The Anthropology Department at Portland State University was established in 1959 as a four-field anthropology department with Oregon's only free-standing Master's program. Since then, anthropologists at PSU have compiled a long record of research, teaching, and community involvement. Among its distinguished former faculty were Wayne Suttles, the premier 20th century ethnographer and linguist of the Northwest Coast, and Kenneth Ames, author of Chinookan Peoples of the Lower Columbia.
Currently, the department has faculty in sociocultural anthropology, archaeology, and biological anthropology. The Department's emphases that cross-cut the subdisciplines are applied anthropology and environmental anthropology. Programs and faculty research take advantage of the university's location in Portland, Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and the eastern edge of the Pacific basin.
The department is also part of the Consortium of Practicing and Applied Anthropology.
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