Jul 12, 2024  
2020-2021 General Catalog 
2020-2021 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Geography & Anthropology (Graduate Program)


For information regarding the UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM, click here.  

Program Overview

This department offers a variety of research and instructional programs leading to the MA in Anthropology, MS in Geography, PhD Anthropology, and PhD in Geography. Graduate students may specialize in human geography, physical geography, mapping sciences, archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistics, cultural anthropology, or forensic anthropology. Regional foci include: Latin America, American South, Caribbean, East Asia, and Africa. Graduate students often include courses in both Geography and Anthropology in their program of study. For example, archaeologists often include GIS and remote sensing. Human geographers often include courses in cultural anthropology. Graduate students may apply for Departmental awards to assist with travel and other research, notably the Robert C. West, R. J. Russell, and Materials Awards. Students are encouraged to apply for external grants and there is an emphasis on field research.

Human geography includes crime geography (hot spot, crime simulation, displacement and diffusion); cultural geography (cultural ecology, landscape, diffusion); economic geography (capitalist development, peasant response to market forces, agrarian innovation and economic growth, industrial impacts on society and environment); health geography (healthcare location and allocation, access, disparity); historical geography (ecological and spatial processes, innovation diffusion, settlement expansion, residential segregation, industrial restructuring, regional development); regional geography and urban geography (urban structure and city systems, state and corporate policy, rural-urban migration, class formation, gender and ethnic relations); and transportation geography (network analysis, spatial mismatch, land use and commuting).

Physical geography offers opportunities for study in alluvial, coastal, and quaternary geomorphology (human-induced changes in river systems, quaternary landform evolution, coastal dune dynamics and management, coastal sediment transport, beach/nearshore sediment morphodynamics, coastal land loss); and climatology (synoptic climatology, hydroclimatology, regional impacts of global warming, water balance analyses, the role of climate in flood variability).

Mapping science encompasses traditional and contemporary mapping technologies, including computer cartography, aerial photography, remote sensing, spatial analysis, and GIS. Spatial interpolation, scale, the modifiable area unit problem, surface and line measurement using fractal algorithms, spatial autocorrelation, comparative assessments of remote sensing imagery, GIS applications in coastal Louisiana, cartographic presentation and spatial data handling, and modeling the spatial distributions of disease, population, and land use are addressed.

Anthropology follows in the footsteps of the North American four-field tradition. Archaeology offers opportunities for field and lab research in the archaeology of the Andes, Mesoamerica, and Southeastern US. An archaeological field school is offered most summers. Research focus on coastal adaptations in the Americas include spectacular preservation at coastal sites in Peru, underwater Maya sites in Belize, and shell rings in the Southeastern US. Areas include the rise of complex societies, human-environmental interactions, climate change and sea-level rise, political and subsistence economies, architecture, and landscapes. GIS and remote sensing applications, 3D Digital Imaging and 3D printing, lab analyses (shell, loss-on ignition, waterlogged wood) and interdisciplinary collaborations are common.

Cultural anthropology includes the study of festivals and parades, the African Diaspora, ethnomusicology, the environment, and applied approaches. Linguistic anthropology includes the complex interaction between culture and language, notably discourse analysis, conversation, and language and society. Geographic areas of focus include the US Southeast, Caribbean, Latin America, and Africa.

Biological anthropology includes paleoanthropology, skeletal biology, and modern human variation, with research in Africa and museum collections. Forensic anthropology includes applications of knowledge from skeletal biology, facial reconstruction, in conjunction with the FACES lab and forensic anthropology faculty.


Fahui Wang, Chair
David Chicoine, Graduate Program Director
TELEPHONE 225-578-5942
FAX 225-578-4420
E-MAIL gradsec@lsu.edu
WEBSITE www.ga.lsu.edu


Applications and supporting materials for all graduate study must be submitted through the online application site for the LSU Graduate School. Official transcripts, official test scores, and other materials that come from third-party sources must be mailed to: LSU Office of Graduate Admissions, 114 West David Boyd Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803. These paper documents are stored electronically and departments have access to all materials submitted by and/or on behalf of a student applying to graduate study.

The department encourages the application of students who can bring another discipline to bear on geographical and anthropological problems. Students well prepared in such fields as biology, geology, agronomy, botany, computer science, history, and economics and who are interested in geography or anthropology should inquire. Admission to the department and awarding of financial assistance is based on compatibility of interests, grade point average, letters of recommendation, and GRE scores. International students whose native language is not English must have a TOEFL score of at least 550 on the paper-based test, a 213 on the computer-based test, or a 79 on the Internet-based test, an IELTS score of 6.5, or PTE score of 59. A TOEFL score of 575, equivalent IELTS, or equivalent PTE score is required to be considered for an assistantship. The departmental deadline for the application to be considered for funding is January 25.

Financial Assistance

Applicants with excellent records are urged to apply for graduate assistantships providing stipends between $12,000 to $18,000 per year plus exemption from tuition. Master assistantships are for a maximum of two years, and doctoral awards for a maximum of four years. The graduate assistantship application deadline is January 25.

