Welcome to ANP 206: Introduction to Physical Anthropology (online). My name is Amy Michael and I will be your instructor for this course.


  • This is our final week of class! REMEMBER: THIS IS A SHORTENED WEEK. See the assignments page for more info.
  • I will be grading your blogs and entering final grades over the weekend. I believe that you will be able to view your grades after August 22.
  • PLEASE REMEMBER TO FILL OUT YOUR SIRS FORMS! See last week’s announcements for info on the SIRS forms. We value your opinions!
  • Thank you for a great class and perhaps I will see some of you in the fall for Human Adaptability!


  • This is our second to last week (and our last full week!). I will be making the Week Seven materials public at the same time as Week Six since we have a shortened week starting Monday, August 15.
  • I will be traveling internationally on Sunday, August 14 – Tuesday, August 16. I will do my best to check email, but please bare with me during this time!
  • I encourage all students to fill out the SIRS form for this course (available on 8/12). The course was recently re-designed and there have been some issues with questions over the material. Please let us know how we can improve the course, what you liked and didn’t like about the course, and if I did a sufficient job as your professor for this course. Your feedback is important to me as well as to the professor who re-designed this class! Find the forms online at:


  • PROBLEM WITH NAT GEO ARTICLE – The Nat Geo link is not working for a lot of students. Don’t worry about reading this link for class this week.
  • Thank you for your thoughtful blog posts. A lot of you brought up religion in your posts and comments – it is really great to see how you all are reconciling a belief in science with religious beliefs as well! Many people have written about how the acceptance of one does not negate the acceptance of the other, so I hope that everyone is able to consider that when determining your positions. If you are interested further in how science and religion co-exist, check out Stephen Jay Gould’s short but informative book Rocks of Ages.
  • A number of students have written to me about with concerns about two questions on last week’s quiz. The questions on sociobiology and intersexual selection will be thrown out and everyone who got these wrong will get two points added to their total score. I apologize for the errors – I’ll make sure these questions get removed from the quiz bank in the future!
  • You’ll have another blog and quiz at the end of the week. Don’t forget to post your comments as well.
  • I will grade your blogs soon and grades will be updated by Monday night.


  • Thank you all for another week of interesting and thoughtful blog posts!
  • This week’s lectures and readings will be on the study of non-human primates in physical anthropology. This material will be a bit different that what we’ve been learning so far, but I hope you find it interesting! When ANP 206 is taught in the classroom, we usually take students to Potter Park Zoo where there are some really cool primates. I encourage you all to take a trip to the zoo if you’re in Lansing (or go when you return). You’ll have a new appreciation for the animals!
  • As always, you will have a quiz at the end of the week.
  • Remember to title your blog “Blog Four: ____” so that it can be more easily distinguished from the rest of the blogs on the site.


  • This week’s lectures and readings will be on population biology. Many of you will be familiar with some of these concepts from previous biology courses. As always, you will have a quiz and a blog due at the end of the week (and blog responses due on Sunday).


  • VERY good job on your first blogs – I was impressed with the quality of the writing and critical thinking! I noticed a lot of you posted about forensic anthropology. As you may or may not know, MSU has a very large and active forensic program so I’m happy to answer any questions about forensics (especially ancestry or casework as many of you were interested in those topics). Also, for those interested in the Society for American Archaeology, I want to let you know that MSU has a number of field school programs for students interested in archaeology (I work on a bioarchaeology project!). If you’d like to get hands on experience as a research volunteer in a skeletal lab this fall, contact me at some point and I can give you a tour of the MSU bioarchaeology lab.
  • For the second blog, PLEASE POST “Blog Two” in front of your title. The blog interface is a little messy and I think this will help to organize posts a bit.
  • REMEMBER: to get full credit for your blogs, you have to post BOTH your own blog and two responses. For those of you who only posted one or the other, I will give you partial credit (5 points) this week, but starting in Week 2 you must do both the comments and original post to receive ANY points.
  • Remember: if you have problems with posting or with the quizzes, you need to email me as soon as possible – if you have a reasonable excuse and contacted me in the proper time frame, I will work with you on the issue.
  • You have another quiz, blog, and blog responses due this week. Just like last week, you have until 11:30pm on Friday to complete the quiz and the blog and until 11:30pm on Sunday to complete the two blog responses to fellow students.


