Environmental Anthropology

Anthropology is concerned with the production and use of knowledge regarding human social and cultural behavior in specific historical and environmental contexts and cross-culturally. While anthropology is involved in national and global investigation, the discipline is noted for its expertise in accessing, understanding and describing complex communities in national systems.

Anthropology is particularly effective in relating to and gaining understanding of cultural diversity in community settings, and intercultural/intersect oral conflict, thus lending itself to applied endeavors that involve collaboration among diverse interest groups for the common good. Applied anthropology utilizes these understandings to work with communities and stake holders in the investigation, identification and joint resolution of problems related to health, education, social welfare, development and environmental protection.

Environmental anthropology assists policy-making and program planning by combining expertise in ecology with methods and tools for understanding of the social and cultural dynamics of communities potentially affected by policy decisions. The extensive body of relevant scientific knowledge included in environmental anthropology includes: understanding and building on the social organization of communities in larger social systems for use in identifying and solving environmental problems, recognizing and addressing differences in culturally diverse perceptions, categories, linguistic terms, values and behaviors related to the environment in order to confront differences and improve communication among specific cultural/ethnic groups with respect to addressing environmental concerns identifying and utilizing culturally specific styles of communication and rhetoric typical of designated groups to enhance communication and mutual understanding among groups

The methods and tools of environmental and other domains of applied anthropology are far-ranging. Prominent among them are observation techniques, qualitative and survey interviews, systematic data collection techniques for accessing core values or areas of cultural consensus, ways of identifying and interpreting social networks and a variety of participatory cultural, social and environmental assessment techniques designed to improve intersect oral understanding of demographic composition, social/political dynamics, cultural and other forms of diversity, and capacity for planning and development