on the Upper Squaw Creek. You'll also see artifacts collected by the landowners of the various sites. We investigated 720 acres of private property adjacent to Boise National Forest. The preliminary results of our investigation are promising. The slides and videos show students from the 2016 field school excavating, sifting dirt, and mapping artifacts with our robotic Total Station survey instrument. There are several time lapse videos, GoPro handheld footage, and iPhone video capture. The last slides show the Fennel family that has been very helpful in procuring permissions to excavate and survey in the Sweet-Ola Valley. Special thanks to them!