  • Multiple choice quiz (must complete on D2L by 11:30PM on Friday of each week) – You will have 60 minutes to complete the quiz from the time you start it on D2L
  • Blog response (500 words) to posted prompt due by 11:30PM on Friday of each week
  • Two comments (125 words each) to fellow students’ blogs due by 11:30PM on Sunday of each week


  • Make sure that you have watched the videos under the Pre-Week 1 tab. These will familiarize you with the instructor and physical anthropology, as well as how to log in to the site.
  • You will have a quiz at the end of the week (like every week), as well as a blog post and response. You must complete your quiz on D2L by 11:30pm on Friday, July 8.
  • You must complete your blog response by 11:30pm on Friday, July 8.
  • You must complete your two comments to fellow students’ blogs by 11:30pm on Sunday, July 10 (end of Week 1).
  • The first blog prompt is: Explore one website for a professional organization representing a subfield of biological anthropology, discuss the ways in which such studies contribute to the broader themes of anthropology. You can Google biological or physical anthropology organizations or I can give you some helpful hints – check out American Association of Physical Anthropologists, Society for American Archaeology (specifically the bioarchaeology section), American Academy of Forensic Sciences, British Association for Biological Anthropology and Osteoarchaeology, American Association for Anthropological Genetics, and more. Just Google “biological anthropology organizations”! Please let me know if you have any questions.
  • Remember that your blogs are graded on length, but mostly I am interested in your thoughtful and creative responses to these questions. Have fun with it!


Do I have to come to campus? No.
This is an online course. There are no exams and you never have to come to campus. I am currently out of the country and in Australia. You can work from wherever you are located, but please make sure that you keep the time difference in mind. We will keep an Eastern Standard time schedule (Michigan time). You do need to have a high speed internet connection and you must log into the course website at least once a day to check for announcements.

Is this class on D2L? Yes, and no.
The bulk of the class work is run through the WordPress site (readings, lecture videos, blogs), however your quizzes and your grades (in the gradebook) are located on the D2L site.

How do I access the WordPress site?
You will receive an invitation to the site in your MSU email on July, 1st which includes the link. Please watch these tutorials BEFORE you visit the site so you know how to login and change your password (note that this year’s website will look different than the one in the video).

What is the username/password to watch this and other videos?
To watch this video and ALL OTHER online course videos, you will need to use the  universal login information. This information has been sent to you in your introductory email from me. Please note that this is DIFFERENT from your word press login information which is individual to you. If anyone from class asks you for the username and password, please send it via an email or direct them to the D2L“News” section where they are also listed.  Do not post it in a blog or comment in Word Press as anyone outside the class can see it and the videos as well.

Are there any textbooks for this class? No.
All of the readings/videos will be posted on the course website under the schedule tab for that week. Once you receive an invitation to the site, you will be able to access the “Introduction” unit which includes some quick videos as well as instructions for the first blog post assignment. Each Monday, I will release the new week’s materials under the schedule tab.

I’m confused or have special circumstances, who do I ask for help?
If you have any questions about the website or the course, you have a few ways to answer them. First, you can check the Announcements page for new information.  Secondly, you can ask your classmates in word press in comments under the Schedule section, using #HELP. Please do not email the entire class via D2L. If you need to email me directly at michae76 [at] msu [dot] edu and make sure to write ANP 206 in the subject line and include your name at the bottom.  You can see this information in more detail under Contact here on this site.

It’s after Tuesday, July 5th, and I did not receive an email invitation, what should I do?
Remember, the invitation will be arriving in your MSU email so just in case, check junk mail folder. If you have not received an invitation to the course site by the end of the day on Tuesday, please send me an email and we will get it figured out. If you have your MSU email forwarded to your personal email account, make sure to check spam, Updates, Forums, etc. for the email first.

I received an invitation but now it says the link is expired, what should I do?
It is important that you click the link and set up your account within 48 hours, otherwise the invitation will expire. If this happens, send us an email and we will get it figured out.

There will not be any mass emails regarding this class. All announcements will be posted on here on word press, so make sure you check it daily.

See you online!