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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman

The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Digging to Uncover SBU Anthropology

John Shea has been at Stony Brook University for ten years, as a member of the renowned Anthropology Department. Shea is the Assistant Professor as well as the Director of the Undergraduate Studies for the department. He received his BA in Archeology from Boston University and then went on to obtain his Masters and Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard. Here is what he had to say in an interview.

Who is the Chair of the Anthropology department?
Fred Grine.

What is Anthropology?
It is a cross cultural and evolutionary perspective study of the human behavior.

Is there any G.P.A. requirement for the major?
None, but the minimum requirements that are encouraged for the major are one foreign language class and a statistics course.

Are there any internships available?
Yes. We have had students in the past work in a Medical Examiners Office. This is a great opportunity if they want to go into medical school or go for Criminology. We also have had students doing Environmental Conservation in Madagascar as well as students interning in Africa.

Are there any research opportunities?
Plenty! There are a lot of research opportunities available in either the lab, or the field. We even have students right now digging in an archeology site in East Setauket. We are actually looking for a student interested in doing a research project on identifying different animal fossils by the teeth. We need to put together a guidebook small enough to fit in a backpack. Students doing research not only learn about what they are working on, but also about funding, and writing proposals. We also have a goat roast every spring. We buy a goat from a commercial butcher and use stone tools to see how the tools actually work. We have won awards given by the Celebration of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities in the past.

Is there an Anthropology Club?
Yes, it is called Anthropology Society. They are a very active group. They have sponsored trips to museums, and had gone to the Bronx Zoo to study gorilla behavior in the past. They have also gone to the Witch?s Ball in Massachusetts, among other things.The Anthropology Department at Stony Brook is one of the top in the country. For those interested in visiting the Anthropology Department, it is located on the 5th floor of the Social Behavioral Science (SBS) Building, Room S-509. You can also check out their website at

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