Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts
ARISE Program

ARISE Program

ARISE at Penn State: Anthropological Research in Science Education

Anthropological Research in Science Education (ARISE) at Penn State is a new summer institute in integrated anthropological sciences for historically underrepresented and underserved undergraduate students from across all Penn State campuses.

The program is open to all undergraduate students at Penn State. Eligibility is open, and we encourage students who may not have opportunities in anthropology to apply to ARISE. ARISE will train students in:

  • theoretical approaches to solving anthropological problems
  • methods to collect and analyze anthropological data
  • ethics and historical background to the discipline
  • applications of anthropological sciences in and beyond academia

We will select 20-25 students interested in pursuing anthropological research to work closely with Penn State faculty and graduate students in these four modules: 

Genetics: In this module, students will be introduced to anthropological genetics topics (ancient DNA, evolutionary genetics, population genomics, ancestry) both theoretically and methodologically. Students will be able to actively participate in the research process through a dynamic module program designed to closely emulate and teach current genetics methods, from the bench to analysis to publication. 

Isotopes: Students will be introduced to a basic geochemistry background and laboratory safety. Students will be able to actively process their own sample that will be provided for them for radiocarbon dating, stable carbon, and nitrogen isotopes. Students will also learn to interpret stable isotope data and plot their own graphs using R.  

GIS/Spatial: In this module, students will be introduced to the use of spatial analysis methods using ArcGIS software. Learning goals will include: map projections, coordinate systems, open source data repositories, and the display and simple analysis of spatial data, with a focus on the types of data that anthropologists typically produce. The module will conclude with a field trip to introduce students to the collection and analysis of point patterned data using GIS enabled tablets.  

Medical Anthropology: Students will learn the basic philosophies that meet at the crossroads of medicine, evolution, and anthropology and be introduced to different anthropological approaches used to investigate medical questions.  Students will also survey tools used in medical anthropological research, including survey data, hormonal sampling, and genetics techniques (i.e., microbiome data) with experts in these areas.

If you are interested in participating in ARISE in May 2022, please fill out the form here.

Applications close November 30, 2021. Selected participants will be notified on December 1, 2021 and will receive full funding to attend ARISE, including travel, room and board, and laboratory and analysis costs.