stone carving.jpg

Literally and figuratively, much of human history is written in stone - like these mesoamerican glyphs. Photo by Albert Dezetter

Mansfield University's new geoarchaeology concentration, the first of its kind in Pennsylvania, is now active and ready for enrollment. The field of geoarchaeology uses earth science methods and concepts to address questions about past human activity.

Using information about soil, geomorphology, geology, and physical landscapes, geoarchaeologists gather information about past human settlements, ancient landscapes, and climate reconstructions. The new program offers opportunities to develop and apply hands-on skills in both field and laboratory environments.

"We are very excited to offer this new program in which students use knowledge of earth sciences such as soil science, river systems, and others, to reconstruct past human activities and interactions with the natural world" said Dr. Linda Kennedy, associate professor in the Department of Geosciences. "Mansfield University's location provides us with a bounty of outdoor classroom opportunities to investigate prehistoric Native American and early American settlement in the region in addition to traditional earth sciences."

The program prepares students for entry-level positions in the cultural resource management sector, which includes private consulting firms and state and federal governmental departments, or to pursue advanced degrees at the graduate level.

The program is unique in that it draws upon the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) ethos of systemness with a collaboration through the IUP Anthropology Department. Mansfield University students enrolled in the geoarchaeology concentration are required to complete two classes (nine credits) through Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). ANTH 315 (North American Archaeology) will be conducted through remote classroom experience and the 6-credit field school (ANTH 320) is offered at IUP during the summer.

"The partnership between IUP Anthropology and Mansfield Geosciences builds on the strengths of both departments to prepare students to work in the billion-dollar cultural resources management industry," Dr. Ben Ford, chairperson of the IUP Department of Anthropology. "This is a natural partnership given IUP's strengths in geoarchaeology and applied archaeology, and Mansfield's dedication to preparing Geoscience majors for a variety of jobs. IUP Anthropology is very excited to begin this partnership."

Job posting analytics conducted by Mansfield University for Pennsylvania and New York predict a job growth of 15.6% over the next 10 years for archaeologists and anthropologists.

Other geoscience concentrations offered by Mansfield University include environmental science, geology, outdoor recreation leadership, and watershed management.

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.