Research Facilities

The department’s Cartographic Information Center—housing more than one-half million maps and aerial photographs—is the nation’s largest university map library. The Computer Mapping Sciences Laboratory houses computers with and software for ArcGIS, CrimeStat, EndNote, Erdas Imagine, GeoDa, Google Earth Pro, Microsoft Office, QGIS, R, SketchUp, and the VMware View client for connecting to LSU’s Virtual Lab.

Research in physical geography is supported by the H. J. Walker Geomorphology Laboratory. The Paleoclimatology & Anthropology Studies Laboratory (PAST) Lab is active in developing paleoclimate records and data mining existing records to investigate past climate. The department also houses the Southern Regional Climate Center and the Louisiana Office of State Climatology that monitor and analyze climatic records in the state and region. The Miles Richardson Cultural & Historical Research Laboratory supports students and faculty using special equipment in the cultural and historical components of the program. The Forensic Laboratory provides facilities for analysis of skeletal remains and dentition. The Archaeology Laboratory includes wet and dry labs, a fume hood, and facilities for analyses of a variety of artifacts, soils and sediment, shells, bones, and other materials. The DIVA Lab (Digital Imaging and Visualization in Archaeology) includes 3D scanners and computers for instruction, as well as a Dimension Elite 3D printer, a Projet 460 color 3D printer, a portable XRF, slide and binocular microscopes, fume hood, software for 3D and GIS analyses, and other 3D equipment for research. Archaeological labs and collections also are housed in the Museum of Natural Sciences directed by department archaeologist Rebecca Saunders.

Graduate Faculty

(check current faculty listings by department here)


Craig E. Colten (M) • Historical, environmental, North America, Louisiana
Kristine L. DeLong (M) • Climatic and environmental changes in the Quaternary; Atlantic studies; Palaeoenvironmental reconstruction
Barry Keim (M) • Climate change and variability, synoptic climatology, hydroclimatology, extreme events, climate data
Kory Matthew Konsoer (6A) • Fluvial geomorphology, sediment transport, human-riverine impacts
Michael Leitner (M) • Spatial analysis and GIS, computer cartography, Europe
Kent Mathewson (M) • Cultural, historical, history of geography, Latin America, American South
Xuelian Meng (6A) • GIS, remote sensing
Steven Namikas (M) • Coastal geomorphology, hazards, physical geography
Alex Haberlie (6A) – Climate extremes, hazardous weather, land use on regional climatology
David Sathiaraj (3F) – Big data analytics, social network analysis, data-driven computing, climate informatics
Andrew Sluyter (M) • Landscapes of colonialism, Latin America, development and environmental policy
Jill C. Trepanier (6A) • Climatology
Fahui Wang (M) • Crime, economic, health, transportation, and urban geography; GIS; quantitative methods; China; Southeast Asia; U.S.
Lei Wang (M) • GIS, quantitative methods, terrain and hydrological analysis, remote sensing


M. Jill Brody (M) • Linguistics, sociocultural, Middle America
Juliet K. Brophy (6A) •Craniodental morphometric analysis, Hominin Evolution, Paleoenvironmental reconstruction, Zooarchaeology and taphonomy
David Chicoine (M) • Andean archaeology, complex societies, material culture, built environment, visual arts, foodways
Joyce M. Jackson (M) • Ethnomusicology, folklore, Africa & diaspora, ritual performance, Louisiana
Ginesse A. Listi (3F) • Forensics, bioarchaeology, paleopathology
Heather McKillop (M) • Ancient Maya, sea-level rise, trade and economy, 3D digital imaging and 3D printing
Helen Regis (M) • Cultural anthropology, medical, Africa and African diaspora, performance in pop culture, American South
Rebecca Saunders (M) • Southeastern United States prehistory, pottery analysis, contact period studies; also Associate Curator of Anthropology Museum of Natural Sciences
Robert G. Tague (M) • Anatomy, skeletal biology, reproductive biology, biological anthropology

Degree Programs

This department offers a variety of research and instructional programs leading to the MA in Anthropology, the MS in Geography, the PhD in Anthropology, and the PhD in Geography. Graduate students may specialize in human geography, physical geography, mapping sciences, archaeology, biological anthropology, linguistics, cultural anthropology, or forensic anthropology. Regional foci include: Latin America, American South, East and Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Requirements for the M.S. degree in geography and M.A. in anthropology include a minimum of 30 credit hours, including six credits for a thesis. A master’s degree in either is typically attained within two years if students attend as full-time status.

Requirements for the Ph.D. in Geography and the PhD in Anthropology include a minimum of 60 credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree or 30 hours beyond the master’s degree, 10 hours of which are core courses, two or more advanced seminars, and an external minor or nine credit hours in approved cognate fields (including one seminar). Students must write a dissertation constituting an original contribution to the discipline.


    Doctor of PhilosophyMaster of ArtsMaster of ScienceGraduate Certificate