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Anthropology: experiencing the world in a different way

Cerro Coso's Coyote Corner

We read and hear a lot about other parts of the world, but actually visiting and experiencing another culture in person is quite different.

Not only has Tehachapi resident and Cerro Coso's Anthropology and Sociology professor, Alec Griffin, traveled through 43 countries, he has also had some exciting and terrifying experiences along the way. Traveling to Cairo in 2013, 11 days after a coupe d'état deposed President Morsi, was among some of the craziest. The pyramids and Cairo museum were empty as the country experienced serious protests, unrest and an imposed curfew. For Griffin, the trip was amazing. The cultures of the world are widely varied and unique. Learning to "adapt and overcome", Griffin's motto in life, ensures you gain the most from experiences.

Raised on a large pig farm in Northern California, Griffin attended San Diego State University for his undergrad and Cal State University, East Bay for his Master's in Anthropology, along with a second Master's in Public Policy from Cal State University, Monterey Bay.

According to Griffin, anthropology teaches students to think critically about humans worldwide, their biology and their culture. He will be teaching Biological Anthropology (ANTH C121) and the Biological Anthropology Lab (ANTH C122) college courses along with an Archaeology (ANTH C131) course at the Cerro Coso College Tehachapi campus in August on Tuesday and Thursdays.

Biological Anthropology examines humans as biological organisms, DNA and the significance of genetic diversity among modern populations. The course will also examine primate biological and cultural adaptations, forensic anthropology and current trends within field discoveries.

Archaeology studies the history and interdisciplinary nature of archaeological research; dating techniques; methods of survey, excavation, analysis, and interpretation, along with cultural resource management. It is where students have the opportunity to tour the local archaeological sites such as Tomo Kahni and learn how archaeologists excavate sites, showing how we are all connected.

Registration for fall (August) courses is currently open and students are encouraged to enroll in both Biological Anthropology and Archaeology courses. Take the course(s) for fun or go all the way and earn an Anthropology Associate Degree for Transfer.

Call (661) 823-4986 for more information or join us in person at our upcoming Rock ENROLL Tehachapi: One-Day Express College Registration Event on Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2023, at the campus from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Financial aid opportunities are available.